Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Pace touched upon a variety of team-related issues during an interview on the team’s radio network before Thursday’s preseason bout against the Cincinnati Bengals. So naturally, he addressed the biggest elephant in the room. Or rather, the one not in the room.
Pace said there were no no developments regarding Roquan Smith’s holdout as of Thursday evening. And to his credit, he’s trying to do what he can to keep things in house: “I hope people can respect it,” Pace said, via the team’s official website. “I definitely appreciate the questions and understand the questions, but out of respect to the player and the agent it is a sensitive topic and I think it’s best if we just keep that behind the scenes.”
Pace said he felt like a broken record as he offered up another update that was essentially a non-update. And for what it’s worth, that’s exactly what he sounds like. It’s going to feel like the same song and dance until a deal gets done, which feels difficult to envision right now as the latest reports suggesting that neither side is showing a willingness to budge on the terms they want. Fair enough. Both sides are entitled to negotiate in their own best interests. But at some point, the best interests of Smith should be considered and whatever needs to be done to get the player in camp should be done.
Smith’s holdout is going on 25 days and has caused him to miss both of the team’s preseason contests. If the Bears and Smith’s representation can get a deal done soon, Smith could jump into the team’s joint practices with the Denver Broncos that are coming this week. If not, this will further complicate matters as the Bears race toward the start of the regular season.
The saga continues.