EDIT: It’s official!
With the post-June 1st release of Charles Leno Jr. getting his salary off the books, the Chicago Bears have the necessary money to sign their entire 2021 NFL Draft class, and they wasted no time in getting on that by inking all of their day three draft picks on June 2.
It’s now being reported that they have their first round QB Justin Fields locked up on a standard 4-year deal with a 5th-year team option. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network had it first, and he has the numbers like this; 4-years, $18,871,952 total, with a signing bonus of $11,085,056.
The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reports that Fields’ contract is the only one thus far to have no offset language on any of the guarantees.
I asked PFF’s Brad Spielberger for some clarification on what the offset language means and he told me that basically this is the Bears doing Fields a solid, and it ensures he’ll “earn every penny from this contract regardless of what happens on the football field.”
In case you need a reminder, here are all of the Bears picks.
- First round, Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (signed)
- Second round, Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
- Fifth round, Larry Borom, OL, Missouri (signed)
- Sixth round, Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech (signed)
- Sixth round, Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina (signed)
- Sixth round, Thomas Graham, CB, Oregon (signed)
- Seventh round, Khyiris Tonga, DL, BYU (signed)
Last week head coach Matt Nagy confirmed that Fields will open the offseason up getting second-string reps behind QB1 Andy Dalton with Nick Foles working as the number three, but at this point it’s a question of “when” and not “if” Fields will take over as the starter this year.
With the NFL’s slotted salary structure in place we already know the general contract each of the rookies will sign, so this will leave the Bears sitting right around $5 million in available cap space once they get second round pick Teven Jenkins under wraps.