Roquan Smith was taken with the No. 8 pick in this year's draft. | Charles Rex Arbogast AP
16 August, 2018, 00:18
At last, the Chicago Bears have signed their first round draft selection, linebacker Roquan Smith, to a four-year rookie contract worth $18 million.
Selected No. 8 overall by the Bears, Smith is expected to slide right into the starting lineup as a sideline-to-sideline tackler for an underrated Chicago defense. The veteran reporter noted that the deal should be completed by the end of Monday.
Smith is the last of this year's first-rounders to agree to a rookie deal - a holdup that ultimately kept him out of Chicago's entire training camp and the Bears' first two preseason contests.
Smith had reportedly been holding out due to his agents wanting language in the contract stating the Bears couldn't take his guaranteed money if he got suspended for a violation of the NFL's new helmet rule. It'll be tougher for Smith, who has more play-calling duties as a middle linebacker and has missed some key practice time.
On Sunday the Bears ended their workouts at Olivet Nazarene University and now transition to Denver where they'll join the Broncos for two joint practices before a preseason game at Sports Authority Field on Saturday.
This looks pretty bad on both sides, but the Bears should've never allowed it to take this long to get a deal done.
Ryan Pace invested the eighth-overall pick in a player he believes can be a game-changer for his defense, but even the most polished prospects need some time to adjust to the National Football League game.
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