Mitch Trubisky is the only player drafted by the Chicago Bears this April whose contract remains unsigned.
Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times and Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune write head coach John Fox isn’t worried about the lack of a signed deal yet. Trubisky, who isn’t worried about the lack of a deal either, has been a participant throughout the Bears’ offseason program, from rookie mini-camp, to OTAs, and mandatory mini-camp. And while it’s not a distraction now, that might not be the case if this is drags into training camp.
The worst-case scenario is that this continues deep into training camp/preseason, and causes Trubisky to miss snaps and practice reps. Trubisky arrives in Chicago with the high expectations that come along with being the first quarterback taken in the draft, the No. 2 overall selection, and a potential franchise QB. Or, at minimum, a long-term solution to the most unstable position in recent Bears history.
Last year, the San Diego Chargers (remember, they’re in Los Angeles now) made Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa the No. 3 overall selection in the draft. But Bosa held out for 31 days while his contact dispute was settled. It didn’t turn out to hurt Bosa, who turned in a monster rookie season with 10.5 sacks in 12 games. Of course, Trubisky won’t be expected to put up gaudy numbers as a rookie. He isn’t even projected to start with Mike Glennon in tow. In fact, Trubisky’s best-case scenario might be one in which he doesn’t play at all in 2017.
As for Trubisky’s contract, he projects to make a little more than what Carson Wentz – last year’s No. 2 overall pick – made and he signed a four-year deal worth $26.67 million with the Philadelphia Eagles (including a reported $17.6 million in guarantees). The Los Angeles Rams made Jared Goff the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, and, as the first quarterback selected, Goff signed a four-year contract worth $27.9 million ($18.6 million signing bonus). The Cal product signed his deal in early June, right before the conclusion of the team’s offseason training program, allowing him to be a full (and completely undistracted) participant in training camp. Trubisky is one of three unsigned top-five picks. Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, already signed his deal – which includes $20.25 million in guaranteed money and could be worth up to $30.4 million.
Based on recent history, it is evident that the parameters are in place for a deal to get ironed out sooner rather than later.
While Fox might not be worried about Trubisky’s contract status, the quarterbacks room is the most important position for him as he enters his third year with the Bears. Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times writes about a more hands-on approach for Fox with regards to the quarterback position and noted some new looks at Bears camp – including virtual reality simulations to get quarterbacks more reps and videoboards on the sideline showing instant replays of plays that just happened. And over at CBS Chicago, Chris Emma writes this is the most encouraged Fox had felt in his time since joining the Bears.
In the end, it all circles back to Trubisky, whose progress will determine more about the team’s long-term outlook than any other situation. And the clock will officially start when Trubisky puts pen on paper and signs his contract.