Latest On Bears LB Roquan Smith’s Holdout

The Bears are no longer fighting first-round linebacker Roquan Smith on contract language that would void his guaranteed money were he to be suspended under the NFL’s new helmet contact rule, according to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.

However, Smith — the final rookie without a contract in place — is not attending Chicago’s training camp as his agents are still reticent about certain language in the Bears’ proposed pact, per Haugh. Smith’s agents want him protected in the event he’s suspended for an event that’s considered “outside the realm of a football play”: a late hit, for instance. The Bears aren’t willing to begin a new contractual precedent by including such language, although a team source tells Waugh that disinclination has nothing to do with Smith’s character.

Chicago has reportedly been adamant that it wouldn’t attempt to void Smith’s future guarantees over a “football play,” per Haugh. As evidence, the club has provided its reaction to linebacker Danny Trevathan‘s illegal hit on Packers wideout Davante Adams in 2017. After that incident, the Bears never made any attempt to recoup money from Trevathan or void his remaining guaranteed money.

Per Haugh, only eight teams have acceded to rookie demands of language that would protect their guarantees in the event of a helmet-related suspension. However, just four clubs have allowed the protection that Smith wants, so it’s unlikely the Bears want to create a new precedent given that most of the NFL has not given in.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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28 comments on “Latest On Bears LB Roquan Smith’s Holdout

  1. sportsfan101

    So basically his agents want him to lose no money to be a thug and try to purposely hurt other players. Great pick at number 4 Chicago no wonder you haven’t been contenders in years poor scouting, doesn’t matter a players talent on the field when he’s not there mentally ie Aaron Hernandez and josh Gordon.

    • Hannibal8us

      Did you just compare a guy wanting contractual assurances to Aaron Hernandez and Josh Gordon? This isn’t your typical kind of stupid, this is advanced stupid.

      • axisofhonor25

        Comparing to two guys who have no association with the Bears at any juncture in their career? Plus it doesn’t speak to his character, it’s the agent that’s giving them the hard time. If smith shuts down his agent that hurts his partnership and can’t sign a contract until he gets a new one anyway. Give him a break.

    • emac22

      No. His agents don’t want him to lose money if the league changes rules and makes previously legal hits suspendable offenses.

      Was the article too difficult for you to understand?

      • crosseyedlemon

        You have hit on the important issue here. The league has being going soft for some time now. Eventually the rules are going to eliminate so much contact that the final product will resemble glorified flag football.

        • ChiSoxCity

          Great post. I’ve been predicting this for years. The NFL is well on it’s way to becoming WWE-like as it is. They no longer care about anything except QBs and tv ratings. They’ll rig the games and pay players to point shave or throw games late to achieve a desired outcome. It’s a complete scam, like ALL professional sports around the world.

    • dirtydan

      Geez this is the second article in a row you’ve commented on and you’re 0-2

  2. emac22

    The bears refuse to put in writing what they promise?

    Do player usually fall for that stuff?

    If you promise something it costs you nothing to put it in writing so they are obviously lying about paying him for late hits or whatever.

    • crosseyedlemon

      It does cost management if they promise something in writing and don’t deliver. This is precisely why the players have a union.

      • emac22

        Not if it’s a verbal promise. That’s sort of the point of the dispute. The agents want it in writing and the club isn’t willing to make that level of commitment which means it wasn’t a promise.

        • crosseyedlemon

          It’s something of a gray area and it would be impossible to put something in writing to cover ever hypothetical situation. To a certain extent, players have to take it on faith that they will be treated fairly, just as management has to take it on faith that the players will perform to the best of their abilities.

          • dave13

            That’s not true at all, as a legal standpoint you can definitely come up with language that covers every hypothetical situation. He’s looking for protection for on field incidents that could cause a suspension. Whether during play or after the whistle aka a late hit.

            The article literally says 4 teams have done it which means it’s not a gray area and not impossible. The language is there it can be spelled out pretty easily if your not a nit wit like you

            • crosseyedlemon

              If every hypothetical situation can be accounted for then the league would not even need a rules committee would they? The game is always evolving, presenting new situations to be discussed and ruled on.

              • justinept

                *Team can not go after guaranteed money for violation of any in-game rules created after July 2018.

                There. Every hypothetical rule change made between now and the end of the contract is accounted for. It took two seconds to type that.

  3. random comment guy

    Does “outside the realm of a football play” consist of PEDs or any legal trouble?

    • crosseyedlemon

      The league has a unilateral policy with regards to PEDs and legal issues that involve arrests . All league players have to comply with those policies. The “outside the realm” matters are smaller issues such as missing team meetings etc. that are dealt with internally by each team.

  4. Brad

    I may be reading this wrong, but does he want to be above the league? Again, I may be wrong, but doesn’t a suspension from illegal hits come from the league and they decide if it is with or without pay? So if all this is true, he wants it in writing that the Bears will break the rules and pay him anyway if he is suspended by the league without pay?

    • sanchez76

      Yes anyone suspended looses pay for those games, but with the language in most contracts the team could void the rest of the contract and not owe the player any more money.

      • crosseyedlemon

        The significant word in your comment is “could”. Realistically a team is not going to void a contract due to aggressive play. For starters that would mean they have wasted the draft pick they used to acquire the player. It would also be counter productive as other players would then stop being aggressive fearing they could suffer a similar fate.

  5. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Good work by his agents protecting him from a backdoor pay cut.

    If they promise not to do it, agree to it in writing. Otherwise, he has every reason on Earth to be skeptical about their motives.

  6. leprechaun

    Trade his ass or let him sit a year and lose millions us he won’t be a top 15 with next years draft. Screw him and his agents

    • ChiSoxCity

      The league needs to adopt a standard policy the owners and union can agree upon snd be done with it. I’m glad defensive players are finally standing up to the league, but the reality is the NFL doesn’t give a damn about defensive players. They have chosen to invest their money into QBs, and will go to extreme lengths to protect their investments.

  7. ahale224

    The thug comment really bothered me. I’ve watched every game of his college career, and he isn’t anything resembling a dirty player who would “try to purposefully hurt other players”. He’s a smart and articulate guy, who plays the game the right way. Sorry, this just smacks of a racially based comment from an idiot.

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