Rising doubts emerge over two future Bears superstars still unsigned

Chris Lewis
June 22, 2024  (8:30 PM)

Ryan poles, bears
Photo credit: New york post

Atlanta Falcons sign Michael Penix Jr.; Bears left with two unsigned first-round picks.

The Atlanta Falcons made headlines on Friday by signing quarterback Michael Penix Jr., a move that highlights the ongoing contract negotiations for other first-round picks. As reported by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Penix's signing leaves the Chicago Bears with two of the five remaining unsigned players from the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Falcons drafted Penix eighth overall, one spot ahead of the Bears' pick, wide receiver Rome Odunze. Following Odunze, Minnesota's J.J. McCarthy also remains unsigned. Additionally, the Bears' No. 1 pick, quarterback Caleb Williams, edge rusher Dallas Turner of the Vikings, and Cincinnati's tackle Amarius Mims are still without contracts. Williams was selected 17th overall, while Mims was taken 18th.
Penix's contract is reportedly valued at $22.8 million, as per NFL Network. In comparison, had estimated Odunze's ninth-slot contract to be worth $22.7 million, with a $13.3 million signing bonus. The fifth-year option for Odunze's deal in 2028 is not included in the $22.7 million figure.
The pressure is on for the Bears to finalize contracts with Williams and Odunze, especially with the early start to training camp. Rookies are expected to report on July 16, followed by veterans on July 19, with practices beginning on July 20. This accelerated timeline is due to the Bears' participation in the Hall of Fame Game. projects Williams' deal to be worth $39.4 million, including a $25.5 million signing bonus and the fifth-year option.
Last year, the Bears managed to sign their lone first-round pick, right tackle Darnell Wright, by May 15. However, the No. 1 pick in the draft last year, Bryce Young, did not sign until July 22.
Despite the delay, Williams is unlikely to face financial difficulties. Reports indicate he earned approximately $10 million in endorsement deals while at USC. Additionally, he is involved as a partner in the 888 Midas investment firm.
As the signing period continues, all eyes will be on the Bears to see if they can secure their top picks in time for training camp, ensuring their rookies are ready for the upcoming season.
Source: sports illustrated
Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze Among Five Unsigned First-Rounders
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Rising doubts emerge over two future Bears superstars still unsigned

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