Bears-Roquan Smith 'process' continues with no end in sight

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith's contract holdout continues to hover over the optimism emanating from the Chicago Bears' training camp.

"With Roquan -- there's no news," Bears coach Matt Nagy said after Tuesday's practice. "And as we've all said from the beginning there is a process. For me as a head coach, I just need to worry about who's here and who the players are. And that's really truly where I'm at ... I'm at a point right now where I just want to focus on who's here and that's all [we can do]. Control what we can control. Control what I can control and those are the guys that we have. It's really not that hard. You can try to spin it in a million different ways, but it's pretty simple. If you're here, then that's where we're at. And if you're not, then you go through the process and they eventually get it figured out."

Selected with the eighth overall pick in the draft, Smith is the only unsigned rookie in the NFL. Part of the reason for his holdout is language in his contract that would allow the team to reclaim guaranteed money if the linebacker is suspended under the NFL's new helmet-contact rules, a source confirmed to ESPN.

When asked if he thought there was a chance Smith's holdout could drag into the regular season, Nagy said, "I have no idea. I don't know if it will or not. With where we're at right now this is where we're at so it's a week through the preseason, there's a ways to go."

Bears safety Eddie Jackson acknowledged that he was "kind of" surprised that Smith remains out of camp, but is confident the young linebacker will produce whenever he signs.

"But I understand it's a business and you got to do what's best for you at the end of the day," Jackson said. "We want him back as fast as possible, but we understand, we understand what's going on."

Bears linebackers coach Glenn Pires said he hasn't spoken to Smith recently, noting that it's tough for any young player to be able to contribute right away after missing so much training camp time.

"I think any time you're not with your teammates and you're not working with your teammates, it's not going to be positive," Pires said. "So I don't care who you are or what level that you're at, whenever you're not with the guys and talking to Danny [Trevathan] or talking to Nick [Kwiatkoski] or whoever you are it's certainly not going to be positive."

Jackson knows it's got to be frustrating for Smith to sit out, but he is trying to remain optimistic.

"It's tough," Jackson said. "I really can't speak on how he feels, but just being a football player in general I know you want to come out here and compete, show everyone what you're made of, and also earn that spot. But Roquan, he's a stand-up guy. He's very humble so I know when he gets back he's going to work."