Report: Bears linebacker Roquan Smith expected to hold out for new deal

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is expected to hold out from reporting to training camp Tuesday because he wants a new contract, according to the NFL Network.

    Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is expected to hold out from reporting to training camp Tuesday because he wants a new contract, according to the NFL Network. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 7/25/2022 5:01 PM

Bears linebacker Roquan Smith will not report to training camp with his teammates on Tuesday. The second-team All-Pro linebacker will instead hold out in an effort to work out a new contract, according to a report from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Smith, 25, is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract. The Bears picked up the fifth-year team option on his deal, which will pay Smith $9.7 million in 2022. Smith could, however, be in line for a significant pay raise.

 

In recent years, some of Smith's peers have netted huge contracts. Indianapolis' Darius Leonard and San Francisco's Fred Warner, who were both drafted the same year as Smith, both inked extension that were worth more than $90 million in total and more than $19 million per season.

Per Rapoport, Smith hasn't received an offer from the Bears that "he would remotely consider."

Smith has been one of the best inside linebackers in the NFL since joining the Bears as the eighth overall draft pick in 2018. He was selected ahead of both Leonard and Warner. Smith was a second-team All-Pro in 2020 and 2021. He finished last season fifth in the NFL in combined tackles.

Holding out will certainly draw the attention of Bears general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus. Smith figures to be an integral part of Eberflus' new Bears defense. This could create more urgency to get a deal done.

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