The Roquan Smith saga has apparently taken a strange turn.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported Friday, citing sources, that someone is calling teams on behalf of the Chicago Bears linebacker to try and instigate a trade.
The 25-year-old Smith currently does not have an agent. As Florio notes, this creates two problems for Smith.
The first is that the person calling teams on his behalf is not an NFLPA-certified agent. The second is that the Bears have not given Smith permission to seek a trade.
If another team instigates trade talks with Smith’s proxy or fails to notify the Bears of the illegal contact, they could be h penalized for tampering. It’s unclear if Smith himself could be fined or penalized for the impermissible contact.
Smith and the Bears have been trying to negotiate a contract extension all offseason. On Tuesday, the star linebacker publicly requested a trade, citing contract offers he deemed disrespectful.
On Wednesday, the Bears removed Smith from the PUP list and deemed him healthy to practice. However, Smith didn’t participate Thursday but was seen on the near sidelines watching practice.
Head coach Matt Eberflus said Thursday that all healthy players are expected to participate. With Smith off the PUP list, the Bears now have the option to discipline him if they choose.
Eberflus said the Bears are taking Smith’s contract hold-in “day-by-day,” and it will be up to general manger Ryan Poles and the front office to determine if they will fine Smith for refusing to practice.
Smith is in the final year of his rookie contract. He is set to make $9.7 million this season and reportedly wants a contract that will make him the highest-paid linebacker in football at $20 million per season.