When last we checked in with linebacker Roquan Smith‘s contract impasse with the Bears, word was that the Bears had dropped a clause voiding Smith’s guarantees if he were suspended for violating the league’s rules governing the use of the helmet whole holding fast on the language concerning suspensions for other on-field actions.
That wasn’t enough to get Smith to sign his rookie deal with the team and the intervening week hasn’t done anything to make it seem like a signing is imminent. Bears coach Matt Nagy said on Tuesday that he has “no idea” whether Smith’s absence could extend into the regular season while nothing that there’s “a ways to go yet” before we reach that point in the calendar.
Nagy also said he’s only worrying about the players who are in camp.
“There’s no news,” Nagy said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “As we’ve all said from the beginning, there is a process. I just need to worry about who’s here. And that’s really, truly where I’m at. I’m at a point right now where I just want to focus on who’s here and that’s all — control what I can control and those are the guys that we have and it’s really not that hard. You can spin it in a million different ways, but it’s pretty simple. If you’re here, that’s where we’re at. If you’re not, you can go through the process and eventually get it figured out.”
Smith’s holdout is the second-longest since the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was put in place in 2011 and, due to the early reporting date with the Bears in the Hall of Fame Game, he’s a little more than a week away from matching Joey Bosa‘s 31-day holdout two years ago.
Bosa starred once he finally hit the field and the Bears will be hoping for the same from Smith when and if they can finally offer him a deal he can’t refuse.