NFC Notes: Roquan Smith, Bears, Packers, David Bakhtiari, Vikings



Bears LB Roquan Smith ended his hold in with the team and returned to practice this weekend. He also rescinded his trade request and announced his plan is to play out the final year of his contract. 

“There’s no more offers at this time, and I don’t think there will be during the season,” Smith said via NFL Media’s Eric Edholm. “My focus has shifted to the season, so that’s what I’m focused on right now. It’s been an amazing four years and, hey, five, why not make it special? So, that’s my plan. … My full intention is to play this season and whatever happens happens. Whatever it is I have to go through this season, I’ll do it chin up, chest out, sunsets, no regrets.”

Smith, who represents himself without an agent, called the whole negotiation process “distasteful.”

“I thought it was very distasteful, to say the least,” Smith said via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. “Wasn’t what I anticipated, nor … what I expected from the situation, but I’m grateful for the fans, all the loyal fans and everyone, the players as well in the locker room and the city of Chicago that stood behind me throughout this process. It means a lot to myself. But now, I’m just shifting my focus to the season and more so just focused on being the best teammate I can be to those guys in the locker room.”

“I think it was just more so not coming to an agreement when I feel like I’ve busted my ass so long here and not being rewarded with something I thought was rightfully deserved,” Smith continued. “In a sense it’s like, hey, you bust your ass, you may get rewarded in a sense. But hey, that’s that. I’m moving past it now and I’m focused on the season and going out there and enjoying the time with my guys because that’s who I truly care about.”

  • Smith said he was not fined by the Bears for missing practice. 
  • He also doesn’t regret his choice to represent himself and not go through an agent: “Times are changing and I feel like players want to be at the table to have full transparency to know what’s actually going on, what’s being said, because a lot of people can say a lot of different things but when you’re there yourself, you see it with your own eyes, you know for a fact what’s going on.”
  • The Athletic’s Jeff Howe talked to a number of NFL executives who said they never got the sense the Bears were actively trying to trade Smith and they weren’t interested in acquiring him. 
  • They explained that while Smith is widely viewed as a good player, he’s not necessarily seen as elite around the NFL, and his asking price in a contract is rumored to be around $20 million a year. Giving him that deal along with sending the Bears a draft pick would have been pricy. 


  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur on LT David Bakhtiari being ready to go for Week 1: “There’s no thought as far as Week 1 right now. It’s more just we want to see how he responds, and he’s ready when he’s ready.” (Ryan Wood)
  • Bakhtiari was asked if he considered retirement, due to how difficult his rehab from a torn ACL was: “I was going to have to be pulled away from my ankles with my nails gripping the ground and being ripped off. Because I definitely was not going out without fighting.” (Ryan Wood)


  • Vikings RG Ed Ingram described getting his first start in the preseason: “I felt like I played very physical. I knew my assignments. I got beat on one inside move, which ended up in them having a sack (by Javon Kinlaw). So that was something I can be working on.” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Ingram on giving up a sack to 49ers DT Javon Kinlaw on Saturday: “I’ve been working on not oversetting and on that, I play I overset it and he just got me. So it was just bad offense on me, and that’s something I need to work on.” (Tomasson)
  • Ingram also spoke about his competition with Jesse Davis to start at right guard: “I probably helped myself (on Saturday), but I’m just going to keep on working.” (Tomasson)
  • Vikings DL Jaylen Twyman commented on his return after not playing in a game since December 2019: “There’s a lot of stuff I’ve got to keep working on, keep knocking off the rust. It’s just week in, week out, I’ve got to keep building blocks, keep chipping away.” (Tomasson)

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