Former Bears' DC Chuck Pagano on Roquan Smith dispute: 'It's tiring'

·2 min read

Chuck Pagano on Roquan Smith dispute: 'It's tiring' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Roquan Smith contract situation is a tiring mess for him and the front office. The two sides want to make a deal, but they don't want to pass on their desires.

Because of the stalemate, Smith is conducting a "hold-in," meaning he shows up to practice, but doesn't participate. However, the situation made a turn for the worst on Tuesday. Smith announced his desire to be traded from the Bears in light of the stagnant negotiations.

These kind of situations don't go overlooked on the team. Every player on the practice field knows about it and likely talks about it when they can. It's a situation that can act as a distraction as the Bears get ready for the season.

Former NFL head coach, and defensive coordinator of the Bears, Chuck Pagano understands how the players must feel as the organization sifts through the turmoil.

"You're not focused on 'What are we trying to accomplish today?" Pagano said on The Pat McAfee show. "You're spending all that time and it's impossible for guys to keep the blinders on and the earmuffs on and stay focused."

The players have to try and remain focused on the season. But, without their defensive leader on the field, it becomes tougher for the players to maintain tunnel vision.

As for the coaches, the issue becomes more interesting to handle. Pagano claims a "hands off" approach is the way he would handle things during his tenure.

"As a coach, you kinda stay out of those things," Pagano said. "You can't be in that conversation other than say 'Hey, we got your back we're gonna support you. We want you here. We need you here, Roquan.'"

Interesting concept to reveal as a coach. Eberflus clearly has a foot in the conversation. Ryan Poles wouldn't make a move to extend Smith without running it by Eberflus.

Knowing that, how could Eberflus support Smith? He clearly reflects the decision the organization makes as a whole. Going a step further, there must be distrust from other players on the team that want to see Smith back on the field.

Especially since Smith doesn't work with an agent, things at Halas Hall must be murky. The whole situation reflects poorly on management's end if they don't provide transparency.

They might start losing trust before they even get to a game.

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