Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Bears rookie Roquan Smith ending holdout

Bears rookie Roquan Smith ending holdout

The Bears' second preseason game is Saturday against the Broncos, and Smith will likely miss that, according to earlier reports. The rookie linebacker's representatives and the Bears are finalizing details of his contract, which is expected to be completed very soon, a person with knowledge of the situation said Monday. Bears coach Matt Nagy told the Associated Press Sunday that Smith's holdout is limiting his chances of playing in Week 1 of the regular season.

ESPN first reported the two sides had progressed toward an agreement. Specifically, the paper reported that Smith's agents at CAA Football insisted the Bears "include contract language protecting the player from discipline for behavior outside the realm of a football play".

While that sounds silly, and it probably shouldn't have caused a holdout that lasted beyond Bears training camp, we're probably going to see some instance where a team uses a loophole to try and take back guaranteed money over a suspension.

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But almost four months after Chicago drafted Smith back in April, a deal is finally done, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Twitter. It'll be tougher for Smith, who has more play-calling duties as a middle linebacker and has missed some key practice time.

Ryan Pace invested the eighth-overall pick in a player he believes can be a game-changer for his defense, but even the most polished prospects need some time to adjust to the National Football League game. He's a fantastic, athletic linebacker out of Georgia and could be a big-time playmaker for a defense that returns its 10 other starters.

This looks pretty bad on both sides, but the Bears should've never allowed it to take this long to get a deal done.

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