Lots of fluff likely in Kaepernick deal


We’ve yet to get our eyes on the specifics of the Colin Kaepernick contract, but the buzz in league circles is that the initial reports created a false impression regarding the true value of the deal.

One league source estimated that the official numbers will come out within 2-3 days.  Until then (if not sooner), here are 10 questions to keep in mind.

1.  How much is fully guaranteed to Kaepernick at signing?

2.  Does the fully guaranteed money include all or part of his base salaries in future years?  Typically, the presence of fully guaranteed base salaries in future years guarantees that the player will be with the team until that money is earned, since it will be paid whether he’s on the team or not.

3.  For any injury-only guarantees that convert in the future to fully guaranteed money, is the trigger tied to the start of the waiver period after the Super Bowl or the start of the league year in March?  The unwritten rule is that teams won’t cut players with guarantee triggers based on the start of the waiver period, but that it’s fair game to cut players whose guarantees convert after the start of the league year.

4.  How much money is tied to escalators and incentives?

5.  For any escalators and incentives, what are the triggers to unlock the extra money?

6.  How much money hinges on per-game roster bonuses, which aren’t paid if the player can’t play?

7.  What are the cap numbers for each year of the deal?

8.  What is the cap hit for cutting or trading Kaepernick in any given year of the contract?

9.  How much cash gets paid in the first year, second year, and third year of the deal?

10.  Does the deal tie the team’s hands for multiple seasons or is it a year-to-year deal?

Regardless of the answers to those questions, league insiders already are grousing about the decision to give the 49ers the ability to hold Kaepernick’s rights for seven years.  As the cap goes up and the quarterback market increases, Kaepernick’s contract could quickly become outdated.  Absent a significant amount of fully-guaranteed money, Kaepernick should have sought a shorter-term deal with a chance to get back to the market while he’s on the right side of 30.

As it stands, Kaepernick won’t get another crack at the open market until he’s 33.  For Kaepernick to make that kind of commitment, the 49ers needed to make a similar commitment to him.  Chances are that they didn’t.

28 responses to “Lots of fluff likely in Kaepernick deal

  1. To earn the kind of money that is being tossed around for him–in the neighborhood of $126 million–he has to get past the Seahawks. His stats against the Seahawks last year? 49% completion rate, 4 INTs and 1 TD. The 49ers should make the contract fluff (in your words) because his game is fluff. He’s a great runner and an average QB.

  2. Everyone not in in San Fransisco secretly hoping for a fluff deal. People seem to hate this dude for no apparent reason. Oddly enough, no one seemed to care when humanlife failure Cutler got an obscene guaranteed contract.

  3. 13. Upon ending the Niners season will he be contractually obligated to say, “….but if I throw it a foot farther, it’s a touchdown…”

  4. 13. Ultimately overpaid. An aging defense — the strong aspect of the team — takes the back seat.

  5. Hopefully this deal will at least put some salary cap pressure on the 49’ers moving forward. The Seahawks day is coming soon too.

  6. $60 million “must pay” isn’t chicken feed in anyone’s world. Kap isn’t stupid. You don’t want to totally ruin a team like Flacco did.

  7. I’m sure it will be posted on spotrac/nfl.com in a couple days. They have all NFL contracts broken down into salary and bonuses.
    Regardless, dudes gotta lotta zeros in his checkbook balance now !!
    And now this might put some self applied pressure on his shoulders to perform like a big money top echelon QB. Not to mention the expectations from the 49’ers organization and fans.

  8. Honestly, seems like a compromise deal for both camps. Kaepernick wants top dollar now, even though he hasn’t exactly earned that. 49ers would prefer to pay him that when he actually does break through, but in lieu of that, they pay him handsomely now, but lock him up for a long time if they decide he is the guy. Deal is expensive now, potentially a bargain in the future. Probably a good move on both sides. Kaepernick gets his money now, even if he doesn’t become truly elite and 49ers pay now but save later if he becomes great.

  9. The public perception of Colin Kaepernick as an NFL quarterback among non 49ers fans is absolutely hysterical. Dude has only played 32 games and no one can deny that he knows how to ball.

  10. Who cares if it makes him look smarter? He got a 4.0 GPA in high school, had a baseball scholarship to Harvard and aced the Wonderlick test. In other words, not only is he more athletic and richer than you, he’s also smarter.

  11. Kaepernick got a 29 on the Wonderlic, which is decent, but hardly “acing” it. His agent floated a false 37 score to pump up his draft status, but Pro Football Weekly had the accurate scores.

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