Bears linebacker Roquan Smith told reporters this week that he’s no longer thinking about his contract situation, instead focusing on having a strong season in 2022.
He noted that he doesn’t plan to talk to General Manager Ryan Poles about an extension.
On Thursday, Poles said he sees an avenue to repairing the relationship with Smith.
“First of all, he’s a good player — that’s never changed,” Poles said, via Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times. “And he’s a good dude. I have faith that he’s gonna have a good year, and we’ll work on our relationship and all that.
“It’s not even a bad thing, either. We’ve all been there, right? You have disagreements and you have to come back together and be teammates. That’s what I expect.”
Smith sat out much of training camp and publicly requested a trade. But eventually returned to practice after it became clear the Bears had no intention of moving him.
Poles has said that he intends to keep Smith with the Bears. The No. 8 overall pick of the 2018 draft, Smith is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
“It’s human nature,” Poles said. “When things happen and two sides don’t agree on something, it’s gonna take a little time to do that. I’ve got a lot of faith that that’s going to happen, and I’m excited for it.”
Smith has been a second-team All-Pro in each of the last two seasons. In 2021, he recorded 163 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, and an interception.