There have been a number of high-profile veterans on the move this offseason. Some of them, such as Khalil Mack, were on rebuilding teams looking to slash some salary and pick up future assets. Others, such as Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, were seeking new, lucrative extensions that their teams were unwilling to pay.
One way players have expressed their displeasure this offseason is by having hold-ins. They show up to training camp and practice but don’t actually participate. It is what Diontae Johnson did with the Pittsburgh Steelers before signing his new contract and it is what Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is doing.
Smith requested a trade from the Bears earlier this month, but there has been no momentum gained in a deal getting done. Things got a little awkward when it was reported that someone was posing as a representative for Smith gauging trading interest around the league.
That is a potentially huge problem as Smith represents himself. Someone posing as an agent and talking to teams for Smith would open up tampering charges. The Bears also have not given Smith permission to seek a trade, so that is another can of worms that has been opened.
Should Chicago get to the point that they want to trade Smith, there should be a market. He is one of the most productive inside linebackers in the NFL, but negotiations would be complicated as the Bears would be looking for significant draft capital and the acquiring team would then have to sign him to a new contract.
Out of those four teams, the Dallas Cowboys feel like they would be the likeliest landing spot. They have a bit of a need at the linebacker spot and have shown they are willing to spend if they feel it will get them closer to contending.
The Seahawks and Falcons are odd teams to be mentioned as they are in the early stages of rebuilding. Trading away draft picks and then signing an inside linebacker to a lucrative deal seems unlikely.
The Patriots paying top-of-the-market value for anyone goes against everything they have done during the Bill Belichick era. Trading premium picks along with handing out a long-term, big-money deal does not sound like something they would have a real interest in doing.