Roquan Smith works out at Soldier Field, doesn’t play
Smith, who demanded a trade Tuesday, did conditioning work with his teammates about two hours before kickoff of Saturday’s exhibition opener against the Chiefs.
Bears linebacker Roquan Smith was on the turf at Soldier Field on Saturday — but he wasn’t playing.
Smith, who demanded a trade Tuesday, did conditioning work with his teammates about two hours before kickoff of Saturday’s exhibition opener against the Chiefs. When the game began, Smith stood on the Bears sideline in a navy T-shirt, shorts and a camouflage Bears visor.
Speaking in his weekly appearance the team-sanctioned pregame show, general manager Ryan Poles reiterated what he said Tuesday.
“I’ll say it over and over — I love the player and what he’s done on the field,” Poles said on WBBM-AM. “This is a very unique situation that we’re handling the best we can. We hope to have him in a Chicago Bears uniform.”
Smith has been a “hold-in” since the start of training camp, attending team meetings but not practicing. The Bears put him on the physically unable to perform list to start camp with an injury they never detailed. Not coincidentally, they took him off the PUP list the day after Smith accused the team’s new front office of failing to negotiate in good faith. Smith did not practice Thursday despite being healthy, prompting coach Matt Eberflus to, for the first time, not bother defending his star player.
He said reporters would have to ask Smith why he didn’t practice. The Bears refused to make Smith available for interviews, saying, ironically, that team rules prevent him from talking until he practices.
Smith wants a contract worth around $100 million over five years, which is what linebackers Shaquille Leonard and Fred Warner got from the Colts and 49ers, respectively, last year.