Dec 27, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Robert Quinn (94) tackles Jacksonville Jaguars running back Dare Ogunbowale (33) as Bears linebacker Roquan Smith (58) looks on during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

No holdout: Bears LB Roquan Smith, DE Robert Quinn report to camp

Contract posturing might not have ended for All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith and defensive end Robert Quinn, who reported to the Chicago Bears on schedule for the start of training camp.

Smith and Quinn are angling for contract extensions following stellar seasons in 2021 and are unsigned past 2022.

Smith, 25, is owed $9.7 million this season and already proved he’s willing to draw a line in the sand on money matters, having held out for the first month of camp as a 2018 rookie in a contract language dispute.

NFL Network reported Smith doesn’t plan to participate in training camp workouts based on his expiring contract.

“I love the player and the person,” first-year GM Ryan Poles said of Smith on Tuesday.

Poles said the Bears are aware of contract situations with several key veterans — running back David Montgomery has also entered the final season of his contract — that will be addressed. The Bears are scheduled to have nearly $115 million in cap space in 2023.

Quinn, 32, did not attend offseason workouts or mandatory minicamp after posting 18.5 sacks last season. He has $12.8 million due in 2022, but has a history of back injuries and has been rumored to be on the trading block.

Though the Bears unloaded Quinn’s sidekick Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers, Poles said he hasn’t discussed trading Quinn.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith (91) celebrates sacking Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sean Mannion (14) in the second quarter during their football game Sunday, January 2, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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Packers re-sign LB Preston Smith, to release LB Za’Darius Smith

Green Bay Packers linebacker Preston Smith signed a four-year contract extension that reportedly comes with a chance to make $71 million over the next five seasons.

Smith signed the deal Monday as the Packers work to reduce their salary-cap burden for 2022.

Another pass rusher, Za’Darius Smith, was released on Monday by the Packers. He underwent back surgery in 2021 after recording 13.5 sacks in 2019 and 12.5 in 2020.

Za’Darius Smith, 29, carried a $27.66 million cap figure for 2022 and will count more than $12 million against the cap upon his release, a savings of more than $15 million for the Packers.

Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith signed in the team’s 2019 free agent class.

Multiple reports pegged the value of the four-year extension for Preston Smith, tacked on to the final year of his current deal, at $52.5 million, and $65 million over the length of the five-year contract. With incentives, Preston Smith could earn $71 million.

Preston Smith, 29, had 9.0 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2021 and has 49.5 career sacks in seven seasons.

He played for the Washington franchise from 2015-18 before joining the Packers.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) blocs Houston Texans outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (50) in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys star LT Tyron Smith (ankle) to sit out vs. Washinigton

Eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith will miss Sunday night’s home game against the Washington Football Team due to a left ankle injury.

It will be the second straight game and fifth overall that Smith has missed due to the troublesome ankle.

He missed three games earlier this season before returning for the Thanksgiving Day game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Smith then played in three contests and reinjured the ankle during a 27-20 road win at Washington on Dec. 12.

Smith sat out last Sunday’s 21-6 triumph over the New York Giants.

Smith, 31, has started all 143 games in which he has played during 11 seasons with the Cowboys.

Dallas also announced that cornerback Jourdan Lewis was placed on the COVID-19 list. He joins safety Malik Hooker, defensive tackle Trysten Hill and running back JaQuan Hardy in the protocol.

Defensive line coach Aden Durde and assistant special teams coach Matt Daniels also are in the protocol.

–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts makes a reception in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons glad to swiftly change focus to Patriots

No time to reflect. Preparation for Week 11 on fast forward. It’s the blessing and the curse of the short week.

The Falcons are in active recovery mode following a drubbing in Dallas, a 40-point loss to the Cowboys in which the Falcons scored three points and converted one third down for a first down.

“You want to move on as quick as possible,” a stone-faced Smith said in his brief media huddle on Monday afternoon at Flowery Branch. “We were outcoached. We were outplayed.”

It’s typical for coaches to return home from a Sunday game and plot through the night with a goal of gameplan completion for the quick turnaround with just three days between kickoffs. Atlanta didn’t hold a full or normal on-field practice and will go lighter than usual all week.

There was little joy in Smith’s office judging by his outward demeanor on Monday.

Atlanta’s loss was painful in multiple ways. Perhaps the most pressing matter emanating in Smith’s closed-door planning meetings before facing the New England Patriots on Thursday is the status of utility weapon Cordarrelle Patterson.

