The Language of a Contract: To holdout or not

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 10: Mitch Trubisky
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 10: Mitch Trubisky /

A better understanding of the language of NFL contracts and the Mitchell Trubisky situation.

Training camp is rapidly approaching for the Chicago Bears, July 26th,  and players’ health is of the utmost importance for team success. However, another equally important factor would be having a contract signed by the teams future starting QB, Mitchell Trubisky.

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While Trubisky himself said there would be no hold out there is little he can do if the contract is not signed. Trubisky has said and done all the right things so far. However, he is one of 8 unsigned rookie players. So what is the problem? The answer might lie with the agents he has signed.

The Agents

Bruce and Ryan Tollner, of Rep 1 Sports, are the agents with whom Trubisky signed. They also represent QB’s Ben Roethlisberger and Marcus Mariota. By examining the work the Tollner’s have done with their other clients we can get an idea of what is going on behind the scenes with the contract negotiations.

Marcus Mariota was the last player from the 2015 draft to sign his contract. He did not miss any training camp time since he signed a week before camp opened. The reason for him being the last person to sign? Offset language.

Words can make all the difference

Offset language is essentially a way for the team to save money if the player does not finish his contract with the team. For example, lets say the Bears cut Trubisky after year 3 and he is owed 10 million dollars. Then Trubisky signs with the Browns and gets a 12 million dollar contract. The Bears would only have to pay the difference between the two contracts and therefore save a ton of money.

Eventually, Mariota and the Titans agreed to ‘partial’ offset language that closed the deal. The Tollner’s also made Roethlisberger the highest paid quarterback when he signed his extension in 2015. However, this deal can’t be about the money since rookie contracts are slotted a predetermined amount of money based on the position they were drafted at.

It can’t be stressed enough for the importance for Trubisky to get all the reps he can in training camp. If reports from the offseason minicamps are true and there is little to no separation in play between QB Mike Glennon and Trubisky this is his chance to seize the starting job and not look back.