Georgia's Roquan Smith was selected 8th in the NFL Draft's first round.

Helmet-contact rules part of ex-UGA star Smith’s NFL holdout

Former UGA linebacker Roquan Smith remains unsigned in part due to a disagreement over financial protections he should receive if he’s punished under the NFL’s new use-of-helmet rule, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Smith, the top defensive player on UGA’s SEC championship and national runnerup team last season, has yet to practice with the Chicago Bears since being selected eighth overall in April’s NFL draft. According to the Sun-Times, the new league rule allows officials, with the aid of replay, to eject a player who, with an unobstructed path and other available options, decides to initiate contact with his helmet.

Seeking financial protections against the helmet rule is “part of the issue” with the contract, first-year Bears coach Matt Nagy told the Sun-Times.

“For both sides, it’s more of a language deal, a language-type deal,” Nagy added.

Read more on Smith and the Bears here.

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