CHICAGO (CBS) -- Bears star linebacker Roquan Smith has requested a trade, as contract negotiations remain stalled, issuing a letter accusing the front office of negotiating in bad faith.
Smith, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, sent a letter to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, saying he has officially requested a trade.
"Unfortunately, the new front office regime doesn't value me here. 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. I've been trying to get something done that's fair since April, but their focus has been on trying to take advantage of me," Smith wrote. "I wanted to be a Bear for my entire career, help this team bring a super bowl back to our city. However, they have left me no choice than to request a trade that allows me to play for an organization that truly values what I bring to the table."
Smith reported to training camp, but has not been practicing with the team as he personally negotiates a deal with the team. He was also a holdout until mid-August after he was drafted with the 8th overall pick in 2018, before developing into one of the best linebackers in the NFL, and arguably the best player on the Bears' roster ahead of the 2022 season.
The Bears placed Smith on the Physically Unable to Perform list during training camp, although they haven't announced any injury.
Smith has left open the possibility of reaching an agreement that would avoid a trade.
"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 wrote. "I hope and pray you all can understand, I'm deeply sorry it's come to this."
Bears general manager Ryan Poles addressed the situation after the team's Family Fest practice at Soldier Field, saying he feels they have given Smith a fair offer. Poles said the team's offer includes record-setting provisions that make him feel like the Bears have given Smith a fair shake.
Poles said he's disappointed Smith is demanding a trade, but insisted he wants Smith to stay with the Bears, intends to sign him to a contract extension, and has no plans on trading him.
"We're gonna take it day-by-day. At the end of the day, we've got to do what's best for this organization, but my intentions are to make sure Roquan Smith's on this team," Poles said.
Smith was at Soldier Field, watching practice from the sidelines as he has throughout training camp.
Head coach Matt Eberflus also said he's disappointed with the news of Smith's trade request, but he's preparing to play without him if necessary, as the team has been doing throughout training camp.
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