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Kaepernick shrugs off questions about his team-friendly deal

Kaepernick AP

More than two weeks ago, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick got his new contract.  Full analysis of the contract suggested that Kaepernick got hosed.

Exacerbating the problem was a misguided effort by the Kaepernick camp to make the numbers look bigger than they are, worth “up to $126 million” and carrying $61 million guaranteed.

On the final day of the team’s mandatory minicamp, Kaepernick addressed the perception (reality) that the 49ers got the much better end of the bargain.

“You can skew things however you want,” Kaepernick told reporters.  “At the end of the day, a lot of the way the contract is set up is how every other quarterback’s contract is set up.  And the things that aren’t set up like those contracts are because we wanted them that way so we can sign other players. . . .  It was very deliberate by [my] agents, the organization and myself that we want things done this way so we can keep a solid team here.”

Kaepernick still hasn’t explained how the deal helps the 49ers sign other players, apart from the obvious fact that it pays him well below top-of-the-market value in the first few years and that, by the time his annual averages moves toward the top of the current market, ongoing spikes in the salary cap will keep the deal in the middle of the pack.

In 2013, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did a much-publicized team friendly five-year deal.  And he received $30 million at the time he signed it.  Kaepernick committed for two more years — and got $18 million less to sign.

Nearly $50 million in the rest of Kaepernick’s supposedly “guaranteed” money isn’t fully guaranteed.  It’s guaranteed only if he has a career-ending injury, and he has been required to buy a $20 million insurance policy payable to the team in the event that happens.

The money becomes fully guaranteed over the next five years, with the 49ers having the ability in each and every year to move on from Kaepernick — and to wait until the end of March to make a decision.

The end of March.  Every year.  The 49ers can explore all other options in free agency and trades, and the team can do a lot of its pre-draft homework before having to renew vows with Kaepernick.  If/when the team decides to go in a different direction, Kaepernick could end up on the market after the money has flowed in free agency, and after all other teams have addressed their needs at the quarterback position.

As a result, Kaepernick needs to keep playing at a high level, year in and year out.  Kaepernick acknowledged on Thursday that he is betting on himself with that arrangement.

The far better bet would have been to go all in for 2014, telling the 49ers, “Let’s talk after the season.”  He opted to take the money now, and as a result he took a lot less than he could have gotten.  Now he has to keep playing at a high level in order to get everything he has been promised.

Otherwise, there will be a flurry of blurbs in 2017 or so regarding Kaepernick’s public lament that the 49ers did him wrong by waiting so long to cut him.

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35 Responses to “Kaepernick shrugs off questions about his team-friendly deal”
  1. ngbradley says: Jun 20, 2014 8:09 AM

    You’re criticizing him for betting on himself?

    It’s team friendly because he doesn’t start getting paid until Justin Smith, Gore, etc. Are all retired.

  2. mn2long says: Jun 20, 2014 8:09 AM

    Oh no. A player that’s OK with only making the big money only if he earns it. What’s next, tickets to games dropping below $150? The wworldmay just fall apart.

  3. touchdownroddywhite says: Jun 20, 2014 8:10 AM

    Why does he need to explain how it helps sign other players aside from the fact he took less money? Isn’t that the only way to sign a deal that allows the team flexibility in signing other players to support him?

  4. jjackwagon says: Jun 20, 2014 8:17 AM

    See…the team knows what they really have in Kaep even if the fans don’t.

    #WekeptthewrongQB

  5. baddegg says: Jun 20, 2014 8:21 AM

    When QBs sign for huge contracts (e.g. Manning, Flacco) — they are selfish, they are hurting the team, just getting theirs.

    When QBs sign a reasonable deal (e.g. Kap) — he’s foolish, gulliable, got “hosed”

    Whatever. You can’t win no matter what you do.

  6. teal379 says: Jun 20, 2014 8:22 AM

    There’s also the very real possibility that he simply doesn’t understand the deal he signed and only gets the high points his agent told him about.

    He sees the zeros but doesn’t understand how they affect him or what he has to do to actually earn them.

    The reason the initial release said things like “61 million guaranteed” was because that’s what he really thinks he has.

  7. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 20, 2014 8:24 AM

    Well if things don’t work out then the team can always trade him. And I’m sure he won’t complain no matter what team he could get traded to, since that’s all part of the deal. But if he didn’t agree to a deal that the team liked, then they could also have traded him right now, and what are the odds that in this same scenario he is going to get some team to pay more than what the 49ers did, and in addition to giving up material to trade for him. It’s just a calculated decision on both sides to solve the money problem of today, and in a few years I’m sure one side will come knocking and saying this is a terrible deal that needs to be adjusted!

  8. jimmyt says: Jun 20, 2014 8:35 AM

    Kaepernick got hosed? Full analysis by whom. If anything he is overpaid.

