How Proposed CBA Could Fatten Mitchell Trubisky's Wallet

Gene Chamberlain

The Bears will have to make a commitment to Mitchell Trubisky soon.

If the proposed collective bargaining agreement passes, it will make that commitment more ironclad.

If the CBA passes a vote of players then the Bears could be forced to pay out $24 million to Mitchell Trubisky in 2021 and count it against their salary cap. Under the proposed CBA passed by owners, a fifth-year option on a rookie deal  that is picked up would be guaranteed.

This would go into effect in time to mean the Bears would have to pay Trubisky the $24 million due on his fifth-year option for 2021 if they pick it up. 

Under the current CBA, the fifth-year options are guaranteed only in case of injury. So they can cut a player after picking up an option if he's healthy, and they don't have to count that option year against the cap or pay him.   

For example, right now Leonard Floyd is supposed to be playing the option year on his deal in 2020 because the Bears picked up the option. If the Bears decided to cut him they wouldn't have to pay him or count any money against the cap. This wouldn't be the case in the future, and Trubisky would be the first Bears beneficiary of the rule.

So essentially right now picking up an option year really means virtually nothing unless there is an injury. 

When you hear the Bears have to decide whether to pick up Trubisky's option by May, all it really means is they don't intend to let him leave after his fourth year, but things could still change if he starts to stink the place up in 2020.

In Trubisky's case, picking up the option at the moment would be wise if they plan to keep him would be wise because it limits what they pay him to $24 million. If they didn't pick up the option and he had a breakthrough season, they might have to pay him $27 million or more to put a franchise tag on him.

Of course, the Bears could make it all a moot point by simply declining the fifth-year option all together. The chances of that based on their complete backing of Trubisky to this point seem to be slim and none.

Players across Twitter on Friday took to roundly criticizing the full CBA proposal, which included a 17-game schedule and an extra playoff team as well as more active players on game day.

Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson responded angrily to the proposed CBA Friday which players never officially voted to accept.

"Rip it up!" he said on Twitter.

Most of the criticism centered around cash, of course.

The current CBA does not expire until after the 2020 season.

The owners voted Thursday to approve a CBA proposal, which had been negotiated between the sides. But on Friday the players held a three-hour conference call among player reps after the executive council of the union voted 6-5 not to recommend the proposal to the union members for approval. No vote of the rank and file was taken.

Among the bigger concerns besides money is player safety with the addition of a game, and also lack of proper compensation for the extra game.

There could still be a vote next week at the annual NFLPA meeting held during the combine in Indianapolis.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported if the players didn't approve the current proposal, owners would consider the offer rejected and would proceed with the 2020 season under the current rules outlined in the 2011 CBA. 

It could mean the league is on the fast track for a lockout like they had in 2011.

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