We've about reached the peak of mock draft season now that we're 33 days away from the NFL draft.
Offensive tackle and wide receiver are popping up most frequently as the positions the Bears will address, you know, if they don't deal the pick and more ransom to the Denver Broncos for Jay Cutler.
We'll certainly look more closely at who the Bears will be targeting in the days and weeks to come. But for now, let's examine the cost of the first-round pick. There's never a cookie cutter deal to work off of in the NFL, but unless the Bears surprise many and draft a quarterback, the contract of the 18th pick from 2008 will not be real applicable for the Bears.
That is the pick the Baltimore Ravens used to grab quarterback Joe Flacco last year. Quarterback contracts are always a little different, as we'll illustrate below.
The Bears had an interesting situation a year ago, too, when they were in the same slot as New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, the 14th pick in 2007. Revis' deal was different in that it voided after the fourth year but the Jets had an option to buy back years Five and Six. So, chances are that once again the Bears will not be working off a contract from the previous year that will be a good fit for them. It might be a great fit for the player, though, so keep that in mind when the time for negotiations comes.
Here is a look at the three previous 18th overall picks and their deals:
2008 Baltimore QB Joe Flacco $8.4 million guaranteed, $11.9 million real value, $29.8 million max value
2007 Cincinnati CB Leon Hall $8.2 million guaranteed, $11.0 million real value, $13.6 million max value
2006 Dallas LB Bobby Carpenter $7.8 million guaranteed, $10.8 million real value, $10.8 million max value
So, it looks like the Bears will have to guarantee the 18th pick in the draft somewhere in the neighborhood of $8.5 million. That is $1 million less than Chris Williams received as the 14th overall pick last year.
It's worth noting that Flacco already triggered $3 million in escalators toward that maximum value by hitting an 80 percent play time trigger as a rookie that increased his base pay by $750,000 over each of the next four seasons. He also picked up $400,000 for winning two playoff games.