Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is requesting a trade after efforts to reach a long-term contract stalled.
NFL Network published a written statement from Smith on Tuesday. ESPN verified the validity of the statement.
Smith, 25, has been seeking an extension since April. He said the "new front office regime doesn't value me here."
"They've 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 one that would be bad for myself, and for the entire LB market if I signed it."
Smith said the Bears are "trying to take advantage of me" and "left me no choice than to request a trade that allows me to play for an organization that truly values what I bring to the table."
He had at least 100 tackles in each of the past four seasons since being drafted with the eighth overall pick in 2018. He logged a career-high 163 tackles with three sacks and one interception in 17 starts in 2021.
Smith is set to earn $9.7 million this season on the final year of his rookie contract. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list when he reported to training camp last month.
Bears first-year general manager Ryan Poles addressed Smith's trade request with reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
"Right now, my intentions are to sign Roquan to this team," Poles said. ".. My intentions are to make sure Roquan Smith is on this team."
In his statement, Smith apologized to Bears fans and expressed his doubts that the situation in Chicago can be remedied.
"I haven't had the chance to talk to the McCaskey family, and maybe they can salvage this, but as of right now I don't see a path back to the organization I truly love," he said. "I hope and pray you all can understand, I'm deeply sorry it's come to this."
The Bears open the preseason at home Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Chicago opens the regular season on Sept. 11 at Soldier Field against the San Francisco 49ers.
--Field Level Media