The Bears don’t sound optimistic about getting their first-round draft pick on the practice field soon.
Bears coach Matt Nagy said today that talks between the team and linebacker Roquan Smith are stuck and going nowhere, although Nagy said he wouldn’t address the issue beyond that.
“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.
The Bears want language in Smith’s contract that would void his guaranteed money if he gets suspended. Smith and his agent think that’s unfair, given that the NFL passed a new rule this offseason that could result in players getting suspended for lowering their helmets on hits. Smith doesn’t want to risk getting suspended over an ill-defined rule and therefore losing all his guaranteed money.
So Smith remains the only unsigned draft pick in the NFL. And given Nagy’s “stalemate” description, he may remain that way for a while.