David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bears have conceded that they won’t void the future guarantees included in first-round LB Roquan Smith‘s contract if he gets suspended for violating the league’s new helmet rules. However, Haugh says that the Bears haven’t moved far enough in talks for the two parties to get a deal done.
According to Haugh, Smith’s representatives are insisting that the Bears include contract language protecting their client from discipline for behavior outside the realm of a football play. As of now, Chicago has been reluctant to so, as they don’t want to set a precedent for future contract negotiations.
Smith has missed the first two weeks of training camp and remains the only 2018 draft pick who has yet to sign his rookie deal.
Bears HC Matt Nagy said recently that they’re currently in a “stalemate” with Smith’s reps.
“It is at a stalemate, but at the same time I’m not going to get into any more of where it’s at publicly. I don’t think it’s fair to him, I don’t think it’s fair to his agent, I don’t think it’s fair to our organization. We’re going to keep it between us and I think that’s the best thing to do right now,” Nagy said, via Mark Potash of the Sun Times.
Smith, 21, was taken with the No. 8 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft by the Bears. According to OverTheCap.com, Smith will sign a four-year, $18,547,606 contract that includes an $11,569,168 signing bonus when all is said and done.
Smith’s contract will include a fifth-year option for the Bears to pick up in 2021.
During his three-year college career at Georgia, Smith recorded 252 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, three pass defenses, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.
We’ll have more regarding the Bears and Smith as the news is available.