NFL insider reveals why Caleb Williams hasn't signed his rookie contract yet

Chicago Bears Mandatory Minicamp
Chicago Bears Mandatory Minicamp / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Only five rookies from the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft remain unsigned, including Bears quarterback Caleb Williams and wide receiver Rome Odunze.

While it's still too early for Bears' fans to be concerned, with Training Camp set to begin in under two weeks, it is getting close to the time that both Williams and Odunze should be signing their rookie contract to ensure they will be on the field at the start of camp.

To that end, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk offered three reasons why Williams and Odunze may have yet to sign their rookie contracts.

"1. Signing bonus cash flow: How much of the signing bonus is paid up front? How much is deferred, and for how long? Players want the money ASAFP. Teams might try to push some of it out, by a year or longer.

2. Voiding of guarantees: What will it take to let a team wipe out the remaining guarantees? There have been issues in the past about suspensions for certain on-field infractions opening the door to erasing the guaranteed money. Players want to limit the team’s ability to un-guarantee the guaranteed cash. Teams prefer the flexibility to get out from under a bad deal.

3. Guarantee offsets: If the player is released with guaranteed money left, will earnings elsewhere reduce the money owed? The player prefers to double dip. The team wants to get credit for salary from a new NFL franchise."

Pro Football Talk

In the case of Williams, it should be worth mentioning that he previously said earlier this offseason that he is not involved in the negotiations of his rookie contract.

Of the reasons that Florio listed, the Bears do have experience in overcoming concerns regarding the voiding of guarantees. When Roquan Smith was selected by the Bears in the first round of the 2018 draft, Smith originally held out due to the language surrounding the cash implications of a possible on-field suspension.

The Bears' rookies are set to report to Training Camp on July 16. There is still time for both Williams and Odunze to finalize their rookie deals before then, but as each day passes, the concern meter begins to be dusted off.