He’s undergoing tests for a sprained ankle and not likely to be on the field for the Falcons, who are still without top wide receiver Calvin Ridley (personal).

Patterson, 30, was injured early in the Falcons’ blowout loss and collected just 39 yards from scrimmage before exiting. Patterson has 303 rushing yards, 473 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns this season.

Smith said he again directly addressed one other matter coming out of Sunday’s loss: the defensive line shoving Cowboys’ interior offensive linemen in the victory formation after kneel-downs under the two-minute mark.

“Look, they kicked our butt. Take it fair and square,” Smith said.

Matt Ryan had a disastrous statistical line against former Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn on Sunday: 21.4 quarterback rating, nine completions.

New England improved to 6-4 on Sunday with a dominant win over the Cleveland Browns. The Patriots and renowned defensive mastermind Bill Belichick were again a step ahead of an opposing quarterback.

During his weekly radio show on Monday morning, Belichick said he had already taken notice of rookie tight end Kyle Pitts. He called the versatile weapon “a problem” for the Patriots.

“Very hard to match up against,” Belichick said. “I was reading through some of the Atlanta comments and you hear them comparing him to a cross between Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones, and I’d say that’s about right. That’s what it looks like. He’s one of the superstars of the NFL already.

“I’m sure he’ll break all the rookie tight end receiving records. I think he’s on pace to, but he’ll be right there. This guy’s got a tremendous career in front of him. He can play every position. He plays end of the line of scrimmage, he can play in the slot, he can play outside. He’s got a great skillset. He’s competitive, he’ll block. He’s good after the catch. He’s a matchup nightmare.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith talks to quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during a timeout against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Confidence kickstarts 3-3 Falcons

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith feels good about the health of his team, including the secondary he disagreed was “banged up pretty good.”

There is no debating his level of confidence in kicker Younghoe Koo, who is standing out during a season in which kicking struggles appear to be contagious.

“You build confidence — we’ve got a lot of confidence in Younghoe,” Smith said. “That’s not an easy position to break into this league. Most of the times those guys get cut. … It’s tough. You’ve got to be tough-minded. It’s a specialty job. You see a career path, a lot of these guys, they bounce around. Fortunately, Younghoe is here. He’s a guy that’s improved. We’ve got a lot of confidence in him. Of course, you look up there, I had all the confidence in the world, just like I did in New York, he’s going to smoke that thing in there. He did.”

Koo made a 36-yard, game-winning field goal as time expired Sunday, leading the Falcons to a 30-28 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Smith said he had a laugh about Koo’s celebration, but his success feeds his thinking when it comes to strategy.

“You get paid to make decisions,” Smith said. “That’s what you signed up for.”

Atlanta is 3-3 with wins over the Dolphins (1-6), New York Jets (1-5) and New York Giants (2-5).

The 3-4 Carolina Panthers are due up this weekend for Halloween festivities in Atlanta. Game 5 of the World Series is scheduled for Sunday between the Braves and Astros.

Smith said he grew up following the Braves in Tennessee with no MLB team to pull for, and appreciates “how electric the atmosphere was” during the NLCS games in Atlanta.

The Panthers opened the season 3-0 but have lost four straight. Starting quarterback Sam Darnold finished Sunday’s game on the bench but is set to return this week, according to Carolina coach Matt Rhule.

NFL Network also reported cornerback Stephon Gilmore, acquired from the New England Patriots, would suit up for the Panthers in Week 8. It’s possible Gilmore will align across from rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, who racked up 163 yards at Miami.

Smith confirmed right tackle Kaleb McGary, who didn’t play against the Dolphins, was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

“That’s why you have a team. That’s life in the NFL,” Smith said.

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Green Bay Packers linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) looks on  the field during the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Packers OLB Za’Darius Smith undergoes back surgery

Green Bay Packers star linebacker Za’Darius Smith is out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery this week, NFL Network reported Friday.

Smith played 18 snaps as a reserve in the season opener against the New Orleans Saints despite intense back pain and was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 17.

The Packers haven’t revealed that Smith underwent surgery or whether or not it would be season-ending.

The 29-year-old Smith made the Pro Bowl in both of his first two seasons with Green Bay. He had a career-high 13.5 sacks in 2019 and 12.5 last season.

Smith spent his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and had 18.5 sacks in 58 games (16 starts).

The Packers are missing Smith’s pass-rushing skills as they have just four sacks through three games.

