Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields was the first of round 1 signal callers from 2021 NFL Draft to sign his contract. Let’s look at the details of Fields’ contract, his impact on Bears salary cap, and what opportunities bears will have with fields in the future.
Justin Fields’ contract information and bonuses
As with all novice contracts, the value of Fields’ agreement was awarded based on his draft position as 11th overall. The total value of the contract was set at a fully guaranteed $ 18.9 million on a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth year. The fifth year option is not included in the $ 18.9 million. Instead, it’s based on Fields’ performance in his first three years in the league.
The specifications for Fields’ contract include a signing bonus of nearly $ 11.1 million with about $ 7.8 million in salary. All this money is guaranteed, provided that Fields does not do anything to guarantee that the contract will be canceled.
What impact will the Fields deal have on the Bears’ salary cap?
While Fields receives $ 11.8 million in cash as a rookie, his salary cap number is markedly different.
Fields’ $ 11.1 million signature bonus will be proportional over the four years of his contract to nearly $ 2.8 million a year. The $ 2.8 million is combined with Fields’ salary for each year to determine his salary cap number.
By 2021, Fields will count for just over $ 3.4 million in payroll. This number rises to $ 4.3 million in 2022, $ 5.1 million in 2023 and $ 6.0 million in 2024.
What options does the Bears have with Fields’ contract?
The Bears’ options with Fields are somewhat limited by the scope of the rookie contract structure. First, the contract, as mentioned above, is fully guaranteed. Therefore, even though the Bears want to release Fields, they are not saving anything of $ 18.9 million.
The only warning would be if Fields were to violate the team or league code of conduct. Should that happen, the team could cancel the remaining guaranteed money and regain some of the signature bonuses.
The Bears decided to move from Fields during the course of his contract, the remaining proportionate signing bonus would accelerate on their cap in the season they release him. If the bears cut fields before 2022, they would have $ 15.4 million in dead money. That would drop to $ 11.2 million in 2023 and $ 6.0 million in 2024.
When is Fields eligible for an extension?
Bears and Fields will not be able to accept a contract extension until after Fields’ third year in NFL. Therefore, Fields is eligible for an extension after the 2023 season. That offseason in 2024 will be an exciting one for Fields. In addition, this is the time when the bear will have to make a decision on whether or not Fields’ fifth-year option should be exercised.