If the Chicago Bears are looking to extend Tarik Cohen, what would that look like?
Tarik Cohen is entering the 2020 season as a potential free agent at the end of the year. The Chicago Bears may wait to see how this season plays out, but it would be at the risk of losing him as he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
If the Bears do not want to risk him seeing an open market, they could offer him an extension this offseason. Tarik Cohen is a fascinating player to look into when thinking about a potential contract.
He is a running back, but with 250 carries, and 203 receptions, he has about equal passing game and running game impact. He also is only a part-time player in each area. Looking back at recent players, since 2000, only three players have between 1,000 and 2,000 rushing and receiving yards in their first three NFL season. Austin Ekeler, Tarik Cohen, and Duke Johnson.
This gives us an easy example to find a potential contract. Duke Johnson came into the NFL a bit earlier, and the cap has risen, but he signed an extension in 2019. Meanwhile, Ekeler was in the same draft as Tarik Cohen and just got a contract extension this offseason.
Below you can see how the three compare on a per-game basis. They have similar usage and similar success to start their careers.
Duke Johnson signed a three-year, $15.6 million deal after his fourth NFL season. That came with $8 million guaranteed. Ekeler signed a four-year, $24.5 million. That came with $13.75 million guaranteed.
Johnson averaged $5.2 million in annual value, while Ekeler averaged $6.13 million annually. Considering the difference in guaranteed money from Johnson to Ekeler is $5.75 million, and the difference in terms is one year, it is essentially just that final year that is the difference.
Considering Ekeler was signed after Duke Johnson, the Chargers and Ekeler likely used Johnson and moved up the average a bit with the cap hit, and the constant one-up on contracts in this manner.
On top of that, Ekeler has not contributed on special teams in the same manner. When looking at the contracts of these two, and how they faired similarly to Cohen, it is fair to think that Cohen will see an annual salary starting at $6.25 million.
A 4-year, $26 million deal, with $15 million guaranteed could be the type of contract that Cohen would be looking at. Does this seem like a deal reasonable for Cohen? Would you sign him to those terms?