Ryan Pace doesn’t have much to say about Roquan Smith holdout

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With Jets quarterback Sam Darnold under contract, one 2018 draft pick remains unsigned: Bears linebacker Roquan Smith.

Smith has yet to agree to terms because the Bears want to be able to void his future guarantees if he’s suspended for on-field behavior. Smith has refused to accept that term given the current uncertainty surrounding the new helmet rules, which could in theory trigger widespread flags, fines, ejections, and suspensions.

In a Chicago radio appearance, Bears G.M. Ryan Pace refused to delve into specifics regarding the situation.

That’s obviously a big topic right now,” Pace told WMVP-AM 1000, via the Chicago Tribune. “And for us, these are important and critical reps that are going on right now. But to get into the nitty gritty details isn’t something we feel we should do publicly. That’s behind the scenes. We have a lot of respect for him obviously and a lot of respect for his agents. And it’s a matter of just working through that.”

Of course, coach Matt Nagy already has disclosed enough of the nitty and/or gritty by confirming that the team wants to wipe out guarantees if Smith is suspended for using his helmet in a way that violates the new rules.

“The good thing is we have strong relationships with these agents,” Pace added. “We’ve dealt with them on a number of deals. It’s just working through those things. But to talk about anything related to contracts publicly is just not healthy. It’s not productive. But you can bet it’s important to us. It’s important to Roquan and we’re working on it.”

While there may be other issues that are being discussed, the potential impact on Smith’s guaranteed money due to a suspension under the helmet rule seems to be the biggest impediment. And the Bears should yield on this point, since it would simply give the team a blank check to eventually cut Smith and stiff him based on factors that go beyond the current control or understanding of player or team.

40 responses to “Ryan Pace doesn’t have much to say about Roquan Smith holdout

  1. Da bears…. what perhaps is funniest is this team’s recent willingness to attempt to be cutting edge with trestman, Nagy, and helfrich. Trust me if there is a organization out there that garners no respect in terms of football innovation it is the bears. This just another sad attempt of a blind squirrel looking for a acorn

  2. Roquan Smith doesn’t want to be there, it’s as simple as that. This is NOT the Bears fault regardless of how much the media wants it to be.

  3. Bears seem to be the only team asking for this. I hope Smith stays hardline and refuses to sign until the teams backs off from this demand.

    Its one thing to remove guarantees for bad off field behavior. Another thing entirely when you have a bad, poorly defined rule the refs can’t even explain to player satisfaction yet, no idea how its going to be called and the random capricious way the league applies these rules.

    The rule is going to be a disaster and the player is entirely right to not put himself at the mercy of the league.

  4. Ryan Pace doesn’t have much to say…what else is new?

    He hasn’t had much to say about being 15-34 since he was hired either. Or overseeing probably the leagues GREATEST FREE AGENCY BLUNDER (Glennon) in the last decade.

  5. Any contract clause that might prohibit an ILB from playing with reckless abandon is a stoopid clause. Inside linebackers are engaging in collisions on EVERY play, and to lose $ based on some referee’s interpretation of a new, vague rule is ludicrous.

  6. I always defend The Bears, always have but this is just beyond me. They have been known to be cheap in some instances and this confirms it. Now I know why Colin Cowherd hates the ownership

  7. This pretty dry now, lets move on already. Bears articles have been strictly about this kid, that most likely will be a bust if Ryan Pace drafted him.

  8. The news that Nagy stated that they Bears WANT to penalize players guaranteed money (double dip on the financial penalties) for leading with their heads was rather mind boggling.

    “Of course, coach Matt Nagy already has disclosed enough of the nitty and/or gritty by confirming that the team wants to wipe out guarantees if Smith is suspended for using his helmet in a way that violates the new rules.”

    That was news to me, and I’ve been following this pretty closely.

  9. so these men can ask players idiotic question like if their mother is a crack prostitute but they don’t ever ask simple questions that could pertain to possible contract hold ups.

  10. What is the liability to the Bears if they agree to his terms if at some point he hits someone and causes a catastrophic injury…..

    Probably like “huge”……

    He would be the initiator of the “hit”…..And he would be the “only” defensive player with these “terms” like that in the league….

    The catastrophically hurt player could literally “own” the Bears…..

    I wonder if there is an answer…..In the Bears buying Smith an “insurance policy” for liability and money lost……

  11. billvick111 says:

    July 31, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Why are we assuming the new helmet rules are related to this hold-out? Has anyone from either camp said that?

    ___________

    Don’t know what rock that you live under or your reading comprehension level but maybe they’re assuming it because the head coach Matt Nagy said in a interview that’s the reason why, as the clearly states in this article.

  12. This whole thing is turning into b.s.. The Bears look cheap, Roquan looks to be uninterested in signing. So what now? The fact is we all know he will sign, it’s just a matter of who blinks first….. Stupid on the Bears because they could avoid all the bad press and try to keep off-season momentum and optimism going.

  13. If Smith misses training camp it’s going to impact his play in 2018.
    Even if he caves in, the damage will be done.
    The Bears will be paying a lot of money for a lost year of production.
    This isn’t the battle to fight.

    The battles to fight are over contract extensions and hold outs.
    Get your rookies into camp so they can learn and get up to speed sooner rather than later.

  14. dryzzt23 says:
    July 31, 2018 at 1:04 pm
    Roquan Smith doesn’t want to be there, it’s as simple as that. This is NOT the Bears fault regardless of how much the media wants it to be.
    ============================================================================================
    Really? When did he say that? Please point us in the right direction for more of this developing story.

