The Chicago Bears have made it official announcing the signing of top draft pick Roquan Smith Tuesday morning. The linebacker from Georgia was the eighth pick overall in the April draft.
“We’re looking forward to Roquan joining our team and getting him prepared for the 2018 season,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said in a press release.
Smith practiced with the team Tuesday morning at Halas Hall. He then met briefly with reporters. He didn’t go into details over why he held out for 29 days and what the language was in his contract that his agent and the Bears were at odds over for the past several weeks.
“I just kept my faith in my agent and Mr. Pace that they would get everything situated,” Smith said.
Smith says he trained in Georgia during his holdout. He doesn’t have a time frame for when he’ll be ready to play.
“I have confidence in the coaches and the athletic training staff and myself, we’ll take the proper steps for me to come back,” he said.
Bears coach Matt Nagy didn’t know if Smith would be ready to suit up for action Saturday when the Bears take on the Broncos in preseason action.
Smith, who starred collegiately at the University of Georgia, was a unanimous 2017 First Team All-American, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and winner of the Butkus Award, presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding linebacker. He also was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award, both of which are presented to the country’s top overall defensive player.