Matt Eberflus was missing his star linebacker at practice
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus didn’t seem pleased about Roquan Smith not participating in practice Thursday. Smith was absent at the start of practice before being seen on the sidelines. He didn’t participate thereafter. Smith was released from the PUP list Wednesday.
Eberflus was forward about Smith’s status with the team. The first-year coach seemed irritated as he fired back his curt response about Smith being healthy and not cooperating.
The Bears cleared Roquan Smith as healthy to return from the PUP list and practice, Matt Eberflus said: "You'll have to ask him (about not practicing). We expect all our healthy players to practice."
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) August 11, 2022
Matt Eberflus says we have to ask Roquan Smith why he didn't practice. TBD if the Bears will have Smith talk.
Eberflus: "I have not talked to him about it so I have no further comment on it."
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) August 11, 2022
Smith doesn’t seem to be giving in
It’s an interesting development of the saga that’s been going on this week. Moments before “Family Fest” Smith publicly requested a trade. He then showed up to practice. General manager Ryan Poles gave a press conference shortly thereafter. He reiterated his intention to extend Smith’s contract.
Smith wants his bag. After being taken off the PUP list, Smith was in jeopardy of being fined for missing practice. It’s a weaselly act to show up at practice while not participating. Matt Eberflus and Poles will have to figure out what to do with Smith if he continues to hold out. Preseason game number one is two days away.
For now, I’d just have Smith sit. His trade value is low right now without an agent. The Bears probably can’t get a first-round pick for Smith. With the Bears having the advantage of a franchise tag next season, Poles has all the leverage for this hold-out. It sucks to hold out on a bad team.
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