Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears, First-Round Draft Pick Roquan Smith Close to Reaching Deal: Reports

The middle linebacker was the lone unsigned pick from the 2018 draft class

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First-round draft pick Roquan Smith has finally reached a deal with the Chicago Bears, according to reports.

On Monday, both ESPN's Adam Schefter and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Smith and the team had agreed to terms for his rookie deal.

The Bears said late Monday Smith would be made available to media following practice Tuesday at Halas Hall.

The inside linebacker was the lone unsigned pick from the 2018 draft class, and had been holding out over a new helmet rule.

The stumbling block was whether the Bears should be allowed to take back guaranteed bonus money in the future from Smith if he is ever suspended for disciplinary reasons, including a violation of the league's new rule preventing players from leading with their helmets.

"Well, for both sides, it's more of a language deal, a language-type deal," Coach Matt Nagy said previously.

Asked specifically if the issue was the helmet rule, Nagy said: "That's part of the issue with it. As far as the details, I'm not going to get into all that right now. That wouldn't be fair to either party, but there's some of that to it."

The new rule stipulates a player will be penalized for lowering his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet. The player will be ejected and could be subject to suspension if he is determined to have lowered his helmet to "establish a linear body posture."

The Bears had a somewhat similar situation last year with Danny Trevathan when he was suspended for an illegal hit on Packers wide receiver Davante Adams.

In that instance, Chicago management never sought to reclaim any bonus money given to Trevathan.

"They were on my side about the hit against Green Bay," Trevathan said.

As a result, Trevathan remained optimistic his new teammate will soon be in camp.

"So I'm sure they'll work it out," Trevathan said. "It's just details within a contract. We want him here."

Trevathan said he had been in contact with Smith during the holdout.

"I've been talking to him, just making sure as a person he was all right, he's not fading away from the game that he loves," Trevathan said. "I just make sure that he's all right. I've been through some stuff.

"I'm pretty sure he wants to take care of himself and he wants to get back in. I'm sure he's missing just as much as we are."

Smith was fully involved in off-season work with the Bears, so Trevathan doubts his teammate will have any trouble catching up.

The Bears have traditionally been among the first teams to get all their draft picks signed. In one 10-year stretch, they were the first team to sign all their picks nine times.

They haven't had a holdout of note since Cedric Benson missed 36 days in 2005.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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