Bears exercise fifth-year option on LB Roquan Smith

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Brendan Sugrue
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The Chicago Bears made one of the easiest decisions of the offseason on Tuesday, picking up the fifth-year option on linebacker Roquan Smith, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. The move keeps Smith under contract through the 2022 season.

Smith was drafted with the eight overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft and has become one of the best young linebackers in football. After ending his 2019 season prematurely due to a torn pectoral, Smith took his game to the next level in 2020.

He finished with 139 total tackles, 98 of which were solo, along with four sacks and two interceptions. He was named second-team All-Pro at the end of the season.

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The 22-year old playmaker is set to make $9.735 million in 2022. Unlike in previous years when teams could rescind the option, his salary is fully guaranteed.

Smith is the second player drafted by general manager Ryan Pace to have his option picked up. The Bears also exercised linebacker Leonard Floyd’s option in 2019, but rescinded it last offseason.

NFL teams have until May 3 to exercise their fifth-year options.

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