The Bears made a mistake by trading up and taking quarterback Mitch Trubisky in the 2017 draft. The Bears admitted the mistake, and avoided compounding it, by declining to exercise Trubisky’s fifth-year option.
Because he was a top-10 pick, Trubisky’s fifth-year option for 2021 would have been the quarterback transition tender for 2020. That’s $24.837 million, for one more season.
While guaranteed only for injury throughout 2020, the fact that the option salary would have become fully guaranteed on the first day of the 2021 league year means that, if Trubisky would have suffered an injury in 2020 that prevented him from passing a physical before mid-March of 2021, the Bears would have been on the hook for the full amount — and in turn stuck with Trubisky.
Thus, it made much more sense to pass on the option, to keep Trubisky (his 2020 salary is already guaranteed), and to see what happens. If he wins the starting job and plays well (or if he loses the competition, Nick Foles gets injured, and then Trubisky enters and plays well), that will be the proverbial good problem to have. With the salary cap for 2021 quite likely to drop next year, the quarterback franchise tender would drop below the $26.8 million figure that applied this year.
So they made a mistake in 2017. They know it. But instead of potentially making it worse, they’ve admitted it. And if Trubisky in a contract year returns to his level of play in 2018 and pushes it even higher, the Bears would be happy to sign him to a new deal or apply the franchise tag.
Bears avoided compounding their mistake by declining Mitch Trubisky option originally appeared on Pro Football Talk