Chicago Bears rookies report to training camp today. Their highest-profile first-year player won't be in attendance.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that first-round linebacker Roquan Smith is not with the team as rookies report, per sources informed of the situation.
Smith currently hasn't signed his rookie contract and is staying away until a deal is done, per Rapoport.
The Bears selected the rangy Smith with the No. 8 overall pick in April's draft. The 2017 Butkus Award winner as college football's top linebacker earned a whopping 137 tackles with 6.5 sacks at Georgia last season.
A speedy sideline-to-sideline playmaker, Smith is expected to step in immediately in the middle of Vic Fangio's defense, alongside veteran Danny Trevathan. The rookie's acumen against the run and ability to defend the pass boost a sneaky underrated Chicago defense.
First, the Bears must get their first-round pick signed and in camp.