Where Roquan Smith situation with Chicago Bears goes from here – Bear Goggles On

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 03: Roquan Smith #58 of the Chicago Bears celebrates a sack against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on October 03, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 24-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Roquan Smith hold-in with the Chicago Bears has ended, and Smith has returned to practice. While Smith said that he will play this season under his contract, he also said that he anticipates that talks will also end when it comes to a new deal before the season.
So, the situation is resolved for the time being, but will open up entirely this offseason. Roquan Smith will be a free agent, so there are a few ways that this will go.
This is a win-win in most cases. If Roquan Smith plays in the new defense, and it proves to highlight his skills and increase his production, then the Chicago Bears will likely be happy to give in a little on where they stood contract-wise.
On the flip-side, if Smith excels he may be inclined to continue where he is working at his best. If both sides give a little, it could work out for a long time.
If Smith does not play well, would the Chicago Bears want to extend him at a cheaper rate? That Is probably unlikely considering the tense negotiations and the new regime. Smith and the team would probably want to break clean.
Beyond that, if Smith plays well, he could price himself out of Chicago. He may put up the stats, but that may have him inclined to listen to the highest bidder. As noted, he seems a bit disappointed in the talks recently. There is one thing Chicago could do.
If Roquan Smith plays well, and the Chicago Bears are getting the vibe that he is going to test free agency, the team would likely place a franchise tag on him. The number would be over $18, so Smith would get a big payday, but would not get long-term security.
Still, from there, the team can work out an extension, telling him they can tag him again next year. They also could trade him under the tag, which is better than letting him walk and hoping for a compensatory pick.
Because Smith will not stay if he plays poorly and will want to test the market if he plays well, the franchise tag is more likely than anything. However, whether they trade him, extend him, or he plays on the tag will be another article if he we get to that point.
If Roquan Smith plays well and the Chicago Bears do not want to risk the money involved in the franchise tag, they could let him walk. With the salary he would get, it would likely bring back a third-round pick or at least the equivalent to that in compensatory value. The Chicago Bears may cancel that out with free agent signings of their own.
That is why the tag and trade is more likely than letting him walk. Even on the tag, they would probably get more than a third-round pick back, but would not get what they are probably hoping for at this point.
Even worse would be if Smith plays poorly and leaves. His new deal would not help them in compensatory formula and they would be looking at this summer thinking they missed out on a chance to cash in on Smith.
After weighing it out, it appears as though the tag is the most likely an option, but if he plays poorly he will walk, and if he plays well there is a smaller chance of an extension. The odds may be something like below.
22% Tag, and plays on the tag. 
22% Tag and extension 
22% Tag, and  Trade
20% Long-Term Extension 
14% He walks and Bears get nothing 
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