The Bears and first round linebacker Roquan Smith have finally agreed to terms on his rookie deal, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The agreement means that the longest rookie holdout of 2018 is finally over.
Smith stayed away from the Bears as his agents balked at language in the Bears’ proposal. His reps wanted his guarantees protected in the event of league discipline, which spans off-the-field issues as well as late hits and things of that nature on the field. It’s not immediately clear where things landed, but we should know the specifics soon.
Smith, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 draft, is believed by some to have one of the highest ceilings of any player in this year’s class. Smith finished in the top ten of Heisman voting in his final year at Georgia as he tallied 137 total tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, and 6.5 sacks.
The rookie projects to start at outside linebacker for the Bears this year, opposite of Leonard Floyd. Smith may be behind the 8-ball in learning every part of the scheme, but the Bears are hopeful that he’ll be able to get on track quickly.
Per the terms of his slot, Smith’s deal will come in as a four-year, $18MM guaranteed pact.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.