FINALLY: Bears and Roquan Smith Have Reportedly Agreed to Terms

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FINALLY: Bears and Roquan Smith Have Reportedly Agreed to Terms

Chicago Bears

See Updates below: The deal is done. Original post follows.

The idea of Roquan Smith signing his rookie deal any time soon seemed to be slipping away in recent days, as neither side was feeling a particular urge to budge. In fact, as recently as this morning, we learned that Matt Nagy considered the holdout something that could threaten Smith’s status for Week 1.

But (potentially) good news on that front:

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the Bears and Smith are working on the “finishing touches” of Smith’s rookie deal. And if they can iron out the details that have made this process longer and more frustrating than expected, it’s possible the deal can be done by the end of the day!

The Bears chose Smith with the eighth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and the expectations were he would step into a starting role immediately. Smith was supposed to be one of those plug-and-play college prospects coming out of Georgia after he earned All-American honors and won the Butkus Award, which is given out to college football’s best linebacker. But the brakes have been put on that idea because Smith will turn out to be the last draft pick to sign … whenever the deal gets done, of course. Smith has missed the entirety of training camp.

In total, Smith has missed 28 days, 18 practices, and two preseason games. So, yeah, the Bears are at a point where Smith needs to be with his teammates. Smith has a lot of catching up to do, and the team needs him in the fold because there’s quite a drop off in talent from its current batch of reserves and that of a top-10 draft pick.

UPDATE: Literally as we press publish, it’s done! Woo!

And the terms (more to follow):

It would probably be a mistake to rush Smith into game action on Saturday, but the Bears’ joint practices against the Broncos in Colorado this week could help accelerate the process of getting their top pick game-ready. Even if Smith were to miss out on a third preseason game, the Bears still have two other contests (against the Chiefs on August 25 and August 30 against the Bills) to get him up to speed. This is where having a fifth preseason game will be to the Bears’ advantage, as that last game could see Smith receiving an extended look while the regulars and those with secure roster spots sit out.

Smith will soon tackle a sharp learning curve, but he has been regarded as a quick learner and a player with strong instincts. Those are two things he’ll need to lean on if he is to get in as quickly as possible.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.