Smith, who was the eighth overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, ended his 29-day holdout earlier this week when he signed his rookie contract with the Bears. The former Georgia star received a four-year, $18.4 million contract with $11.5 million guaranteed.
Per multiple media outlets, Smith was able to negotiate into his contract that the Bears can only void his future guarantees for an on-field suspension of three or more games and for a post-play suspension of two or more contests.
"I'm proud, because he made a decision and stuck with it," Trevathan said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "I'm more proud ... it's going to lead to more people doing that.
"It was big for him to do that. It was tough. I know he wanted to get here with his team, and a lot of people were saying, 'Oh he needs to get there' and a lot of other (stuff). You've just got to focus on you sometimes. You only get one chance to do that and I told him, 'Do it the right way -- your heart will never lead you wrong. Do the job and then get here so we can win some games.'"
Trevathan understands all too well why Smith was holding out.
Smith helped lead Georgia to the national championship game last season, winning the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in college football as well as SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Smith also was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award, both of which are presented to the country's top overall defensive player.
Smith amassed 137 tackles, including 14 for loss, 6.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries during his stellar junior season. He also was named Defensive MVP of the Rose Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinal with 11 tackles as the Bulldogs defeated Oklahoma to advance to the national championship game.