It took the Bears way too long to get a rookie deal in place with Roquan Smith, who has missed all of training camp to this point.
At last, the Chicago Bears have signed their first round draft selection, linebacker Roquan Smith, to a four-year rookie contract worth $18 million.
To this point, the Bears had been at odds with Smith about finalizing a deal, mainly due to the NFL’s new helmet rule, which essentially means that players can be ejected and suspended for using the head while making tackles. The disagreement was reportedly about whether or not his guaranteed money could be voided if he were to get into any trouble because of it.
But nearly four months after Chicago drafted Smith back in April, a deal is finally done, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Twitter.
This looks pretty bad on both sides, but the Bears should’ve never allowed it to take this long to get a deal done. Due to this holdout, Smith has missed all of training camp, as well as the Hall of Fame game against the Baltimore Ravens, and Chicago’s first official preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. If he was a veteran player who was already well acquainted to life in the NFL, that would be one thing. But considering Smith is a rookie – and not just any rookie, a No. 8 overall selection with huge expectations – it’s important that he be at training camp and get some time to play in the preseason.
Instead, Smith is just now joining the team with only three weeks to go until the regular season kicks off. So ultimately, he’ll have to squeeze everything that he missed over the last month into these final three weeks, and Bears fans will have to hope that he can get in good enough shape in time for the season opener in Green Bay.
This ultimately falls on the shoulders of the Bears. Smith is their most valuable rookie, and they should’ve never allowed it to get to this point.