Roquan Smith Hasn't Reported As Bears Open Camp

The eighth overall pick, Smith remains unsigned.

Chris Emma
July 19, 2018 - 12:08 pm
New Bears linebacker Roquan Smith

Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Golf carts shuttled Bears players to their summer dorm rooms on the campus of Olivet Nazarene for the start of the team's training camp Thursday, but one prominent player was missing on report day.

Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith, the eighth overall pick in the draft, isn't with the Bears as they arrived in Bourbonnais in what can be considered a contract holdout. Smith has yet to sign his rookie deal due to issues over offset language.

"We're optimistic he's here soon," Bears general manager Ryan Pace said Thursday as his team arrived on campus.

Smith is one of 14 rookies who remain unsigned, a group that includes 11 first-round picks. The top four picks of the draft -- Baker Mayfield, Saquon Barkley, Sam Darnold and Denzel Ward -- are unsigned, as is No. 7 pick Josh Allen and No. 9 pick Mike McGlinchey.

The Bears reported for training camp a week earlier than most teams in advance of playing the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Their opponent for that game, the Ravens, also reported for camp early and has signed every draft pick, including two first-round picks in Hayden Hurst and Lamar Jackson.

Smith is the only Bears rookie unsigned going into training camp, meaning he's slated to miss opportunities to solidify his place as a starting inside linebacker.

"These are rather common and somewhat predictable," Pace said. "Just working through this process.

"I'm sure he's dying to be here."

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