The Seattle Seahawks are fully into training camp with some question marks still remaining on the roster. However, with some recent news, a dominant All-Pro could be on the market to address one of the team’s bigger needs.
Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith released a statement on Tuesday, August 9 informing the public that he has officially requested a trade. NFL Network insider Ian Rapaport shared the statement on Twitter.
“Unfortunately, the new front office regime doesn’t value me here,” Smith said in his statement. “They’ve refused to negotiate in good faith, every step of this journey has been ‘take it or leave it’. The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for myself, and for the entire LB market if I signed it.”
With Smith requesting a trade, Seahawks fans have already started to call for general manager John Schneider to trade for the All-Pro linebacker. The Seahawks are one of the few teams that would make sense for Smith. Not only could they use a second inside linebacker alongside Jordyn Brooks, but they also have the cap space to handle to $9.7 million cap hit on the final year of Smith’s deal.
The Seahawks have already been addressing the linebacker position during training camp, signing former Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Joel Deblanko last week. If Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll want another starting-caliber linebacker, then they could make a trade offer to Chicago for Smith.
Roquan Smith’s Football Career
Even though he’s only 25 years old, Smith has already racked plenty of accolades throughout his football career. A top-50 high school recruit in the Class of 2015, Smith received offers from top FBS programs across the country before committing to play for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Smith quickly became a key contributor on Georgia’s defense, taking over as a starting linebacker in 2016 as a true sophomore. After his junior year in 2017, Smith was named a unanimous All-American, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and the Butkus Award winner for the top linebacker in college football.
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With good size and athleticism along with a relentless motor, Smith was taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Bears. He’s had a successful career so far in Chicago, being named a second-team All-Pro twice in 2020 and 2021. He’s racked up 524 combined tackles, 14 sacks, and five interceptions over four seasons.
Now, Smith is looking for a contract extension worthy of one of the top inside linebackers in the league. He’s on the final year of his rookie contract, hoping to find long-term security with a new deal. The 25-year-old represents himself in contract negotiations, choosing to not have an agent, which could be why he’s upset with how the Bears are negotiating with him in talks about an extension.
If the two sides can’t resolve the dispute, then this could be Smith’s last season in Chicago unless he’s traded before Week 1.
Latest Seahawks Training Camp Buzz
Trade rumors aside, there is still plenty happening at the VMAC with the Seahawks throughout the first couple weeks of training camp.
Superstar wide receiver DK Metcalf is back at practice after signing a record-breaking contract extension. Metcalf had reported to training camp, but had not been practicing as he waited for a contract extension to get worked out, but he’s back to fully participating and hoping to have another big year.
Safety Jamal Adams suffered a scare after getting his finger caught in a helmet during practice. Fortunately, it seems that Adams won’t miss any time with the injury, but will likely have to wear a specialized brace during games.
Rookies are continuing to impress, but the one who has stood out the most so far is cornerback Tariq Woolen. The fifth-round pick reportedly shined in the team’s mock game, and will have a chance to compete for a starting job heading into Week 1.
There will be more to keep an eye on as training camp rolls on, especially once the team suits up against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first preseason game.