Kaepernick deal could complicate other negotiations, for now

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In the immediate aftermath of the news that quarterback Colin Kaepernick had signed a new contract, which included puffed-up reports regarding the value of the deal, it appeared that players like Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson would benefit greatly from the new high-water mark.

Now that the water isn’t as high as initially thought, the Kaepernick contract could end up making it harder for young quarterbacks to get what they want or deserve.

Based on the actual terms of the Kaepernick contract, the Panthers and Bengals should offer the same deal to Newton and Andy Dalton, today.  Regardless of how good it looks on the surface, it’s a team-friendly deal that allows the franchise to control the quarterback for seven years at numbers that are reasonable for now and will become unreasonable from the player’s perspective as the salary cap continues to spike.

Next year, when the Class of 2012 quarterbacks become eligible for new contracts, teams like Indy, Seattle, Washington, and Philly should be ready to put the same deal on the table, with perhaps a minor increase to reflect the 2015 salary cap.

In contrast, agents for the young passers poised to be paid will now be forced to show how the Kaepernick deal doesn’t apply to their clients, by pointing to Kaepernick’s actual performance through only 23 regular-season starts and by contrasting his play to that of other young franchise quarterbacks.  For the same reasons the Bengals apparently are having a hard time getting Dalton’s camp to quit trying to get Jay Cutler money in Cincinnati, the Bengals and other teams will now try to get their young quarterbacks to do Kaepernick deals.

Some think it won’t work.  Adam Schefter of ESPN points out that “[w]ord around the NFL” is that the contracts given next year to Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson will fall in the $24 million to $25 million range.

That may be a little optimistic.  The cap has yet to climb to the point where a real, not puffed, $24 million annual package makes sense.  Moreover, the Colts historically force their franchise quarterback to finish his contract before giving him a new one.  That possibly happened with Peyton Manning because Manning has a reputation for getting every dollar he can (and that’s not a criticism).  Luck, who like Kaepernick isn’t represented by one of the better-known and experienced agents, also could opt for the security of a team-friendly deal after three years, instead of pushing through his first five NFL seasons and forcing the team to pay him with the 2017 franchise tag as a starting point.

Regardless, with the cap going up higher and faster than many believe, the high end of the quarterback market will, too.  In hindsight, the Kaepernick contract could end up being more of a speed bump and less of a true obstacle to the coming increase in high-end quarterback money.

26 responses to “Kaepernick deal could complicate other negotiations, for now

  1. No competent agent will have their client sign a “Kaepernick” structured deal.

  2. What a wonderful world we live in. As soon as Kap signs his deal, someone gets busy telling everyone else what a moron he was to sign a deal which gives him more money than he’ll ever need.

    That same person then gets to tell everyone else they shouldn’t do the same thing.

    Meddlers. Ugh. SMH

  3. Dalton and Newton may have to settle for a Kap like deal, but Wilson is already a SB winner, which gives him leverage the other guys don’t currently have. We’ll see how it goes, but when it’s all said and done, I’d fully expect Wilson to come out on top of the rest of his peers, barring Newton or Dalton getting a ring this year.

  4. The Karpernick deal is the future of the NFL. Players believe they won’t get hurt. The deal gives the club some leeway if the player does get hurt. No QB coming up for a contract, including Russell Wilson, will get Brees money up front or a Flacco or Cutler deal. This is the new reality of NFL contracts. Stay healthy and keep your starter status and you’ll get paid.

  5. Andrew Luck should demand a clause in his contract that guarantees the Colts will not tank a season again to draft another QB to replace him.

  6. Kaepernick got fleeced plain and simple.

    But, that’s what the world has evolved into.

    More $$$$ for the people who already have more than they know what to do with.

