Bears top pick Roquan Smith remains unsigned and won't report to training camp in Bourbonnais on Monday with the rest of Chicago's rookies absent a new deal, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reports.
Smith, the Georgia product and eighth overall pick in April's draft, is slated to sign a rookie deal worth roughly $18.5 million over four seasons with a team option in Year 5. He's one of 14 first-rounders who remains unsigned.
Since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement included a rookie wage scale, these deals generally get done without much delay. One recent outlier is Joey Bosa, the Los Angeles Chargers' top pick (3rd overall) in 2016, who held out until late August and wound up missing the first four games with a hamstring injury but still captured Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Bosa and the Chargers bickered over offset language, which protects teams from paying a player's full salary if he's cut and picked up by another club, but we don't expect a similar issue between Chicago and the future face of its defense. There are, however, many who think Smith, expected to be an immediate starter and every-down player alongside Danny Trevathan in the middle of Vic Fangio's 'D,' will be a top candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
First things first, Smith must put pen to paper on his rookie deal. It's hardly time to panic, but with Chicago getting an early start on camp before playing Baltimore in the Hall of Game on Aug. 4, time is of the essence.