Minicamp News Roundup: How unresolved contract situations, trade scenarios are impacting Terry McLaurin, DK Metcalf, and others

Multiple high-profile NFL players, including Terry McLaurin and DK Metcalf, are engaged in unresolved contract situations as minicamps begin.

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

There are positive signs of a thaw in the relationship between wide receiver Deebo Samuel and the San Francisco 49ers. Although Samuel requested a trade in April, he went to the 49ers’ minicamp and worked on the side.

The 49ers have made it abundantly clear through head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch that they have no intentions of trading Samuel. He’s their most dangerous offensive piece and pivotal to their game plan as a versatile and bruising player who’s capable of running away from or through defenders.

What’s the relationship like?

“I think it’s always been all right,” Shanahan said. “I know we’ve gone through the business part of this league and things like that but I don’t think the relationship was ever too far away to not get it back to normal and I think we’re working on that.

“Anytime you’re away from each other for a while, that’s always harder, but it’s good to get him back in here and start getting him around the guys again. I love our relationship with Deebo and hopefully, that will help us be able to solve this contractually before we get to the season.”

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

Like Mayfield, Jimmy Garoppolo is another quarterback who’s available for the right price. The 49ers’ veteran passer was excused from the 49ers’ minicamp because he’s still rehabbing his surgically repaired right shoulder.

The 49ers are preparing second-year quarterback Trey Lance to be their new QB1, but they haven’t entirely moved on from Jimmy G. And they’ll have to wait until he’s fully healthy to strike a deal. Obviously, the 49ers aren’t going to just give away Garoppolo.

“All his rehab is down in LA, so for him to stop it to come up here for a three-day minicamp doesn’t make much sense for him or for us,” Shanahan said. “So, we want him to stay with his rehab. It wasn’t a real risky surgery or anything. It just takes time. So I think the plan still has always been July, but I know there’s no concerns with it and he’ll be throwing sooner than later.”

Robert Quinn, Chicago Bears

When new Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles traded pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers, it delivered a message about how he saw the reality of a significant rebuild.

Having a 32-year-old pass rusher like Robert Quinn coming off of an 18 1/2 sack season and due $17 million in 2022 under a five-year, $70 million contract represents something of a luxury item for the Bears.

Now, Quinn would prefer a trade rather than sign on for a lengthy rebuild, and he isn’t attending minicamp. The Bears could save nearly $13 million by trading Quinn. However, finding a trade partner to take on that salary isn’t an easy task.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Quinn weighed in on the situation in April.

“At the end of the day, it’s a business,” Quinn said. “Again, you see Khalil Mack getting traded. I mean, again, it’s just a business. I didn’t expect to go anywhere, but, again, this is a crazy business. If something’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, but, again, it is what it is.”

That old Bill Parcells phrase — “It is what it is” — could be applied and is frequently applied around the league. It’s a fitting adage for how the NFL conducts business and the ebb and flow of players’ happiness and discontent.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus commented on the situation Tuesday.

“We’re not talking about that as an organization,” he said. “We hoped he would be here, he is not. Ryan and his staff are going to work through that.”

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys franchise player and standout tight end Dalton Schultz reported to minicamp after skipping voluntary practices last week. Schultz and the Cowboys are both hoping to strike a long-term deal, and the two sides are talking.

Whether that will result in a deal before a July 15 NFL deadline for franchise players to finalize a contract extension or play under the tag is unclear. No deal is regarded as imminent or developing at this time.

Schultz is due a $10.9 million one-year franchise tender after catching 78 passes for 808 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

The Cowboys have a history of having players play under the franchise tag to secure their services before later working out deals. That was the case for quarterback Dak Prescott and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Time will determine whether that’s how it works out for Schultz.

Schultz will certainly be looking for a larger contract now that the Cleveland Browns have rewarded David Njoku this offseason with a four-year, $57 million contract that included $28 million guaranteed and made him the NFL’s fifth-highest paid tight end.

Jessie Bates III, Cincinnati Bengals

The contractual divide between the Cincinnati Bengals and safety Jessie Bates III remains significant. Bates is skipping the Bengals’ minicamp and other offseason workouts and is not expected to report for training camp unless he gets a new contract.

Assigned a $12.911 million franchise tag, Bates has yet to sign his tender and is regarded as unlikely to do so until he gets what he wants financially. This situation is expected to drag out between the Bengals and Bates, who had 20 tackles, six pass defections, and two interceptions in four playoff games last year. He had 88 tackles, one interception, and four pass deflections in the regular season.

Bates is one of the more athletic and instinctive safeties in the league.

“He’s a guy that developed and that has played well that has a real role on our team in a lot of different areas, particularly in leadership and playmaking skill,” Bengals executive Duke Tobin said earlier this offseason. “He’s a guy we want going forward.”

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow expressed support for Bates during a press conference.

“Jessie’s a big part of this team,” Burrow said. “He’s been a guy who has kind of built what we’re doing here. He was one of the first. Jessie’s exactly the kind of player I think you want to reward for the work he’s done the last four years, through the ups and the down. We weren’t very good for three years while he was here. He’s been through it all. We’re hoping everything works out in his favor.

“I know that he’s working really hard right now in the weight room. He’s looking great. He’s going to be ready to go whenever he gets here. Business is business. He’s got to take care of what he’s got to take care of, but I know when it’s time to show up, he’s going to be ready to go.”

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