As trade talk swirls, Bears take Smith off PUP list

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears removed linebacker Roquan Smith from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Wednesday, the team announced.

The news comes one day after Smith, 25, said in a written statement that he has requested a trade after contract negotiations between the linebacker and team reached an impasse.

Smith reported to training camp on July 26 without a new contract and was expected to hold in until he and the Bears reached an agreement. The former first-round pick is entering the final year of his rookie deal where he is set to earn $9.7 million.

Smith participated in the entire Bears offseason workout program this spring while waiting for a new contract and did not appear to suffer an injury at any point. The linebacker has been present for all 12 training camp practices, often seen riding a stationary bike and doing rehab exercises near the team’s weight room.

NFL teams are mandated by the collective bargaining agreement to pay players their full salary while on the PUP list. The Bears are able to fine Smith $40,000 per day if he skips practice. Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf and San Francisco wide receiver Deebo Samuel both held in at training camp for several days while waiting on new contracts but were not fined by their respective organizations.

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