  9. missingsock215 says: Jun 20, 2014 8:59 AM

    Did he just compare what Tom Brady was making versus Colin Kaepernick? How many Super Bowls has Kaep won again?

  10. wiitrainingcamp says: Jun 20, 2014 9:09 AM

    “Kaepernick still hasn’t explained how the deal helps the 49ers sign other players, apart from the obvious fact that it pays him well below top-of-the-market value in the first few years and that, by the time his annual averages moves toward the top of the current market, ongoing spikes in the salary cap will keep the deal in the middle of the pack.”

    Maybe it’s too early in the morning for me, but isn’t the fact that he’s making less than “top-of-the-market” make it pretty obvious that it frees up more money to sign the other players? What is there to explain?

    I don’t get the media hate for this deal at all. If this contract keeps the team together and by doing so brings home a Super Bowl, you can bet the media will be lining up to praise him for putting the team first. Either way it’s not like Kaepernick’s not going to be able to pay the rent.

  11. joshm5683 says: Jun 20, 2014 9:11 AM

    I think anytime you play a professional sport with chance of injury and someone offers you more money than you’ve ever seen before in your life……….you take it. Yeah, he isn’t the highest paid QB in the NFL, but he also isn’t the best QB in the NFL?

    These athletes really can’t win. If he had taken a deal the size or bigger than Cutler got recently, everyone would say he got overpaid and wasn’t worth it. Now that he took what probably is his correct value at the current time, he is getting criticized for not making the money grab.

    As we have seen in the NFL and even currently 2 players on Kaepernick’s team……….if he feels his deal isn’t fair in 3 or so years, he’ll just hold out and demand more money

  12. KIR says: Jun 20, 2014 9:17 AM

    These players are greedy! If I was a Billionaire owner I’d pay them 50k, make them buy their own insurance and if they have a bad game doc their pay 1,500. I don’t care if most of the guys have broken bodies and are out of the league by 30. Let them go work for 10 bucks an hour like everyone else! II can understand Goodell making 20 million a year, and the owners making a hundred million a year, I can understand the host and broadcast guys on TV making millions but those greedy players don’t deserve any of that money!

  13. beastmode5150 says: Jun 20, 2014 9:18 AM

    Glad this guy doesn’t represent my team.

  14. webofbelief says: Jun 20, 2014 9:21 AM

    “Kaepernick still hasn’t explained how the deal helps the 49ers sign other players, apart from the obvious fact that it pays him well below top-of-the-market value in the first few years and that, by the time his annual averages moves toward the top of the current market, ongoing spikes in the salary cap will keep the deal in the middle of the pack.”

    What else is there to explain?

  15. mysterytonite says: Jun 20, 2014 9:22 AM

    How does it help the team sign players? Really? Uh….he took less up front to sign so there is extra cash there and the 9ers can move from him at the start of any season so they have more flexibility.

    He didn’t piss and moan and squeeze every bit of money he could out of his team like Dew Brees or that shill Peyton Manning. Furthermore, he showed leadership by doing this unlike Brees and Manning who didn’t give a rats ass about former players during the last cba meetings. They were only concerned about negotiating being franchise tagged once so that they would be forced to get long term deals. The sad thing was it wasn’t for rest of the league but just specifically for themselves. Kaepernick is a douche with the headphones and too big hat, but if you can’t see he made a selfless move for the greater good of his team. That is what a true leader does.

  16. winninaintsinnin says: Jun 20, 2014 9:26 AM

    Whether he intended it to be or not, here’s why it was a dumb deal for Kap…

    It’s TEAM friendly in that the team can dump him at little cost. Normally a team friendly deal means “I take less so you can surround me with better players”, not “I’ll set it up so you can get another QB easily”.

    If Kap plays well and gets all his incentives it becomes much less cap friendly and they have less to pay others to surround him.

    If Kap plays poorly they can dump him fairly inexpensively.

    How does this benefit Kap?

  17. winninaintsinnin says: Jun 20, 2014 9:28 AM

    These players are greedy! If I was a Billionaire owner I’d pay them 50k, make them buy their own insurance and if they have a bad game doc their pay 1,500. I don’t care if most of the guys have broken bodies and are out of the league by 30. Let them go work for 10 bucks an hour like everyone else! II can understand Goodell making 20 million a year, and the owners making a hundred million a year, I can understand the host and broadcast guys on TV making millions but those greedy players don’t deserve any of that money
    =================
    Breaks over.

    You’ve got the drive through.

  18. truthofthefootballbusiness says: Jun 20, 2014 9:34 AM

    A great guy but a middle-of-the-pack quarterback. In no way should a qb who isn’t one of the best qbs get top money, no story here folks

  19. sum_cents says: Jun 20, 2014 10:07 AM

    LeBron Kaepernick just can’t win. One day he’s a greedy a-hole, the next day he’s a naive gambler who got hosed.

