As much as Bears top draft pick Mitch Trubisky says he'll be on the field as part of the first training camp practice three weeks from Thursday, he and his agents know this is a business.
Bruce and Ryan Tollner will not let their client take the field in Bourbonnais without a deal in place, even if they let it slide during organized team activities and minicamp last month. It's great the kid says he'll be there, deal or not, but they won't let it happen without being signed, sealed and delivered.
It's important to note that the Tollners have represented the last two No. 2 overall picks, who've also happened to be quarterbacks. Back in 2015, Marcus Mariota was their man and things got a little dicey before he eventually signed a four-year, $24 million contract that included nearly $16 million guaranteed. The Titans historically didn't include offset language in their deals for first-rounders, but agreed to a partial offset in this case as the day of reckoning neared. Offset language allows teams to only pay the portion of the original contract if, in the worst-case scenario, the player is such a bust that they cut him but is signed elsewhere. Any new deal would offset or negate the fourth-year salary of his original rookie contract from what he's paid by his new team. He'd be basically earning what the new team pays, not the money from his original contract plus the salary from his new team.
Last year, the Tollners and Carson Wentz accepted offset language, as did Jared Goff with the Rams. In the end, Wentz signed a four-year deal worth approximately $27 million, about $17-1/2 million guaranteed.
Based on that math, the Bears are probably looking at a four-year investment worth $28-30 million, and upwards of $18 million or more guaranteed. The offset language, the i's dotted and the t's crossed, factor into whether the kid's promises to be on the field July 27 become a reality.
The White Sox have taken the first step to paving a way for Jim Harbaugh to leave Michigan for a coaching job with the Bears.
Well, sort of.
As the White Sox were wrapping up Day 3 on the 2017 MLB Draft on Wednesday afternoon, they selected a player with a family connection to the Wolverines head coach.
Riley Crean, the nephew of Harbaugh and the son of former Indiana basketball head coach Tom Crean, was drafted by the White Sox in the 35th round (No. 1,047).
The South Siders connection with Riley Crean comes from White Sox Scouting Director Nick Hostetler being close friends with Tom Crean, according to the Chicago Tribune. Also, Riley Crean played for the White Sox Are Code Team.
Topping out at 87 MPH on the mound for Bloomington North High School as a senior in 2017, Riley Crean is currently committed to play baseball for the Hoosiers. However, the Herald-Times reports that Riley Crean will not attend Indiana and is headed to Florida to play for IMG Academy in 2018. Attending IMG will allow Riley Crean to be eligible for next year's draft, rather than having to wait until after his junior year to be selected again due to NCAA rules.
While Riley Crean won't be putting on a White Sox uniform anytime soon, it does give him a chance to eventually follow in his uncle's footsteps and play for the team that drafted him in Chicago.
Harbaugh played for the Bears from 1987-1993 after he was selected by the organization in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft.
Maybe by the time Riley Crean is ready for the big leagues, Harbaugh will be pacing up and down the sidelines in his khakis at Soldier Field.
The Bears announced on Wednesday they have signed free agent fullback Michael Burton and waived undrafted rookie tight end Franko House.
Burton, 25, was waived by the Detroit Lions on Tuesday after spending the first two years of his NFL career with the club.
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Burton, originally a fifth round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Rutgers, has appeared in 31 games and has accumulated six receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Burton will likely head into training camp to compete with undrafted free agent Freddie Stevenson as the Bears' starting fullback.
House was signed by the Bears out of Ball State earlier this month after a a standout basketball career for the Cardinals.