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Adam Schefter Provides Troubling Update On Caleb Williams’ Contract

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Five 1st round picks remain unsigned by their respective teams. Training camp is less than two weeks away. Two of those five picks belong to the Chicago Bears. Both Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze have yet to sign their contracts. While there is no reason to panic yet, fans are starting to get nervous. They know how counterproductive camp holdouts can get. It happened with Cedric Benson in 2005 and again with Roquan Smith in 2018. Both didn’t get off to great starts as rookies. Adam Schefter of ESPN provided an update on the situation.

Given the relatively rigid structure of the rookie wage scale, these contracts are largely formalities for NFL teams. It shouldn’t take long to get players signed. While Schefter isn’t worried about Odunze, believing he will get done soon, Williams is another matter. It appears the young quarterback is furthering what his father started a few months ago, trying to find ways to circumvent the Collective Bargaining Agreement. He wants to upend the rookie contract structure in some way.

Adam Schefter and others know Williams has little wiggle room.

Unless he’s willing to hold out into training camp and even the regular season, he doesn’t have much leverage. The NFL isn’t going to make an exception for him or anybody else. The CBA is binding for all rookies, regardless of where they were drafted or how big their media profile is. Williams is free to pursue certain language in the contract, such as offset guarantees to protect him from injuries. That is something Smith battled over six years ago. Would the quarterback put his rookie season in jeopardy by trying to make a statement?

That seems unlikely. Ryan Poles isn’t the sort of GM who will be bullied into compliance. He’s willing to work with Caleb Williams to find a deal that both sides are happy with. Still, his job is to do what is best for the Bears. Don’t forget it felt like Jaylon Johnson was ready to force his way out of town at one point. Poles navigated that to eventually secure an extension. That is why Adam Schefter seems confident things will work out. Unless there is a drastic impasse between the two sides, Williams and Odunze should still end up under contract by the time players report on July 19th.


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