Bears Could Be Without Roquan Smith – Sports Illustrated

When the Bears report to training camp, their defensive leader and possibly their only potential Pro Bowl candidate could be missing. 
According to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Smith hasn't yet received an ofer "he would remotely consider," and will wait for a more serious proposal before taking the field when the Bears open practices on Wednesday.
Smith's rookie deal expires after this season and he did not yet have an agent when asked about the subject during the team's offseason work.
Smith attended all of the voluntary practices and both voluntary and mandatory minicamps.
The positive part for the Bears is he didn't say he needed a contract signed before reporting, according to Rapoport's report. He just needs one worthy of consideration.
Smith has been ignored in Pro Bowl voting the last two years while piling up statistics. He is the only linebacker other than Ray Lewis to have 300 tackles and at least 30 tackles for loss in consecutive seasons since those statistics have been compiled. Smith made second team All-Pro the last two years.
Without Smith, the Bears would be left with a real generic group of linebackers.
The Bears were playing Smith at weak side linebacker, the playmaking spot in the Tampa-2 scheme being deployed by coach Matt Eberflus. Former Raiders linebacker Nicholas Morrow is the other starter in their nickel and plays the middle. In their base defense, Matthew Adams has played the strong side. He is a former Colts linebacker who wasn't an Indianapolis starter, and was among Bears arrested in the offseason. 
The rest of the group includes former Cowboys linebacker Joe Thomas, veteran backups Noah Dawkins and Caleb Johnson and a group of undrafted rookies: Jack Sanborn, C.J. Avery and Christian Albright.
What Smith is seeking is uncertain at this point but Colts linebacker Darius Leonard plays the same position and is a perennial All-Pro and Pro Bowl player and received an extension averaging almost $20 million a year.
The situation is another rough blow for GM Ryan Poles in his first year. He is facing the possibility of rookie safety Jaquan Brisker holding out.
This comes after they failed to sign away Bills retstricted free agent Ryan Bates, and had to rescind an offer to unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi due to a failed physical. Ogunjobi later signed with Pittsburgh.
Then there were the arrests in the offseason of wide receiver Byron Pringle, Adams and wide receiver David Moore.
Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven
BearDigest.com publisher Gene Chamberlain has covered the Bears full time for various publications, news services and websites over 30 years, including several years collaborating on weekly NFL/Bears columns with Mike Ditka and Walter Payton for the Copley Newspaper Chain.

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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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