49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick says he did a deal specifically aimed at allowing the team to retain other players. But if the team wants to use Kaepernick’s contract as a template for other negotiations, the terms could make it harder to get more deals done.
As explained by Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, unnamed industry insiders believe Kaepernick’s contract could complicate other negotiations. With Kaepernick getting a signing bonus of only (only?) $12.328 million, players like guard Mike Iupati and receiver Michael Crabtree (pictured with Kaepernick) may want much more — and it would be hard to justify giving it to them if the 49ers didn’t give it to the supposed leader of the team.
Iupati and Crabtree will be free agents in 2015. Other playersm like offensive lineman Alex Boone and tight end Vernon Davis, have boycotted offseason workouts in order to get new contracts (or perhaps to simply build their brand . . . by getting new contracts).
It will be easy for other quarterbacks on other teams to claim Kaepernick’s team-friendly deal constitutes an aberration. It will be harder for other 49ers to make that argument stick with the same front office that persuaded Kaepernick to take less than he could have gotten, especially if he’d made not a year-to-year bet on himself but a Joe Flacco-style all-in one-time wager that could have backed the franchise into a corner come 2015.
Just because Kaepernick took less doesn’t mean other guys will, and if other guys don’t they’ll either be leaving to get more elsewhere or they’ll be getting better deals (relative to their positions) than the guy who plays the most important position. Which could create some awkwardness and/or hard feelings.