Reports: Bears finalizing contract with first-round LB Smith
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[August 14, 2018]
The Chicago Bears are finalizing
a rookie contract with first-round pick Roquan Smith and the
linebacker is expected to end his holdout later Monday, according to
ESPN reports the sides are working to finish the deal by the end of
Monday, while ProFootballTalk reports there are "still some kinks"
to be worked out. The four-year deal will be worth $18 million,
fully guaranteed, with a signing bonus of about $11 million. Like
all rookie deals, it will include a fifth-year team option.
Smith, who the Bears took eighth overall out of Georgia in April's
draft, has yet to report to training camp as the sides have been
unable to reach a deal. Chicago rookies reported on July 16, with
veterans arriving three days later.
According to multiple reports over the last few weeks, the sticking
point in negotiations has been the language regarding the possible
voiding of guarantees in the event that Smith is disciplined by the
league. Smith's representatives were known to be seeking insurance
that any punishment for on-field conduct -- such as a suspension for
violating the league's new helmet rule -- would not void any of the
All but two of this year's 32 first-round picks signed their
entry-level contracts before their teams' respective training camps
began. New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, the third overall
pick, held out briefly before signing his deal and reporting on July
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Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Roquan Smith (3) speaks during media day
at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears have played two of their five preseason games and will
visit the Denver Broncos this week for joint practices on Wednesday
and Thursday before Saturday's game.
Smith is expected to compete for a starting job immediately, despite
his lengthy absence.
"We drafted him for a lot of reasons," general manager Ryan Pace
said earlier in camp. "But one of the reasons was his football
makeup and his football intelligence. Which is really off the
charts. So he's a guy who picks things up quickly."
--Field Level Media
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