Training camp is just ten days away, but Chicago Bears top draft pick Mitch Trubisky has not signed a contract yet. Is a training camp holdout inevitable?
If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the pads popping and sleds driving as training camp is just ten days away! The Chicago Bears should have a few interesting battles to monitor at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL as the Bears re-tooled 2016’s disappointing 3-13 roster.
At the center of the Bears rebuild is quarterback Mitch Trubisky, the rookie quarterback for whom the Bears traded up to the #2 position to select in the 2017 draft despite signing free agent quarterback Mike Glennon. There’s just one problem; Trubisky still hasn’t signed his rookie contract and could miss the start of camp.
Of course, Trubisky isn’t concerned about missing any time:
"“That’s not really for me to worry about,” he said Tuesday after a Bears organized team activities practice. “I’m going to be out here at practice everyday. My agent and the Bears organization is going to handle that. But I’m not really sure how that stuff works. I’m here to play football, I’m not worried about contracts.”"
Trubisky might not be worried about contracts, but his agents and the Bears certainly are. It would be a shame for him to miss any snaps in camp when each and every rep is so valuable. I can’t recall the last Bears rookie to miss the start of training camp due to a contract issue. Cedric Benson?
The contract signing used to be a lot more dramatic in the offseason, but ever since the 2011 CBA, the rookie wage scale pretty much slots all rookie’s salaries.
Nowadays, it’s fairly cut and dried how much a rookie will make. If you look at the 2017 draft class, #1 overall selection Myles Garrett has already inked a $30.4M with $20.25 in guaranteed money while #4 overall selection, running back Leonard Fournette, has signed a four-year deal with no offset language while terms of the deal have not been fully disclosed. Spotrac puts his deal at about $27.2M with nearly $18M in guarantees.
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That doesn’t leave too much room for Trubisky’s deal. He should end up with somewhere around $29M for four years with about $20M in guaranteed money. I don’t know why this is so difficult. In years past, when Cliff Stein was negotiating contracts, the Bears were almost always the first team to have all of their picks signed, usually before rookie mini camp started. Ryan Pace changed the staff a bit and added Joey Laine as director of football administration while Stein remained on as Bears counsel.
Last season, #3 overall selection Joey Bossa sat out almost the entire preseason while not agreeing to a deal until August 29th.
We all know that 2017 is the Year of Mike Glennon, but it would certainly be nice for Trubisky to have a full camp under his belt juuuuust in case…