Don’t call it a holdout just yet, but according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media Chicago Bears rookie linebacker Roquan Smith isn’t showing up to training camp without signing his rookie contract.
It won’t officially be a holdout until veterans are due on July 19, Rapoport notes.
This almost certainly has to do with offset language in the contract. Because, since the NFLPA and NFL did their most recent CBA a handful of years back, rookie contracts are scaled. Meaning, there’s no haggling over price.
However, we did recently witness Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa hold out over offset language in his rookie year, and he missed games due to that dispute.
It’s going to be interesting to see how long it takes for the Bears to get a deal done. Smith is my personal favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018. He’ll be an instant starter for Chicago and is one of the most complete linebackers we’ve seen enter the league in years.