Roquan Smith reports to Bears’ training camp, will not practice amid contract dispute

NFL: JUN 15 Chicago Bears Minicamp
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Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is officially holding in.

Smith reported to the first day of Bears’ training camp today, but he will not practice until he gets a contract to his liking, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The practice of “holding in” rather than holding out became commonplace last year, as players realized that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement made refusing to show up to camp at all untenable — but showing up to camp and refusing to practice is viable. Smith is the first player to “hold in” this year, but last year it proved a lucrative strategy for some, such as Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, who got a new contract after refusing to practice in training camp.

It’s unknown at this point whether any other players will “hold in” during training camp, although Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel and Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf are among those who could consider it, based on their current contract situations.

Smith is heading into the fifth and final season of his rookie contract and has a base salary of $9,735,000 this season.

13 responses to “Roquan Smith reports to Bears’ training camp, will not practice amid contract dispute

  1. He was a pain as a rookie to get his contract signed too. I’d hate to lose him but the Bears have a ton of holes to fill and not ready to compete for a ring.

    See what they can get for draft picks and if the deal is too good to pass up, trade the man.

  2. I don’t follow the Bears, but isn’t he a 1st rounder that held out even though rookie contracts are slotted and it’s pretty simple to get the deal done? Some guys either really hate training camp or they’re all about business ($). I’ve got no problem with either, but this is going to happen with this guy every time he out performs his contract (ie every time the salary cap rises and another LB gets a better deal) so buyer beware.

  3. Each minute he refuses to honor his signed contract should be added to the end of the current contract period obligating him to this team. These players who fail to honor their word don’t deserve to get paid more.

  4. Don’t know anything about him. Is he worth more than $9.7 million a year would be question #1. And with these guys that “hold in”, what happens if you get to the regular season and the guy refuses to play? What list would the NFL have to put him on so the Bears do not pay him?

  5. People don’t know why Roquan held out as a rookie. Apparently the Bears promised one sum, then tried to low ball him. That’s why. And he’s doing no more than TJ Watt did, in order to get paid. Know your worth!

  6. Holding in should be treated like holding out. Fined for each day you refuse to practice.

  7. He held out of the first time , not exactly due to money but to what would be guaranteed for injuries.

    He’s a killer player, underrated, but he’s in a new scheme and never played in it. He’s worthy of $19-$20 million per year on the open market but is he a fit for the new coaches?

  8. The trouble here is the Bears are 1) hard up against the cap; 2) The new management has nothing invested in him and is implementing a new scheme (though Roquan should fit it like a glove); 3) Roquan has wildly outplayed his rookie contract and is rightfully desiring a bump in pay.
    As a fan I can see both sides, the new management is nickling and diming to try to put together a passably competitive team in a rebuild year, and the player, in a very physical position is trying to protect himself. Hopefully they work something out, as this kid is probably just about the only dependable piece left on the the defense. If he’s not present, this will go from a rough to an ugly year for Chicago.

  9. Roquan is essentially the Darius Leonard in the scheme Eberflus is bringing from Indy to Chicago. In other words, he’s a pretty damn important piece. I would be shocked if something doesn’t get done sooner than later. If they can’t get him on the field or they choose to part ways with him instead, the rebuild is set back by a couple of years at least.

  10. The Bears are expected to have a little over $96 million in salary cap space next year, a ridiculous amount. Quit being cheap and lock this guy up. He’s one of the only building blocks on the roster.

  11. Those who bash players for not honoring their contact never say the same thing about the team they love when fail to do the same thing. Teams sign players, talk about loyalty, and the team as a family and then cut or trade players and treat them as commodities. The honor your contract bs is totally one sided as far as most fans are concerned.

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