After initially demanding a new contract or a trade, Bears linebacker Roquan Smith decided this year to play out the final season of his rookie contract in Chicago and try to cash in when he hits free agency in March. So far, he’s happy with the results.
Smith has referred to this season as a “bet on myself,” and after three weeks the bet appears to be paying off, as he’s leading the team in tackles and had a huge impact on Sunday, when his fourth-quarter interception set up the Bears’ game-winning field goal.
‘‘Just reading my keys, watching film, trusting my teammates that they’re going to be in the right place at the right time,’’ Smith said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘I was just shooting my shot.’’
Smith said he would love the attention another big game would bring him on Sunday, when the Bears are playing at the New York Giants in a matchup of two NFC teams that are surprisingly 2-1.
‘‘Oh, that would be pretty sweet,’’ Smith said. ‘‘Being able to get a little limelight and making plays, getting the dub [a victory], that would be pretty sweet.’’
Smith won’t find out how well the bet pays off until March, but three games into a 17-game season he thinks he’s on the right path.