The Bears are not in a good spot heading into the 2022 NFL Season. After going through a regime change following the disastrous Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace era, they go into 2022 with Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus.

However, after doing nothing during the offseason to aid Justin Fields‘ development at the quarterback position, and dealing with the drama surrounding defensive lineman Robert Quinn, there is more turmoil surrounding franchise linebacker Roquan Smith.

Smith released a statement expressing his displeasure at the front office, citing that the “new front office regime doesn’t value me here,”

Smith has been in talks with Chicago on a possible contract extension. But according to the 25-year-old, “They’ve refused to negotiate in good faith. Every step of this journey has been ‘take it or leave it.’ The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for myself, and for the entire LB market if I signed it.”

This week there is news that Smith will travel with the team for the game against Seattle.

New GM Poles addressed the trade request and attempting to work out a deal with the linebacker.

“I’ll double down on what I’ve said before – my feelings for Roquan haven’t changed at all,” Poles said. “I think he’s a very good football player. I love the kid. I love what he’s done on the field, which makes me really disappointed with where we’re at right now. I thought we’d be in a better situation, to be completely honest with you.”

“It’s difficult,” Poles said. “There are emotions involved and it’s tough. It’s a very unique situation that we’ve had to deal with and I thought we’ve done a pretty good job, which again that’s why I’m a little disappointed we’re at this spot. If anything changes I’ll update you.”

Smith was the 8th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and has been one of the best at his position in his four seasons. Smith has recorded at least 101 tackles and one interception in each season while amassing 14 sacks.

Smith apologized to Bears fans at the end of his statement, hoping that ownership could help the negotiations. “I haven’t had the chance to talk to the McCaskey family, and maybe they can salvage this, but as of right now I don’t see a path back to the organization I truly love,” Smith said.

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