Originally Posted by The Hawk
From MMQB-always a good read:
1) I think that the reports of $110 million or $126 million are just meaningless numbers. As readers of this space know, NFL contracts are not like NBA and MLB contracts, where reported values are real. Even the guarantee is, well, not really all guaranteed. My sense is the reported $61 million guarantee—vaulting Kaepernick to the top of the list in NFL guaranteed money—will be “stair-stepped,” with annual triggers activating different amounts of guaranteed money at different stages of the contract (thus not a “true” guarantee). As reported by Pro Football Talk, the $110 million contract is, in actuality, a $13 million contract and then “we’ll see.” Certainly, the expectation is that Kaepernick will earn tens of millions of dollars in future guarantees that activate April 1 in each of the next four years, but as of now those guarantees are for injury only (should he be unable to play the following season due to serious injury), a guarantee of relative little value.
2) I think the length of Kaepernick’s rookie contract was a key factor. While the NFL took a sledgehammer to the previous rookie compensation system in the new collective bargaining agreement, Kaepernick was one of the few golden ticket winners. Although the second-round earnings on his rookie deal ($5.1 million over four years) paled in comparison to first-round riches, he was not saddled with a team option for a fifth year like first-rounders are—for example, the Panthers’ Cam Newton. That would have given the Niners two more years of contract control, and the lack of such leverage worked to Kaepernick’s benefit.
3) I think the 49ers may have played a heavy hand due to Kaepernick’s highly undervalued existing contract. While all the comparable quarterbacks who received extensions over the past year—Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler—would have earned double-digit millions the next year absent an extension, Kaepernick would have made approximately $1 million in 2014. With an always-present injury risk, the team used his undersized 2014 salary as a hammer here.
4) I think Kaepernick showed some admirable loyalty to his agent. It was no secret around the NFL that many of the most powerful agents were circling, anxious to corral one of the top players in the game. With the barbarians at the gate, Kaepernick remained loyal to the agent who helped get him to where he is, Scott Smith of XAM Sports. Too many players leave agents for bigger agents or agencies when their careers advance to another level. Those agents who had been targeting Kaepernick will now pounce on the lack of guarantees in the contract, with the implication that they could have negotiated a much more favorable deal had he switched to them.
5) I think that, based on their structuring of other veteran contracts, the 49ers are tying significant earnings in the contract to per-game roster bonuses. This feature, which I used in Green Bay and is used by several clubs, allows the player to collect money every week as long as he suits up, while protecting the team if he does not. Using these clauses with Kaepernick, their most important player, would pave the way for their use in upcoming extension talks for players such as Michael Crabtree, Mike Iupati and Aldon Smith.
In sum, the 49ers traded striking announced numbers in exchange for the structure that they wanted: a pay-as-you-go, year-to-year contract with protections for injury and downturn in performance. Kaepernick will play for $13 million in 2014 instead of $1 million; that we know. Beyond that, time will tell.
In conclusion, Calm The F Down, People! Move along, nothing to see here.............sky is not, I repeat, NOT falling. Couldn't see it anyway, what with all the fog in SF
Cue packers1992 to point out that nfl contracts are written on toilet paper. That is the point we were making with our article posts, trying to settle everyone down. No need for the light bulb.