Poles: Bears handling Roquan's unique situation ‘as best we can'


Ryan Poles is still working through the first real test of his tenure as Bears general manager.

Star linebacker Roquan Smith requested a trade Tuesday following what the 25-year-old saw as disrespectful contract extension talks between him and the Bears. Poles maintained that his intention is to extend Smith but also noted he has to do what's in the best interest of the Bears and not just Smith.

On Saturday, ahead of the Bears' preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, Poles reiterated that he wants Smith to be a Bear.

“There’s no real update on that front,” Poles said Saturday to the WBBM Newsradio 780 Bears pregame show. “I’ll say it over and over, I love the player and what he’s done on the field. This is a very unique situation that we’re handling the best that we can.

"We hope to have him in a Chicago Bears uniform."

The Bears removed Smith from the PUP list on Wednesday, deeming him healthy to practice. However, Smith didn't participate Thursday, although he was present at Halas Hall, watching from the near sideline. Head coach Matt Eberflus said he expects all healthy players to play. The Bears have not yet decided if they will discipline Smith for not practicing.

Poles said the move to take Smith off the PUP list was strictly based on the linebacker now being deemed healthy and not a chess move in the negotiations.

As far as the possibility of Smith returning to play for the Bears, Poles has no indication of when or if that will be the case.

“We’re working through that. Again, it’s a very unique situation. But we are communicating with him. Hopefully when we get through this game, we can come to some type of resolution.”

Smith is in the final year of his rookie contract. He is set to make $9.7 million this season.

The star linebacker is currently negotiating without an agent. Reports surfaced Friday that someone was calling teams on Smith's behalf, trying to orchestrate a trade to another team.

Smith worked out on the field Saturday prior to kick-off again against the Chiefs but did not play.

Contact Us