While Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa was able to hold out until late August of 2016 and still win National Football League defensive rookie of the year, that's a tough task. Last season as a junior Smith was voted first-team All-American, won the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Smith had reportedly been holding out due to his agents wanting language in the contract stating the Bears couldn't take his guaranteed money if he got suspended for a violation of the NFL's new helmet rule.
But almost four months after Chicago drafted Smith back in April, a deal is finally done, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Twitter.
Smith should step right into a starting role in what is an underrated Bears front seven.
Smith missed the team's first two preseason games and 16 practices at Olivet Nazarene University, but the timing of his agreement will allow him to be with the team for this week's joint practices in Denver with the Broncos. That would mean he'll miss at least half of the preseason.
Smith, the eighth pick in April's draft, is known for his instincts and tackling ability at inside linebacker, as well as his leadership characteristics.
Because of how talented Smith is and the fact that he's a day one starter, there was a lot of pressure within the organization to get this deal done as soon as possible.