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NFL warns teams about Roquan Smith tampering amid trade request

Vincent Frank

It was earlier this month that Chicago Bears All-Pro safety Roquan Smith officially requested a trade from the team amid ongoing contract issues between the two sides.

Even more recently, an individual purporting to represent the former top-10 pick had reportedly been calling teams to gauge potential interest.

This is not going to fly with the NFL, as the league noted in a memo to teams on Monday.

“Tampering is a corrosive problem that undermines both the integrity of the game and relationships among clubs. Accordingly, in the event that tampering is found, the Competition Committee has recommended the imposition of more stringent discipline than . . . imposed in prior years.”

The NFL on Roquan Smith situation, via Tom Pelissero of NFL Media

Remember, it was earlier this summer that the Miami Dolphins found themselves stripped of a first and third-round pick with owner Stephen Ross being suspended due to alleged tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton ahead of the 2020 season. The NFL is not mincing any words here. A repeat of that situation will lead to it coming down hard on the offending party.

Related: Ideal Roquan Smith trade destinations

Roquan Smith trade request and where we are at

Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The drama continues to play out at nearly every turn. It was reported earlier this summer that Smith, who is entering his contract year, would not report to training camp. He ultimately showed up, only to be a hold-in while his teammates practiced. Then, came the official trade request a short while into camp.

“I wanted to be a Bear for my entire career, help this team bring a (Super Bowl) back to our city. 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.”

Roquan Smith on trade request, via NFL.com

Smith’s primary focus is on how the Bears’ new brass of head coach Matt Eberflus and Ryan Poles apparently don’t value him.

  • Roquan Smith contract: $9.74 million salary in 2022; free agent in 2023

Coming off two consecutive All-Pro performances, Smith is slated to be the eighth highest-paid inside linebacker in the NFL in 2022. Shaquille (Darius) Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts leads the charge at $19.7 million per season.

Related: Roquan Smith and top 2023 NFL free agents

In 17 starts with Chicago last year, Smith registered 163 tackles (12 for loss), 3 sacks, 3 passes defended and an interception. He also yielded a mere 76.8 passer rating when targeted in coverage.

As for the NFL, its memo comes after an individual by the name of Saint Omni had been calling other teams to gauge interest in Smith. The league’s management council also sent a memo to teams warning them about being in contact with Mr. Omni.

“The NFLPA has informed us that a person by the name of Saint Omni, who is not an NFLPA certified agent, is contacting Clubs and indicating he is representing Roquan Smith, who is under contract to the Chicago Bears. Mr. Omni is prohibited from negotiating Player Contracts or discussing potential trades on behalf of any NFL player or prospective player or assisting in or advising with respect to such negotiations.”

League memo on roquan smith situation

This is certainly a story to follow as the preseason continues and Chicago prepares for its Week 1 home outing against the San Francisco 49ers.

It looks like Smith is dug in on his trade request. The iron fist of the NFL will also be playing close attention to what happens in the coming days and weeks. It made that more than clear on Monday.