Ryan Poles still hopeful for resolution in Bears' contract negotiations with Roquan Smith


CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- Bears general manager Ryan Poles on Saturday expressed hope that he and star linebacker Roquan Smith can still reach an agreement on a long-term contract extension for Smith.

The 25-year-old Smith publicly requested a trade from the Bears on Tuesday morning as discussions on a contract extension reached a point of frustration. Smith feels the Bears' new regime has "refused to negotiate in good faith" and "doesn't value" him in Chicago, he said in a statement.

Smith was removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list Wednesday afternoon but didn't practice Thursday. He could be subject to fines for electing to skip practice amid his contract hold-in.

“There’s no real update on that front,” Poles said Saturday on the Bears pregame show on WBBM Newsradio 780. “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."

Smith is due $9.735 million in fully guaranteed salary in 2022 as part of the fifth-year option in his rookie contract. The No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Smith has played 61 games for the Bears over four seasons. He recorded a career-best 163 combined tackle last season.

Smith is operating without an agent during these contract negotiations with the Bears, which Poles has indicated is a complicating factor in working toward a deal.

Prior to kickoff between the Bears and Chiefs in their preseason opener Saturday, Smith was present and working out on Soldier Field. He won't play in the exhibition game.

Sunday marks four weeks until the Bears kick off their season against the 49ers at Soldier Field. Smith's place with the team remains in question.

“We’re working through that," Poles said. "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.”

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

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