  15. This is all Paces’s fault. The Bears should have been prepared to deal with these issues before negotiations even began. It’s a rookie contract, for God’s sake. This shouldn’t be that difficult and the language shouldn’t be overly complex. Somehow every other team in the league has managed to deal with this stuff–except for Da Bears. Figures. And people wonder why this team has been down for so long.

  16. Some people have no clue what is at stake here and why the Bears will not give on this issue. First, if the Bears do so, they open this issue up for the other 31 NFL teams and their future signings. Second, Pace is also working on extending players currently on this roster, if they give in to Smith, this opens up to this negotiating point to every contract they write. Smith will eventually fold and make his millions…this is not about being cheap. Typical reporting with an attached agenda.

  17. gobears84 says:

    July 31, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Some people have no clue what is at stake here and why the Bears will not give on this issue. First, if the Bears do so, they open this issue up for the other 31 NFL teams and their future signings. Second, Pace is also working on extending players currently on this roster, if they give in to Smith, this opens up to this negotiating point to every contract they write. Smith will eventually fold and make his millions…this is not about being cheap. Typical reporting with an attached agenda.

    ___________

    How will it open up a issues with 31 other teams; when Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley, and Tremaine Edmonds all have what Roquon Smith wants in his contracts. Plus other veterans players are getting their contract tweaked that their guarantees would only be voided if they have multiple suspensions for the rule.

    So this will not open a issue seeing that it’s already being done already the league.

  18. gobears84 says:
    July 31, 2018 at 1:55 pm
    Some people have no clue what is at stake here and why the Bears will not give on this issue. First, if the Bears do so, they open this issue up for the other 31 NFL teams and their future signings. Second, Pace is also working on extending players currently on this roster, if they give in to Smith, this opens up to this negotiating point to every contract they write. Smith will eventually fold and make his millions…this is not about being cheap. Typical reporting with an attached agenda.

    ————————-

    Stop towing the company line. They aren’t going to give you anything. First, most teams don’t have a problem taking most of this language out. Only a couple have a problem with it and it usually ends up with the player getting what he wanted to begin with, ask the Chargers and Bosa on that. Second this has nothing to do with other players getting signed. If you don’t think every negotiating point already you really don’t understand the very nature of an agent.

    Smith will probably hold firm and take his millions and the guarantees. This is only a problem for franchises who can’t seem to get out of their own way. Sign the kid who is only trying to protect himself, the Bears owners will be fine no matter what.

  19. “by confirming that the team wants to wipe out guarantees if Smith is suspended for using his helmet in a way that violates the new rules.”

    Um, what? I watched the interview with Nagy and he didn’t say any such thing.

  20. Maybe Smith’s agent is digging in. Maybe it is Pace’s ineptitude or maybe it’s primary negotiator Joey Laine’s issue. I guess I don’t know the terms and verbiage of these contracts like everyone else seems to.

  21. The problem is that the Bears want to financially penalize Smith IF he gets suspended for helmet hit(s). Being a top 10 pick means that Smith’s contract is FULLY GUANTEED, yet the Bears want the ability to take-back $$ from the kid if a referee deems a tackle or hit violates the new helmet rule. So the FULLY GUARANTEED contract really isn’t IF the Bears get their language…Smith will not only lose a game or multiple game salaries to the NFL if suspended, but he’ll be writing the Bears a check from his FULLY GUARANTEED contract. Totally agree with Smith’s stance.

  22. “Smith will not only lose a game or multiple game salaries to the NFL if suspended, but he’ll be writing the Bears a check from his FULLY GUARANTEED contract. ”

    How many contracts does this guy have? If he is suspended, it will be a suspension without pay. Perhaps if it became egregious (him doing it every game, or going Albert Haynesworth on the team), they might want some of whatever signing bonuses back… who knows. They just gave Zach Miller a contract, and he’s unlikely to ever play again, so I doubt that they have evil plans.

    The only person that I know that is causing a stink about the NFL helmet rule is Florio, who is running for NFL player union’s president. Danny Trevathan is one of the reasons why the NFL implemented this “new rule” (which sounds like the old rule) and he said that the rule is completely clear and that when he got into trouble last year the team DID NOT punish him. It doesn’t seem to be as vague as the armchair experts imagine it to be.

    I suspect that any disagreements between Roquan’s agent and the team is due to verbiage. Since we don’t know the verbiage requested by the agent or suggested by the team, it’s hard to chime in. However, a logical person might assume the team doesn’t want a situation where a player can start acting like Albert Haynesworth or Vontaze Burfict without any repercussions…

  23. pleazenufalready says:
    July 31, 2018 at 1:20 pm
    The Bears are just doing what they do best…..being cheap
    ===================================================================================================================================
    Right. Back to the “Halas throws around nickels like they were manhole covers” comment by Ditka in the early 60’s.

    The Bears haven’t been cheap for many years. It’s not how much they spend, it’s how they spend it.

  24. I’m about done with this Ryan Pace guy. It’s one step forward and two back with him, it seems.

  25. Teams shouldn’t be allowed to void guarantee money for on field things, except maybe in real extreme situations. Roquan is not Vontaze Burfict; if he hits by his helmet it will be more of an accident than intentional. Besides, the Bears are worth some billion dollars, and what they give to Roquan in guarantees is but a drop of a dime.

  26. This is one of the dumbest holdouts I can possibly remember, and it is 100% on the team. If he’s anywhere near what you think he is, you should be able to live with a suspension or two for hits with a helmet, and every other team has dropped this language. It’s moronic, and just puts the Bears right back into the reputation of being an extraordinarily cheap ownership. Dikta used to say Halas used to throw nickels around like man hole covers. Well, apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Just pay him. If he was worth this high of a pick, he’s worth the money.

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