There were 253 selections made in the 2017 NFL Draft, and only nine remain unsigned. One of those nine is Bears’ QB, Mitch Trubisky.
Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk recently ran down the list of draft picks who haven’t signed on the dotted line, and, as you well know, that includes Trubisky. Of course, the Bears are not alone in this regard, but there’s no doubt that the team is going to want to tie up its final loose end as soon as possible. And even though Trubisky’s contract isn’t a problem yet, it would be nice for one to get done before training camp starts.
Especially knowing that there is one factor that could keep Trubisky off the practice field.
CSN Chicago’s Chris Boden reports that Trubisky’s agents – Bruce and Ryan Tollner – will not allow Trubisky to take the field at Bourbonnais for training camp if a deal isn’t in place. Even though they let it slide as Trubisky was a full participant during OTAs and minicamp, the proverbial line in the sand has been drawn. Trubisky has said all the right things this offseason, including recently when he said he wouldn’t hold out because of his contract status. However, the game and the business aspect of football will eventually meet at an intersection.
This also isn’t the Tollners’ first rodeo. They represented the first two quarterbacks selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, getting Jared Goff a four-year deal worth $27.9 million (plus $18.6 million in a signing bonus) from the Los Angeles Rams and a similar four-year deal from the Philadelphia Eagles for Carson Wentz that totaled $26.67 million and included a $17.6 million signing bonus.
Sam Bradford was the last quarterback draft pick to receive a mega-deal back in 2010 when he signed a six-year contract worth $78 million with $50 million guaranteed. The NFL has since tightened restrictions on what first-round picks can get with their first contracts. Even still, salaries for first-round rookie quarterbacks have been consistently in the $20 million dollar range, but have been on a steady rise in recent years – especially those who were selected at the top of the draft.
In 2015, Jameis Winston received $23.4 million with a $16.7 million signing bonus, while Marcus Mariota ($15.9 million) wasn’t too far behind. Blake Bortles was the first quarterback taken in 2014, and the third overall pick was given a fully guaranteed deal worth $20.6 million. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III went 1-2 in the 2012 draft, and both received more than $20 million. Cam Newton went first overall in 2011, and the Panthers gave him $22 million guaranteed.
With recent history (and some back-of-the-envelope math accounting for inflation and the generally rising cost of doing business) as our guide, perhaps Trubisky’s deal will be a similar four-year pact worth up to $30 million and at least $18 million in a signing bonus.
Besides Trubisky, there are three other top-10 picks (49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas, Titans receiver Corey Davis, and Jets safety Jamal Adams) who are among the six first-rounders who haven’t agreed to deals. Since he is the highest pick left unsigned, it’s possible his deal could start a domino effect that leads to other signings following shortly.