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Roquan Smith on Contract Holdout: “That’s between my agent and Mr. Pace”

Roquan Smith is now officially a member of the Chicago Bears. He met with the media on Tuesday at Halas Hall.

Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith has officially signed his contract with the Chicago Bears. The main details of the contract can be found below. After looking at those very details, it’s surprising there was even a holdout in the first place. The important thing is that Smith is now with the team ready to go.

Smith’s guarantees will void if the following situations take place:

  • He is suspended three-plus games for doing something during a play. 
  • He is suspended two-plus games for an on the field action that takes place after a play where he is not the aggressor, which includes sticking up for a teammate. 
  • He is suspended one-plus games for a play that occurs on the field where he is the aggressor.  

Reasonable compromise if you ask me. Again, it makes you wonder why there was even a holdout in the first place, but it’s time to move on from that. General manager Ryan Pace released a statement following Smith signing his rookie deal.

“We’re looking forward to Roquan joining our team and getting him prepared for the 2018 season.”

With Smith on the roster, some things are going to change. I touched on that a bit here:

Smith did participate in the Bears practice this morning. He also met with the media after.

Before Smith went to the podium, head coach Matt Nagy spent some time on the mic. He did not say what the plan would be for Smith this week or this weekend in Denver. All we know is Smith will be on the team flight. Smith’s status for Saturday’s game is also in question. When asked if Smith would play Nagy said: “I don’t know yet.” 

For whatever reason, Nagy and the Bears seem to be keeping their plan for Roquan Smith quiet. Nagy also stressed the importance of finally getting Smith signed. He was well aware of the fact that if Smith didn’t sign soon, he would have misseded some significant time in the regular season.

As for Smith, he’s just happy to be on the field again.

“It’s a great feeling to be back out here with teammates.”

Don’t think he wasn’t working hard because he wasn’t in camp either. Smith spent his absence from camp working out in Athens Georgia.

“I was training pretty hard down at Athens, back at school.” 

The goal for Smith now is to get up to speed with the Bears defense. He said a lot of that will depend on his coaches and how they feel “he’s picking things up.” When asked about his contract issues, Smith had a common answer:

“That’s between my agent and Mr. Pace.”

Smith also made it clear that he did not force his agent to rush into a resolution. Meaning, it sounds as if the Bears gave in a bit. In any contract negotiations, however, both sides need to give in somewhat for a deal to get done.

It’s not surprising that Smith didn’t want to get into much detail regarding his contract holdout. Instead, he was focused on letting the media know that he’s working hard and trying to catch up so he can be ready to go week one.

Over the last month, he trusted his agents, studied the playbook, and watched a lot of film. While Nagy did not say Smith would play Saturday, I assume he does. Most of his time will probably come with the second unit as well.

After Tuesday, it’s time for everyone to move on from the holdout. Now, the focus will now be on on the field production, as it should be.

Follow Nick on Twitter: –Feature Photo Credit: ChicagoBears.com 

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Nick is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University and passionate about everything Chicago sports (except the Cubs). He has run his own website, been featured on Bleacher Report, and tried to sell his soul on eBay (which he hasn’t gotten back). He hopes to one day see his beloved Bears win the Super Bowl and is still trying to figure out why Jay Cutler gets so much hate.

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