Roquan Smith’s hold-in with the Chicago Bears got here to an finish on Saturday as he returned to full workforce drills for the primary time this preseason.

Alongside along with his return to observe, the star linebacker additionally instructed the Chicago media that he’s betting on himself and plans to play out the ultimate yr of his contract with the workforce. 

Smith missed the primary 15 practices throughout coaching camp as the 2 sides labored to barter a brand new contract extension. 

Little progress has been made because the negotiations have been intense and more and more bitter. That solely appeared to worsen as Smith continued to overlook workforce practices and requested a commerce to a workforce that will give him the deal he was in search of.

As of now, there is no such thing as a new contract extension in place with the Bears and there doesn’t appear to be one on the horizon.

Smith stated on Saturday that negotiations are “over” for now and he doesn’t anticipate extra throughout the season.

He added that contract talks with the workforce have been “distasteful” (via the Athletic’s Adam Jahns).

Smith is scheduled to make $9.7M this season within the last yr of his rookie contract and will probably be an unrestricted free agent after this season. 

The Bears drafted Smith No. 8 total within the 2018 draft and watched him blossom into one of many league’s greatest linebackers. He has been second-team All-Professional in every of the previous two seasons and been the face of not solely the Bears’ protection, but additionally the workforce itself. 

Regardless that he has not taken half in workforce drills till Saturday, Smith has been energetic in particular person drills. 

Head coach Matt Eberflus stated on Saturday that Smith has been a professional and totally engaged in workforce conferences regardless of the extraordinary contract scenario and lack of participation in workforce periods at coaching camp. 

Within the short-term that is nice information for the Bears’ protection. Expectations surrounding the workforce are already low this season, and having to commerce Smith would have been a reasonably substantial blow. They not solely get him again within the lineup for the season, but additionally one other yr to attempt to nonetheless get him signed to an extension. 

The unhealthy information is Smith appears fairly fed up with the negotiation course of and there nonetheless appears to be a fairly large hole between the 2 sides. There may be additionally all the time the chance that the Bears may make the most of the franchise tag after this season, which might in all probability not bridge the hole in negotiations. 

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