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Bears GM Ryan Pace: ‘No new developments’ in Roquan Smith holdout

Bears rookie linebacker Roquan Smith, the eighth overall pick of the 2018 draft, has missed 27 days, 14 practices and two preseason because of a contract impasse. | Charles Rex Arbogast/AP photo

CINCINNATI — No news was not good news for the Bears on Thursday night.

General manager Ryan Pace said there were “really no new developments” in the team’s negotiations with holdout rookie linebacker Roquan Smith, as the impasse with the eighth overall pick reached Day 25.

“It’s something that we’re working through,” Pace said in an interview with play-by-play announcer Jeff Joniak on WBBM-AM (780) before the Bears’ preseason game against the Bengals, “and obviously I feel like a broken record here, but we want him to be here, but it’s just part of the process.”

Pace, who has not spoken to reporters at large since July 18, stuck to his script of not commenting publicly on the impasse.

“I hope people can respect it,” Pace told Joniak. “I definitely appreciate the questions, and I understand the questions, but out of respect to the player and the agent, it is a sensitive topic, and I think it’s best if we just keep that behind the scenes.”


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The Bears and Smith’s agency, CAA, remain at a stalemate over contract language regarding protection from losing guaranteed money in the event of a suspension for on-field infractions.

Smith has missed 13 practices and two preseason games because of the contract stalemate.

His holdout is the second-longest since the 2011 collective-bargaining agreement created a slotted salary structure for rookies that greatly decreased holdouts.

Defensive end Joey Bosa, coming out of Ohio State, had a 31-day holdout before signing with the Chargers in 2016.