  7. The stark reality of the NFL is this: Some teams win on offense, while others win on defense. On the flipside: Some teams lose because of their offense, while other teams lose because of their defense. Coaching, or lack thereof, also plays an important role in either a team’s success or failure.
    The point is: GMs and owners have got to be smart enough to be able to separate fact from fiction. Just because one team wins on the strengths of its QB, that doesn’t mean all winning teams do.
    Kaepernick happens to play on a team that wins with defense. Peyton Manning, meanwhile, plays on a team that wins because of him. And paying them both equally is absurd and just plain bad business.

  8. The contract was fair for both parties. Keap and his agent did a good job not handcuffing the Niners and Keap got more money than he will ever be able to spend.

  9. I assure you that neither Seattle or Indy come at their qbs with a lame cotton candy contract like Kaep’s. They know the true value of their young signal callers and you can expect them to get REAL guaranteed money. And they deserve it.

  10. This QB frenzy is cyclical. There will come a point where teams realize that its too much money and they are better of keeping some for other players. Look at RBs now – they are the least paid specialist players. But it will take a team with a slightly radical approach to do that. Sounds like the ‘Hawks.

  11. He’s not exactly a grizzled vet. He’s only got a year and a half of starting under his belt. Are you really willing to risk elite money on a guy that you aren’t 100% certain on? Year by year means he needs to stay healthy and develop a body of work that will get him the huge guaranteed contract when he restructures.

  12. Quality QBs coming out of college are so readily available nowadays, and if I were a GM, I’d change starting QBs every four seasons and pump the money I didn’t spend on the QB into other, more important areas of my team.
    Give me a great defense and a QB who can protect the ball and my team will win lots of games. I would NEVER pay my rent-a-QB more than $5 million per season. Never.

  13. This contract really helps the Eagles on the otherhand. They probably wanted to somewhat low-ball Foles, who shouldn’t get a Brees or Flacco contract to begin with. Now they can confidently negotiate with a number that would never go beyond 18 mil per.

  14. LOL at the current Foles overvaluation.. let’s see what year 2 and 3 bring…. I fully expect him to flop this year, but think year 3 is the key

    Newton and Dalton are merely game managers and not long-term plays

    I believe Wilson is a better than average QB but not one to be elite

    Luck and RG3 will be the two vying for 5th elite…. though I do think Kap is the 3rd best

  15. I can only hope that Wilson is willing to have a home town team friendly contract like the one Kaep signed. These agents are stupid, Kaep essentially gave up money to help his team stay strong. Props to him for that.

    go hawks

  16. Well, it’s frustrating as a Seahawk fan to see that the deal isn’t nearly as inflated as originally reported. It’s still far more than Gonzo is worth, but not quite as good for us. I was really hoping it’d be a deal that would lock him up for a minimum of 3 seasons so Seattle could enjoy a long sustained run of beating the living tar out of that joker. Let’s face it, few other QBs in the NFL are as poor against the Seahawks as Kaepernick, and that’s a fact.

  17. This will have same impact on other QBs as Ricky William’s contract had on other running backs….

  18. Kap’s contract should not have much influence on what Luck should get. He is in for a big payday, either in Indianapolis or elsewhere. As for other young QBs like Cam Newtwon, RGIII and Russell Wilson, it will depend more on their on field performance in 2014 and their team’s cap space than on anything else.

  19. while most will rant and rave and say Kaepernick’s contract is too much for him, lets just remember Romo (1 playoff win in 12 years) and Stafford (0 playoff wins in 5 years) get the same amount of money. Kaepernick is 4-2 in the playoffs, with one of the losses in the Superbowl, in a little less than 2 1/2 years.

  20. Panthers issue with Newton will be largely PR and PC…

    I do not think Newton is a player or has much potential to ever be a top QB… he was effective as Panthers converted him to game manager role… but he is not a long term QB to invest heavily in… but he has been heavily promoted by league and was a high draft pick (though is extremely weak QB year)…

    I feel for Panthers…. (not really)

  21. I think all players should only have one year contracts, but also be free agents at the end of every season. I think there should still be a salary cap so as to not be able to ‘buy’ a championship team. I’m still hurting over Bosworth and Alexander money.

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