Will Roquan Smith sign his contract before the start of Bears training camp?
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As the Bears prepare to report to training camp Thursday, first-round pick Roquan Smith has yet to sign his rookie contract.
The team still has time before its first practice, which is Friday afternoon and closed to the public. Thursday, players will check into their dorm rooms and undergo physical testing at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. General manager Ryan Pace will address the media midday.
The No. 8 overall pick didn’t join his fellow rookies when they reported early to camp Monday.
The inside linebacker is one of seven players drafted in the top nine who has yet to sign his deal. The Bears, though, report earlier than 30 other teams because they play in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Their opponent, the Ravens, began camp Wednesday.
The Bears haven’t had a rookie holdout in 13 years, in part because of the standardized salaries brought upon by the current collective bargaining agreement. The four-year value for Smith’s contract is expected to be about $18.5 million, with a signing bonus near $11.5 million.
Teams and agents typically are left to haggle over offset language or the cash flow of a signing bonus. Two years ago, Ohio State edge rusher Joey Bosa held out of camp for 31 days, the longest run since the CBA went into effect in 2011. Bosa has the same representatives as Smith, though the Bears have a solid working relationship with them.
The Bears signed their six other draftees May 10, the day before their rookie minicamp. Smith practiced during the offseason program despite not signing his contract.