CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Few, if any Chicago Bears are more motivated this season than Roquan Smith is. He IS on the final year of his contract, and he wants a new, big-money deal. This past Sunday he showed general manager Ryan Poles and the coaching staff why he’s probably deserving of a new deal.

All Smith did was record16 tackles against the Texans including two tackles-for-loss, and his interception with just over a minute to go set-up the Bears for Cairo Santos’ game-winning field goal.

Here’s how Smith described the pick after the game. “I knew it was third-and-one, so I was like, I figured the quarterback was just going to try to get the first down and move the sticks, so I was like, okay, cool., and then I said I’m going to break on it.”

“I couldn’t believe he threw it, and then just be able to catch it, and then I felt like if I would have had a little more juice in me I could have cribbed it, but hey, I was just thankful to be able to get it.”

“He’s a great player,” said Bears linebacker Nicholas Morrow of Smith. “He had a couple really good TFLs. One down in the red zone. Two in the red zone actually, now that I think about it. He’s a great player. He put the game away.”

Keep in mind Smith was bothered by a hip injury last week that caused him to sit out the team’s practices, yet he still turned in this huge performance.”

“I felt good enough to play.,” said Smith. “If I feel good enough to play, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”

With the new coaching staff this year came a new position for Smith. He moved from inside linebacker in a 3-4, to outside in a 4-3. It was a bit of a risky move for a guy who was second team All-Pro last year and whose 163 tackles ranked sixth in the NFL.

“It’s a big difference between going from 3-4 to 4-3,” said Bears coach Matt Eberflus. “You play off the defensive linemen in front of you a little bit different, and it’s more of a speed position. It’s more of a downhill attacking position rather than a lateral position. I just think he’s starting to really feel that.”

Smith was the biggest story of training camp with his hold-in. He was there, but he didn’t participate in practices the first couple weeks or in the first preseason games. He was hoping to send a message about a new contract. The hold-in might have slowed him up a bit when the regular season started.

“Not having camp the first two games, you know, still working my way in, but hey, third game I’m normally feeling myself out, so I think from here on out you can expect some big things,” said Smith.

Smith is making 9.7 million dollars this year. He will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this NFL year if the Bears don’t give him a new contract or if they don’t put a franchise tag on him.