Pace: Bears, Smith Remain At Stalemate

"I feel like a broken record here, but we want him to be here," Ryan Pace says.

Chris Emma
August 09, 2018 - 6:00 pm
Bears linebacker Roquan Smith

Kamil Krzaczynski/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) Roquan Smith projected to be a plug-and-play starter for the Bears at inside linebacker, but he's still no closer to suiting up with the team.

There's been no progress being made as Smith's holdout has reached its fourth week, general manager Ryan Pace told the WBBM Newsradio 780 Bears pregame show ahead of the preseason game at the Bengals on Thursday evening. The stalemate between the Bears and Smith's party is over language in his rookie contract. He remains the last rookie unsigned.

"There are really no new developments to this point," Pace said. "It's something that we're working through. And, obviously, I feel like a broken record here, but we want him to be here. But it's just part of the process."

Smith's party is hoping for protections in the rookie contract against potential voids of his guarantees that would come with penalty for conduct on the field outside the confines of a play. The Bears have already made concessions for penalties related to a play, such as the new personal foul for leading with the crown of the helmet. 

The Bears are in their fourth week of the preseason and playing their second of five exhibition contests still without Smith. Pace hasn't been made available to reporters since speaking when the team arrived to training camp on July 19.

"I hope people can respect (the delicate negotiations)," Pace said. "I definitely appreciate the questions and 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."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.