–Field Level Media

Jun 15, 2021; in Eagen, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin (83) runs the ball as Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith (32) defends him in drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings LB Cameron Smith retires one year after heart surgery

Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith completed a comeback from heart surgery, but plans to retire from the NFL.

Smith, 24, issued a statement via Instagram on Wednesday night.

“After careful consideration and thorough discussion with my friends and family, I have made the difficult decision to retire from the NFL,” the statement read in part. “I know this transition isn’t going to be easy, but I am excited to tackle this next chapter of my life with the same passion and pursuit that I did football.”

He was a fifth-round pick by Minnesota in 2019 out of Southern Cal and missed the 2020 season.

Following a false positive COVID-19 test last August, Smith learned through an extensive physical he would need surgery to repair a congenital heart defect.

Smith played for Minnesota in the preseason opener. He logged 18 snaps on defense, six on special teams, and recorded one tackle before leaving the game with a concussion.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2021; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith works out during training camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles WR DeVonta Smith week-to-week with knee sprain

First-round pick DeVonta Smith has a knee sprain that will keep him out 1-2 weeks of his first Philadelphia Eagles training camp.

Smith, the 10th overall pick in the 2021 draft and reigning Heisman Trophy winner, was injured in the team’s Saturday night practice and underwent testing Sunday.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and Smith were teammates at Alabama. Hurts said during minicamp the pro game will not be a challenge for Smith because he’s self-driven and understands the nuances of the position.

“(At Alabama) he was trying to work. We were in the indoor (facility) late at night, getting the work in,” Hurts said. “So I think that shows the mentality he has and I think he’s bringing all of that with him here.”

Jalen Reagor will get more work with Smith sidelined. Reagor, a first-round pick in 2020, did not participate in the first three practices due to a failed conditioning test.

Travis Fulgham, Quez Watkins, John Hightower, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward are the other receivers competing for spots in training camp.

–Field Level Media

Indianapolis Colts offensive guard Braden Smith (72) during their preseason training camp practice at Grand Park in Westfield on Monday, August 5, 2019.

Colts Preseason Training Camp

Colts sign OT Braden Smith to $72.4M extension

Offensive tackle Braden Smith agreed to a four-year, $72.4 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday.

Smith stabilized the right tackle position as a second-round pick in 2018. General manager Chris Ballard said negotiations with Smith and linebacker Darius Leonard were designed to produce long-term extensions before the start of the 2021 regular season.

“You’re never going to regret paying a great player (laughs),” Ballard said Monday. “I don’t give a crap what position the guy plays.”

Drafted 37th overall as a guard out of Auburn one pick after the Colts selected Leonard, Smith allowed only one quarterback hit and zero sacks in 2020, based on Pro Football Focus film review.

“If you’re naming one of the guys who I think is one of the better right tackles in the league, it’s Braden Smith,” coach Frank Reich said in December. “The way he is playing this year, he is playing lights out. He has been a model of consistency through every game. I’m not sure he’s had a bad day in practice or on Sunday, so the guy is a stud.”

ESPN reported the contract includes $42 million guaranteed.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith (58) picks up a fumble against the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Warrant issued for Seahawks DE Aldon Smith in alleged battery

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Aldon Smith is wanted in an alleged battery in front of a Home Depot in Chalmette, La., according to a warrant from the sheriff’s department.

Smith signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks last week and is wanted for “a second degree battery that occurred on the evening of April 17, 2021 at the French Press Coffee House in front of Home Depot in Chalmette,” per the warrant.

The warrant bulletin requests information from anyone coming in contact with the subject (Smith) and includes a head shot.

“The subject does not have a local address but has relatives in the New Orleans Area. Subject was last observed in a white in color Nissan sedan with an unknown license plate.”

Smith signed a contract with the Seahawks on April 15.

He enjoyed a renaissance with the Cowboys, starting all 16 games and recording five sacks and 14 quarterback hits, 48 tackles and two fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown.

Smith, 31, was the No. 7 overall pick by San Francisco in 2011 and registered 33.5 sacks in his first 32 games with the 49ers, earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2012.

However, following a series of arrests and off-field issues, as well as multiple team and league suspensions, Smith was suspended by the NFL in November 2015. He wasn’t reinstated until last May.

Smith has 52.5 sacks and 103 quarterback hits in 75 games (53 starts) with the 49ers (2011-14), Oakland Raiders (2015) and Cowboys.

–Field Level Media