LAKE FOREST – Despite all that has been going on when it comes to his “hold-in” and contract situation, the Bears’ top linebacker still remains around his teammates.

In fact, Roquan Smith was on the sidelines for the Bears’ first preseason game against the Chiefs despite not practicing two days before after getting taken off the PUP list.

That will be the case once again as the Bears head to Seattle for their second preseason contest.

Head coach Matt Eberflus confirmed that Smith will accompany the team on the trip and be on the sidelines as the team faces the Seahawks at 7 PM. This comes as the linebacker continues to not participate in practice, which could lead to him receiving discipline from the team since he’s expected to practice when healthy.

This all stems from his desire to get a contract extension as he enters the fifth-year option of his rookie contract that will pay him $9.73 million for the 2022 season right now.

“It is where it is right now and we’re day-to-day,” said Eberflus when asked about an update to the situation with Smith. “Is he in the building? Yes. Is he engaged? Yes. The next thing I would say is that when he practices – I’m not going to say when that is – when he does, he will be made available to the media, is what I understand.”

Plenty of the chatter about the Bears locally and nationally is centered around the linebacker, who some could argue is the team’s best player currently on the roster. Monday provided another chapter in the drama as the NFL’s Management Council sent a memo to teams warning them that a person named Saint Omni, who is not an NFLPA-certified-agent, was contacting teams about a possible trade for Smith.

The memo was a way to warn teams not to engage in tampering with a player under contract, which the NFL is cracking down on in recent years.

Having these storylines around the team could be a distraction for Eberflus’ team as they prepare for the season, but the first-year head coach denies that’s the case.

“I see the guys are focused. I see that they’re ready, like I said, focused on Seattle, focused on our first road trip together and wired in that way,” said Eberflus.