Chicago Bears Matt Eberflus told reporters to simply go and ask Roquan Smith why he is refusing to practice with the team. Smith has been cleared from the physically unable to perform list and is considered as healthy enough to practice.
But Smith wasn't on the practice field on Thursday. Earlier this week, Smith requested a trade from the Bears. “Roquan Smith came off PUP. He was cleared by our medical staff as healthy. And he did not practice. And the reason why for that is, you’ll have to ask him.
We expect all of our healthy players to practice, and that was his decision, and like I said you’ll have to ask him. I have not talked to him about it so I have no further comment on that situation,” Eberflus said, via Pro Football Talk.
By skipping practice, Smith is a subject to fines.
When Eberflus was asked whether the Bears intend to fine Smith, he noted it's the front office's decision and not his. “That discipline comes from the front office,” Eberflus said.
Smith requested a trade from the Bears In a lengthy message posted on his social media, Smith said his intention was to strike a deal with the Bears but they "are trying to take the advantage of me." Because Smith felt the Bears didn't negotiate in good faith, he decided to request a trade.
Bears general manager addressed the Smith trade request, saying nothing has changed in his views of Smith's as he still wants him on the team. "I'll double down on what I've said before -- my feelings for Roquan haven't changed at all," Poles said.
"I think he's a very good football player. I love the kid. I love what he's done on the field, which makes me really disappointed with where we're at right now. I thought we'd be in a better situation, to be completely honest with you.
In terms of our philosophy in the front office, I've always believed and always will that we take care of our homegrown talent. We pay them, we take care of them, and we take everyone for what they've done and what they can become in the future.
And with this situation, we've showed respect from a very early timeframe and with that said, there's record-setting pieces of this contract that I thought was going to show him the respect that he deserves, and obviously that hasn't been the case.
With that said, we can't lose sight that this isn't about one player. My job is to build a roster that's going to sustain success for a long period of time. At the end of the day, we've got to do what's best for the Chicago Bears."