3 News stories about the Chicago Bears you may have missed this week

Chicago Bears (Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports)
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Chicago Bears, Roquan Smith
Chicago Bears – Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Roquan Smith returns to practice and contract negotiations are over for now

Yesterday, Roquan Smith returned to practice. Many speculated that the linebacker may have signed a contract extension. Instead, he was allowed to speak to the media following practice and he notified everyone that he will be playing this season on the final year of his contract. He told reporters that he is going to bet on himself and prove his worth. He did not allude to the fact that he would entertain contract negotiations after the season or not — he basically said that he’d cross that bridge when they came to it.

For now, he believes this is the time he needs to ramp up before the start of the 2022 NFL regular season. He said he will be ready for Week 1 and he will play out the final year of his contract. When asked about the franchise tag he said he believed that number to be a decent amount. When informed it was about double his current salary, he jokingly laughed and said yeah, that sounds pretty good.

When pushed for a dollar amount he was looking for, Roquan Smith stated he would not disclose that information. He did state that guaranteed money is important to him and he was not going to sign a deal that included de-escalators.

Here’s the thing. The Chicago Bears have all the leverage at the moment. Ryan Poles isn’t going to just come in and overpay a guy who hasn’t been in the new system yet. He’s also not going to overpay a guy who has shown some immaturity issues in the past. The Bears have Roquan Smith under contract this year with the ability to also franchise tag him for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. I’m all for players advocating for their money, but Smith just doesn’t have the right hand of cards to play right now.