Bears LB Roquan Smith holding out of training camp due to contract situation
By Alyssa Barbieri | July 25, 2022 3:22 pm CT
The Chicago Bears will be without their best player when veterans report to training camp on Tuesday. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, linebacker Roquan Smith won’t be participating in camp due to his contract situation.
Per Rapoport, “Smith has not yet received an offer he would remotely consider, thus he’ll wait.”
Smith, a former first-round draft pick in 2018, has established himself as one of the league’s best linebackers over the last couple of seasons.
Earlier this offseason, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that contract talks between Smith and the Bears were expected “to heat up some time this summer.” The belief is Smith, who Fowler notes should push $20 million annually, is the top priority for general manager Ryan Poles.
When asked about a contract extension with the Bears, Smith made it clear that he envisions himself in Chicago for the long haul.
“Absolutely, yeah,” Smith said. “That’s my plan.”
Earlier this offseason, Poles expressed a desire to get an extension done with Smith before the start of the regular season, but he also noted there’s no real timeline in place.
“I don’t know if that’s how we’re going to handle it, but I would like to,” Poles said. “Obviously the earlier you get to that, the better. But also with a new staff, we may wait a little bit, too.”
Smith becomes the second player to holdout ahead of training camp due to a contract issue. Second-round rookie safety Jaquan Brisker is holding out due to an issue about the amount of guaranteed money in Brisker’s third year of his four-year deal.
Interestingly enough, this is the second time Smith will be holding out of training camp. He missed four weeks of camp due to a contract issue during his rookie season.