LAKE FOREST – It didn’t happen in time for the Bourbonnais portion of training camp, but finally Roquan Smith will be back on the field for the Bears this preseason.
Per reports from the NFL Network and ESPN, the Bears have come to terms on a contract with the linebacker on a rookie contract that will end his holdout. Reporters Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter had the news on Twitter.
The #Bears and first-round LB Roquan Smith have agreed to terms on his rookie deal, source said. The holdout is over, he’s coming in. They are finializing the language.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 13, 2018
Bears are giving LB Roquan Smith a four-year, guaranteed $18 million slotted deal, per the CBA. Deal should include about $11 million in form of bonuses.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 13, 2018
While the Bears have yet to confirm a contract signing, Smith is scheduled to meet with the media after the team’s practice at Halas Hall on Tuesday.
Smith has been holding out the entire preseason so far as his agents and the Bears continued to run into issues when it came to contract language. Counting the rookie report day for the team in Bourbonnais on July 16th, Smith’s holdout lasted 28 days.
The Bears’ first round draft pick this past spring, Smith came into the team’s offseason workouts as the expected started at the middle linebacker position. After missing nearly a month of workouts, however, it’s unknown if the rookie will have time to catch up enough to start the opener against the Packers on September 9th in Green Bay.
On Sunday the Bears ended their workouts at Olivet Nazarene University and now transition to Denver where they’ll join the Broncos for two joint practices before a preseason game at Sports Authority Field on Saturday.
Smith did participate in the rookie mini-camp and OTAs at Halas Hall during May and June. He worked out in Athens, Georgia as his lockout continued, choosing to workout near his college home of the University of Georgia.
It was his exploits there that made the Bears take him with the eighth-overall pick in the draft this year. The Butkus Award winner as the nation’s top linebacker in 2017, Smith made 137 tackles in his senior season with 6 1/2 sacks, using his speed and agility to make plays at a number of places on the field.
He helped lead Georgia to the National Championship Game this past January, and now looks to continue work towards helping the Bears back to championship contention.