As training camps open, rookies across the league are getting their deals done — with only two exceptions.
For the Jets and Darnold, any delay in getting him to work could make a difference in how soon he’s ready to take over the starting job. Josh McCown is the starter for now, but Darnold starting as a rookie seems to be more a question of “when” than “if.” Missing time in the summer could push the when back further in the fall.
The Bears opened their training camp earlier than other teams because the Bears are in the Hall of Fame Game, and Smith has already missed 10 days of camp. He’s obviously behind his fellow Chicago rookies now.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement mandates that Darnold will get a four-year, $30.5 million guaranteed contract with a fifth-year team option, and Smith will get a four-year, $18.6 million guaranteed contract with a fifth-year team option. The issue in both cases is likely whether there will be offset language to allow the players to get paid simultaneously by their old teams and a new team, in the unlikely event that they get cut by the teams that drafted them and then sign with another team.