‘It is already behind my thoughts’

So far as Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is worried, the offseason contract points are previously.

“I am not targeted on that, if I am being utterly trustworthy,” he mentioned, through the Chicago Solar-Instances. “My focus is on making this yr one of the best yr I can after which go from there. I do not need to look ahead an excessive amount of to the long run or something like that.

“I am simply targeted on having one of the best yr I can with my teammates and enjoying the sport I like. That is what means probably the most to me.”

Smith sat out coaching camp and the preseason after not coming to phrases on a brand new long-term contract and requesting a commerce this offseason. However the 25-year-old, who enters the ultimate yr of his rookie deal, mentioned that is all previously, and he is specializing in proving he is worthy of a giant contract.

“It is already behind my thoughts,” he mentioned. “It simply got here to the entrance while you simply talked about it.”

From Smith’s perspective, solely an damage might cease him from shining and exhibiting he ought to be paid greater than the Bears provided this offseason.

“I flourish in any protection,” Smith mentioned. “It do not matter. Simply line me up and inform me a play, and I am there.”

Taking part in in new coach Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 scheme ought to permit for Smith to make much more performs in 2022.

“It is undoubtedly candy,” Smith mentioned. “It lets you play in house extra. And I really feel like that is one among my greatest attributes, enjoying in house, imaginative and prescient.”

A giant season for Smith might result in one other staredown with the entrance workplace, which might use the franchise tag to maintain the linebacker in Chicago one other season.