Chicago – Bear Back Ruchuan Smith He said in a written statement that he requested a commercial deal after contract negotiations between him and the organization reached an impasse.
Smith wrote a statement that was Posted by the NFL Network on social media Tuesday. ESPN has confirmed the authenticity of these messages.
“The new front office system doesn’t appreciate me here,” the 25-year-old linebacker wrote, after Smith said he had been trying to work on an extension since April.
“They refused to negotiate in good faith,” Smith wrote. “Every step of this journey has been ‘take it or leave it.’ The deal sent to me is a deal that would be bad for myself and the entire LB market if I signed it.”
Since the Bears drafted him eighth overall in 2018, the former Georgia star has had 14 sacks while recording no fewer than 101 tackles and interceptions in every season he played. Smith was set to earn $9.7 million in the final year of his start-up deal and was put on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list when he came to camp in late July.
Smith accused the Bears front office of “trying to take advantage of me,” and that the organization “left me no choice but to ask for a deal that would allow me to play for an organization that truly appreciates what I bring to the table.”
In April, Smith expressed confidence that he would stay in Chicago long-term with a new deal and was fully involved during the volunteer drills and mandatory mini-camp. In his statement, the linebacker said he wanted to be with the Bears throughout his career.
At the start of training camp, first-year general manager Ryan Bowles, who had expressed a desire to reach an agreement on Smith’s extension before the regular season, addressed the team that had yet to implement a new deal for Smith.
The Poles said on July 26: “My feelings for Rokuane don’t change at all. I love the player and the person. And that won’t change. The only thing I’m going to ask everyone here is, I know I’m going to get a lot of questions, and I understand. I’m not going to talk about contracts and all that.” , so I just wanted to make sure we had it, though. In terms of my feelings for him, nothing has changed.”
Smith was present at Hallas Hall daily during training camp, and is often seen riding a stationary bike during training. Coach Matt Eberfels indicated his July predictions for Smith while he remained on the PUP roster.
“Stay engaged, be a leader, and get engaged, which he does and he will do,” Eberfluss said. “He’s a professional. He’s had a long time in the league. He’s a really good player. We’re excited to have him at the Chicago Bear. And he’ll do it.”
In his statement, Smith apologized to Bears fans while expressing little confidence that negotiations would be reversed.
“I haven’t had a chance to speak with the McCasky family and maybe they can salvage that, but so far I don’t see a way back to the organization that I really love,” Smith said.
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