  20. housethatwalshbuilt says: Jun 20, 2014 10:25 AM

    First he gets roasted for allegedly asking for too much, then for not getting enough? Will Russel get the same treatment from the media when its his turn?

  21. ibdray says: Jun 20, 2014 11:08 AM

    So ridiculous, he didn’t negotiate a “team friendly” contract, he signed the only contract they offered and the one they offered doesn’t show much confidence in his being a franchise QB

  22. deep64blue says: Jun 20, 2014 12:38 PM

    Don’t forget he was only in line for a $900k pay this year, easy to say at a distance he should have risked millions by not signing this deal.

  23. icallbs81 says: Jun 20, 2014 12:49 PM

    grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  24. ninerfansincebirth says: Jun 20, 2014 1:41 PM

    Yes I echo what most have said. His 60 million are guaranteed for injury. And I can tell you that in 3 or 4 years the deal will get redone and the niners are absolutely not letting him go before then and they wouldn’t just walk away they would trade him in February and the whole April thing won’t matter anyway. And besides never gonna happen he took less to start to help in the next couple years retaining the immediate player needs of now and then he gets littlle bit more in a couple years. It’s well done kap you did exactly what you said you would and I applaud that and continue to hate the media..

  25. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 20, 2014 2:49 PM

    That was a take it or leave it offer from the 9ers. I don’t think they fully trust Kaepernick, on or off the field. He’s pretty immature for a 26 year old.

  26. ewilliamsasm says: Jun 20, 2014 3:33 PM

    All contracts should be based on incentives! You put up certain numbers…you earn what you achieve! Lol!

  27. jibberator says: Jun 20, 2014 5:33 PM

    Before he got the deal the media complained that he was going to sink the ship with top QB money that he hasn’t proven he deserves.

    OK, so he gets a deal with money matching his expeience, and you rip him for that too?

    Make up your mind. Its annoying.

  28. 49erlegends says: Jun 20, 2014 5:49 PM

    Can most you even read? Or are you delusional. His deal keeps & will keep a majority of our core around for years. Flacco sold out on his team. Kaep is being the type of man that puts the team 1st. His upside is ridiculous. & he will show it this year. “U CAN BANK ON THAT”. Go NINERS

  29. 2difshoe says: Jun 20, 2014 8:56 PM

    winninaintsinnin says:
    Jun 20, 2014 9:28 AM
    These players are greedy! If I was a Billionaire owner I’d pay them 50k, make them buy their own insurance and if they have a bad game doc their pay 1,500. I don’t care if most of the guys have broken bodies and are out of the league by 30. Let them go work for 10 bucks an hour like everyone else! II can understand Goodell making 20 million a year, and the owners making a hundred million a year, I can understand the host and broadcast guys on TV making millions but those greedy players don’t deserve any of that money
    =================
    Breaks over.

    You’ve got the drive through.

    —————————————————————

    LOL…that just might make comment of the millennium….I’m soiled !

  30. the7ucky says: Jun 20, 2014 10:19 PM

    This article is befuddling. Why would Kaep have to answer for structuring his contract (that ONLY gives him pretty low 8-figures) to be team friendly?

  31. goreisabeast says: Jun 21, 2014 1:03 AM

    If he got paid too much or too little, people would be running their mouths regardless. Unless he’s a complete idiot, which I don’t think he is, he’s set financially for life. What a bad deal…..??

  32. catfanatic1979v1 says: Jun 21, 2014 10:27 AM

    Every QB contract should be structured like Colin’s.

  33. mostovnik says: Jun 21, 2014 11:54 AM

    Weeks before Kaepernick’s contract negotiations ended he stated publicly that he wished to leave enough salary cap room so the team could field other good players and make another playoff run.
    To criticize him for accepting a team-friendly deal and calling it weak on his part is just plane stupid.
    Kudos to Colin for being intelligent.

  34. jflores449 says: Jun 21, 2014 3:41 PM

    He just made $12m and ensured the rest of his team get paid in order to keep and strong game for the 49 ers. Im sure he understands the seriousness and severity of these possible injuries at which time he receives another $30m and after bombarded again, we’ll call around $15m. Either way, he can retire wealthy. Good for him. Best case scenario, he stays healthy, on point and continues to bring success to his team. $$$

  35. warmcoorslight says: Jun 22, 2014 3:11 PM

    Baalke owned Kap on this deal, no two ways about it. I think Kap would have been money ahead if he waited until after 2014 to sign a contract. Because he has not yet shown that he’s a complete QB, he had no leverage in this deal. You watch, if has a great 2014 season he will be wanting to restructure his deal and Ballke will be like “NOPE”.

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