When San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick agreed to the six-year contract extension worth up to $126 million with $61 million guaranteed, it initially seemed like the franchise quarterback struck gold while leaving his team cap strapped for the foreseeable future. A player that was rumored to want “Tony Romo” money, it turns out that Kaepernick’s contract was very cap friendly.
Kaepernick who openly admitted in his press conference that the deal was not as it seems as the numbers were inflated on the surface, it was a fair deal for both team President Paraag Marathe and Kaepernick’s agent Scott Smith as they mutually agreed on the pay structure. According to the deal, Kaepernick is only guaranteed $13.073 million (which includes a signing bonus of $12.328 million and base salary of $645,000) and a $100,000 workout bonus.
So why did Kaepernick agree to such a cap friendly deal? Well, he kept his word as he admitted back in February that his future contract extension would not hinder the 49ers from retaining their other star players. Kaepernick spoke on why that was important as he said, “Part of the way the contract is written and the way it was negotiated was so they would be able to sign other players. That was something that my agents and the organization worked out and they felt like this was something they would be able to get other players with.”
And according to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco the deal gets even sweeter for the 49ers as he said, “The rest of the so-called guaranteed money comes in the form of base salaries in 2014-‘17, and part of 2018, which are guaranteed for injury only. In other words, if the 49ers experience buyer’s remorse, they can release Kaepernick and only absorb the remaining prorated money from his signing bonus as a hit on the salary cap.”
In addition, his base salaries for the following seasons are as follows according to PFT:
2015: $12.4 million
2016: $13.9 million
2017: $16.5 million
2018: $17 million – with $5.2 million guaranteed for injury only by the April 1 deadline.
Not only that but the deal includes de-escalators. A scenario I mentioned back in February, Kaepernick could lose up to $2 million per season for not reaching the Super Bowl or being named a first or second-team All-Pro as I said:
“A contract that should be heavily “performance-based,” Kaepernick’s contract should include escalators such as Pro Bowls and NFC Championship Games. This way it’s fair for both sides.” And that’s exactly what happened.
With Kaepernick living up to his word while continuing to be the hard worker day in and day out, the Forever Faithful should embrace him even more as his actions show he’s more about Super Bowl wins and not the money.