The San Francisco 49ers have a host of free agents this offseason, with guys like Anquan Boldin and Phil Dawson among the more notable names. One guy that will fly under the radar for a lot of fans is wide receiver Kassim Osgood. Here's a wide receiver in name only (or mostly), as his true value to the 49ers in 2013 was on special teams. Osgood was an absolute beast this season, blowing up punt returners or getting down the field to down punts inside the five yard line.
Osgood made an appearance on 95.7 The Game, talking with John Lund and Greg Papa about the season that was, and his future as a free agent. I've embedded the audio below, but if it is not appearing on the screen, you can listen to it HERE.
The hosts asked Osgood about his future, and he said he very much wanted to re-sign with the 49ers. It takes two to get a deal done, so we'll likely have to wait and see how the situation plays out. Last season, Osgood earned the veteran minimum of $940,000. The veteran minimum is determined by how long you've been in the league, with players of 10 or more seasons earning that $940,000 in 2013.
That 10+ year minimum salary goes up to $955,000 in 2014. That is a sizable chunk of change for a special teams player, but the 49ers have one option in their favor. In 2013, while Osgood earned $940,000, he only counted for $522,353 against the salary cap. This was due to the veteran's minimum salary benefit. We discussed it earlier this season in looking at Eric Wright's contract.
The MSB is a tool meant to help teams sign veterans for jobs that would other wise go to younger, cheaper players. The team pays the player his whole salary, but the MSB lowers his cap hit to that of a second year player. If the 49ers elected to re-sign Kassim Osgood, the league minimum would be $955,000. However, under the MSB, his cap hit would likely only be $570,000. That's not a ton of money, but if you wanted to give someone a $2.5 million signing bonus, those savings cover almost the entire first year of proration.
Let's hope the 49ers can make this happen. Osgood was an absolute beast on special teams. Winning the field position battle was a key to this team's success, and bringing back one of the best at this role makes sense. Obviously he would actually need to be willing to come back for the league minimum to make this happen. The 49ers salary cap situation makes it difficult to pay him north of the $955,000 minimum. We'll see what the next couple months brings.
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