Chicago Bears fans woke up to disappointing news Tuesday morning.
Roquan Smith requested a trade via a statement posted on Twitter by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The star linebacker, who is entering the final season of his rookie contract, said the front office "doesn't value me here" and has "refused to negotiate in good faith."
"I wanted to be a Bear for my entire career, help this team bring a (Super Bowl) back to our city," Smith wrote. "However, they have 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."
One of few stars left on a Bears roster that already traded Khalil Mack this offseason, Smith compiled 163 tackles and three sacks last season.
NFL Network's Stacey Dales highlighted the elite company the 25-year-old has played himself into during his first four seasons.
While losing Smith would be another tough blow for the Bears, the public request could be more of a negotiation tactic to pressure the franchise into presenting a better extension offer.
A star player wanting out nevertheless puts the franchise in an uncomfortable spot. Smith also released his request on the day the Bears are holding a Family Fest event at training camp.
Smith said he hasn't communicated his request directly with the McCaskey family, but he doesn't envision "a path back to the organization I truly love." He called playing for the Bears a dream come true.
The Bears have less than five weeks to settle this developing situation before opening the 2022 season against the San Francisco 49ers.