LAKE FOREST – The situation around arguably the Bears’ best defensive player and the current saga surrounding his contract has now taken a very interesting turn.
Per numerous reports, the first from Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network and Courtney Cronin of ESPN, the NFL’s Management Council has issued a tampering warning after a non-NFLPA-certified agent reached out to other teams on behalf of Roquan Smith for possible trade destinations.
Per the memo, the name of the man calling teams is Saint Omni, and since he’s not certified by the player’s union, he’s not authorized to contact other teams. Right now, Smith is representing himself in negotiations for a long-term contract, which has hit an impasse during training camp.
Last Tuesday, the linebacker requested a trade from the Bears as he enter the fifth and final year of his rookie deal.
In the memo, the NFL reiterated that it won’t tolerate tampering and threatened stronger punishment for it than in the past. A player or an NFLPA-certified agent can call other teams about a possible trade only when there is written permission given by the team which the player is under contract with, in this case, the Bears.
Earlier this month, the league stripped the Dolphins of two draft picks, including their 2023 first round selection, for tampering with quarterback Tom Brady & Sean Payton while they were under contract with other teams.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was also suspended and fined after the investigation.
Smith currently is a “hold-in” for training camp as he’s yet to participate in an on-field practice after taking part in the entire offseason program. Initially, the linebacker was on the PUP list due to an undisclosed injury, but he was removed on Wednesday after making his trade demand.
On Thursday, Smith didn’t take the field when he was expected to after being medically cleared to practice. He also didn’t take part in Monday’s workout at Halas Hall as the Bears start a quick prep week for their second preseason game on Thursday night against the Seahawks in Seattle.