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Bears sign most of 2018 draft class

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Only first round pick Roquan Smith remains unsigned as the Bears take care of contract business swiftly.

The reaction when the rookie contract money kicks in.
Hawk Central/USA Today

On the eve of this weekend’s rookie minicamp, the Bears officially inked most of their 2018 draft class Thursday afternoon. That includes second round picks in interior offensive lineman James Daniels and receiver Anthony Miller, fourth round linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe, fifth round defensive tackle Bilal Nichols, sixth round edge rusher Kylie Fitts, and seventh round receiver Javon Wims. Curiously, but nothing of major concern considering his top 10 pick status, only first rounder Roquan Smith remains without a contract.

While the Bears and director of football administration Joseph Laine worked well on the rest of the class, they’re surely not panicking on Smith not being signed yet. As a first rounder, Smith can practice with the team through all organized team activities. It’s when July’s training camp kicks off that he must sign on the dotted line and agree to his rookie contract to participate.

This is a situation the Bears are familiar with recently, as it took until a few days before last year’s training camp for 2017 No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky to sign with Chicago. Sometimes negotiating for top franchise players takes more time so as to reach a compromise both sides are comfortable with. There is offset language and fifth-year option money to negotiate that the other selections don’t have to be concerned about.

Whenever Smith does sign with Chicago, according to Forbes, expect the total of his rookie deal to value at roughly $18 million as the No. 8 overall pick. He will get around $11 million as a signing bonus, and his cap hit is set to be $3.4 million per Spotrac. That’s based on a rookie pay scale instituted in the 2011 NFL collective bargaining agreement.

Here are Spotrac’s projected figures for the Bears’ 2018 draft picks that have been signed. As always, total value is as written, signing bonuses is money guaranteed to a player, and the cap hit is how they fit in Chicago’s overall salary cap.

Daniels (No. 39 overall)

Total value: $6,994,684

Signing bonus: $3,167,043

2018 cap hit: $1,271,761

Miller (No. 51 overall)

Total value: $5,381,732

Signing bonus: $1,993,987

2018 cap hit: $978,497

Iyiegbuniwe (No. 115 overall)

Total value: $3,076,202

Signing bonus: $661,202

2018 cap hit: $645,300

Nichols (No. 145 overall)

Total value: $2,703,970

Signing bonus: $288,970

2018 cap hit: $552,243

Fitts (No. 181 overall)

Total value: $2,571,840

Signing bonus: $156,840

2018 cap hit: $519,210

Wims (No. 224 overall)

Total value: $2,484,784

Signing bonus: $69,784

2018 cap hit: $497,446

For now, without Smith, the rest of the Bears’ infusion of young talent is satisfied while they begin preparation on their professional football dream in earnest.

Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for The Rock River Times, an editor for Windy City Gridiron and Inside The Pylon, and is a contributor to Pro Football Weekly and The Athletic Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.