Roquan Smith wants to be traded after accusing the Bears' new regime of negotiating in bad faith, but it's not that easy, especially because he doesn't have an agent. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
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Chicago Bears first-year general manager Ryan Poles evaluated his players during their preseason opener on Saturday, the most pressing assessment was about a player standing on the sidelines.

Roquan Smith has a question about what to do with him.

He asked to be traded after talks broke down regarding a contract extension. The last year of Smith's contract is the fifth.

Smith said that the new regime doesn't value him and refused to "negotiate in good faith."

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Smith was praised again Saturday. He hopes he will one day play for the Bears.

Smith isn't represented by an agent, that's one of the complicating factors His lack of representation came into focus Monday when the NFL contacted all 32 teams to let them know someone is trying to trade Smith for someone else. Smith will fall short in his pursuit due to the complicated process of working out a trade, according to an agent. The trade request was the right move according to an agent. Poles is racing the clock to find a solution to the situation that continues to grow more unclear.

How does not having an agent affect Smith’s situation?

Smith has represented himself since Todd France was fired two years ago.

A number of high-profile players have negotiated top-of-market deals without an agent. Charles Cross thanked his business manager for guiding him through the process. The director of football at Lifeline Financial Group is the subject of the memo.

The league management council sent a message saying that Omni is a representative of Smith. Saint is not allowed to discuss trades on behalf of any player.

The collective bargaining agreement states that player contracts can only be negotiated with the player if he is acting on his own behalf. The league's anti-tampering policy states that "no Club is permitted to negotiate with a player under contract to another Club, or with his certified agent, or to discuss a potential trade without the direct written permission of the player"

According to sources, the Bears didn't allow Smith to seek a trade.

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The salary cap and agent administration department give guidance to some players who self-report.

An agent said that the league can tell the team where he should go, but they haven't had a chance to talk with the team. They don't know if there were problems in the past. They don't know what's going on. It isn't just about your play. It isn't just about money. It has to do with the team's location and the regime.

Lamar Jackson is in negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens for a long-term contract. Jackson said he will stop negotiations once the regular season begins.

One of the more difficult things about being self-represented is that you're the only one who can negotiate. If you're talking about your own income and wealth, you'll get a little more heated than those of us who do this year in and year out.

Some players might be more comfortable with a representative handling negotiations.

An agent said that they could put pressure on them. You can have off-the-record conversations elsewhere to understand what's going on. You have an idea of what is going on. You know how precedents work.

Unless someone is assisting him with it, he doesn't know anything.

Which side has the leverage?

Smith is a two-time second-team All-Pro in the prime of his career, but he plays a defensive position that doesn't generate the types of contracts that go to edge rushers and cornerbacks. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The Bears have a lot of power. The Bears picked up Smith's fifth-year option in May 2021. Smith doesn't have a choice but to play on his current contract if there is no extension or trade.

He would not accrue credit for the season and be eligible for unrestricted free agency next year if he isn't on full pay status for at least six games. His contract would cause the Bears to have his rights for the 2023 season at the same price as this year. If Smith could demonstrate extreme personal hardship causing such failure to report or perform that could be a factor.

Smith will be fined if he sits out the season for being healthy but not participating in practices.

First-year head coach Matt Eberflus said that the discipline comes from the front office. I don't know what discipline is there. When the time arrives, we will work through that.

If Smith doesn't play this season, the Bears could use the franchise tag on him in three years.

What players can Smith look at as comparable for a salary comparison?

Fred Warner averages $19.5 million, which is a league-high for off-ball linebackers. Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

When the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers signed extensions, the market for off-ball LBs was reset. Leonard signed a five-year deal worth $98.6 million. It's tops for off-ball linebackers.

Warner was the 49ers' leader in tackles in each of his first three seasons. He signed a five-year deal with a high average per year.

The Bears may not see that kind of value for a weakside linebacker, a position that hasn't generated the contract numbers of edge rushers or corners.

Several lucrative contract extensions haven't aged well, and only four off-ball linebackers make more than fifteen million dollars a year. The New York Jets signed C.J. Mosley to a five-year deal worth $85 million, but he missed most of the season due to injury and opted out in 2020. Anthony Barr was given an extension by the Minnesota Vikings. He was limited to 13 games the last two years due to injury. Two years after signing a record-setting deal, Bobby Wagner was released by Seattle.

Smith was drafted in the top 10 by the previous regime.

An agent thought this was the first evaluation issue. If the Bears think a player is a great player, they'll pay him.

There are elements of the Bears offer to Smith that are record-breaking, but whether there are enough elements to get a deal done is not certain.

What about the trade demand?

Things get interesting at this point. It will be difficult for a player to represent himself if the Bears allow Smith to seek a trade.

One agent said that the Bears don't worry about him talking to other teams. A concern would always be if another agent had a deal that was ready to go but was on the back burner. There is no way another team is going to talk to a player who is under contract.

The league wanted to prevent that by mentioning its tampering rule in the memo.

The agent said that he didn't think he thought through the situation. If the Bears said, "Yes, OK, we give you permission to seek a trade", then what would happen? An agent would call around and see if there is a party that would be interested in a trade. The player will want a long-term deal as well. You have to negotiate with three teams and five teams.

That is a large amount of work. Right now, he is in camp. Between meetings, is he going to do that?

Smith drew a line in the sand, according to one agent.

The agent said that Roquan wouldn't return unless he got his contract. The Bears are backing into a corner.

Will the Bears fine Smith for not practicing?

Bears GM Ryan Poles, right, and head coach Matt Eberflus had plenty to talk about after Saturday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, including what the plan is for star linebacker Roquan Smith. Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Smith was able to avoid being fined $40,000 per day because he showed up to camp on time and was at the Bears facility every day.

Smith can be fined by Chicago if he doesn't practice. The Bears are trying to negotiate a deal.

All of the players are expected to practice.

What would an agent’s advice be to Smith?

Smith hasn't been hurting himself, but one agent would have advised him to be "harsher" in his trade demands.

If everything that's happening is what he's saying, we probably would have told him to do what he's doing. I think he is on track with what he should do because we are talking about a really good player. We've been in that situation recently with teams, with some of our guys that deserve long-term deals and they feel disrespected, if they aren't even coming out with offers that are respectable.

When these guys are drafted, they do what you hope they'll do, and then teams ask for what they're worth.

The key is to play enough to get to free agency while avoiding the franchise tag, according to an agent.

The agent said, "Let's get through these 17 games, there's no way they can franchising you." They're not going to pay you. You're close to the market.