Dave Wannstedt, who coached the Bears from 1993-98, berated Smith -- one of two unsigned first-round picks -- for not being on the field with his teammates.
"It really doesn't make much sense," Wannstedt told reporters, per the Chicago Sun-Times. "The way (salaries) are slotted now ... for a rookie to hold out because of some fine print, it's pretty selfish from an agent standpoint to do that. This kid needs to be here. He needs to be practicing. These are valuable days. They play a preseason game a week from now. And you do not get these days back."
With Smith missing his seventh day of practice while the sides work out details of a contract that is expected to pay him $18.5 million over four years, Wannstedt questioned the thought process of the rookie's representatives.
"You would think that an agent would be smart enough to understand that," said Wannstedt. "At some point the player's got to understand that, 'This guy works for me. I'm not working for the agent.' And you've got to stand up and say, 'The contact's fair. I need to get in practice and help this football team.'"
Wannstedt noted how damaging a prolonged holdout can be to a rookie, pointing to how it adversely affected then-Bears running back Curtis Enis in 1998.
"He still has his individual learning," Wannstedt said of Smith. "Physically, I'm sure he's running and doing stuff. But there's no substitute for what (players) are doing now -- for having the pads on and going through full-speed drills with pads on. You can talk all you want about shorts and I'm doing it at a high school or college to get ready, (but) it's not the same."
The 6-foot-1, 236-pound Smith helped lead Georgia to the national championship game last season, winning the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in college football.
Smith amassed 137 tackles, including 14 for loss, 6.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries during his stellar junior season. He was projected to step in immediately for the Bears and play alongside fellow linebacker Danny Trevathan.