Roquan Smith on Monday was not spotted at Bears practice for the first time since training camp began.
It doesn't mean he's now a hold-out and that his hold-in status has changed. In fact it might even mean progress in talks for a contract extension for all anyone knows. Coach Matt Eberflus was not scheduled to talk to media on Monday so Smith's practice status remains uncertain.
What is certain is a person who reportedly had been trying to hunt down trades from teams for Smith has now been identified.
ESPN's Courtney Cronin reported the name of the uncertified agent who has been contacting teams about Smith is "Saint Omni."
In a memo the league sent out to all teams, it was made clear Saint Omni didn't have NFLPA certification and as a result he could not talk to a team about trades for Smith.
"Mr. Omni is prohibited from negotiating player contracts or discussing potential trades on behalf of any NFL player or prospective player or assisting in or advising with respect to such negotiations," the memo read.
If the Bears haven't given permission for Smith to seek a trade, then other teams can't talk to whoever his representative is anyway unless they want to invite tampering charges.
Smith is under contract until March of 2023 and wants his contract extended.
AM-670 The Score attempted to reach Omni at his reported place of employment but was told "...he's never in the same place twice" and doesn't give out his cell number.
A Saint Omni Facebook page says he is a "business consultant and manager for high profile NFL Athletes and celebrities"
Saint Omni is said to have helped negotiate a contract for Laremy Tunsil of the Texans and in an article for Complex.com he is reported to be the director of football at LifeLine Financial Group in Beverly Hills.
Omni is also said to have helped Seahawks first-round pick Charles Cross to negotiate a deal as his business agent. Cross does not have an NFLPA agent, either.
Smith was at Saturday's preseason game and wearing warmup gear as he went through some pregame stretching and running on the field, but did not suit up. If he had returned, the Bears likely would not have had him playing in the game anyway, because he hasn't practiced since June.
On Thursday after Smith was a healthy scratch from practice, Eberflus said: "We expect all of our healthy players to practice."
However, Smith hasn't practiced since the Bears removed his name from the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday, which means he can be fined for missed practices and missed games. The CBA-stipulated fine for missed practices by players on their rookie contract is $40,000 a practice in Smith's case, and for games it is $572,000.
The entire standoff escalated into a farce essentially because Smith has no real agent. He did, but fired the agency and has tried to represent himself.
Then he posted a letter through Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on Twitter criticizing the Bears for negotiating in bad faith and demanded a trade. GM Ryan Poles said his aim is to sign Smith, so there is no trade authorization.
"Unfortunately, the new front office regime doesn't value me here," said Smith in his letter. "They've refused to negotiate in good faith, every step of this has been 'take it or leave it.' The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for myself and for the entire LB market if I signed it. I've been trying to get something done that's fair since April, but their focus has been on trying to take advantage of me."
In the meantime, Smith has been named to the NFL Network's Top 100 NFL players for the first time. By a vote of NFL players, he is No. 84.
Matthew Adams is playing Smith's weak side linebacker position in the new Bears 4-3 defense. Adams led the Bears in tackles at Saturday's 19-14 win over Kansas City to open preseason with seven.