49ers salary cap breakdown: Fullbacks

Al Messerschmidt

Bruce Miller provides the 49ers with a great option at fullback. He heads into 2014 with a salary escalator, and in the final year of his contract. What will the 49ers do with Miller?

We're back for the third position in our 49ers salary cap breakdown. We've discussed the quarterback and running backs thus far. I was going to include fullbacks with the running backs, but Bruce Miller is worth his own post. There's enough going on with his contract situation to sort through separately. The 49ers don't have huge money invested in the fullback position, but the number could go up in the near future, particularly given how much they use the fullback.

The 49ers went through three fullbacks in 2013. Bruce Miller handled virtually all the work through Week 15, but a scapula injury moved Will Tukuafu and Anthony Dixon into the starting lineup the last two weeks of the regular season, and into the playoffs.

2014

Player Years Cap Figure Base Salary Prorated SB Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Dead Money
Bruce Miller 3 $1,404,614 $1,389,000 $15,614 $0 $0 $0
Will Tukuafu 3 $645,000 $645,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Alex Debniak 1 $421,666 $420,000 $1,666 $0 $0 $0
TOTAL $2,471,280 $2,454,000 $17,280 $0 $0 $0

2013

Player Years Cap Figure Base Salary Prorated SB Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Dead Money
Bruce Miller 2 $570,612 $555,000 $15,612 $0 $0 $0
Anthony Dixon 3 $660,150 $630,000 $30,150 $0 $0 $0
Will Tukuafu 2 $293,823 $65,294 $0 $0 $0 $228,529
Alex Debniak R $289,666 $288,000 $1,666 $0 $0 $0
TOTAL $1,814,251 $1,538,294 $47,428 $0 $0 $228,529

The 49ers came to an injury settlement with Tukuafu early in the 2013 season, thus the large amount of dead money. They signed him after Week 15, and he finished out the season with the team. He signed a two-year deal, so he is signed through the 2014 season. For some reason, his salary is not listed anywhere. He signed for the veteran's minimum last year, so I inserted the veteran minimum for 2014 as well.

As you can see, Miller got a sizable boost in pay this year. That came courtesy of the proven performance escalator. This goes to third through seventh round draft picks who play a given percentage of snaps during the first two or three seasons of their rookie deals. Miller and Chris Culliver both earned the escalator for the fourth year of their respective deals.

This also means Miller is heading into the final year of his contract. He has developed into a key role in the 49ers offense. He has been big in the blocking through all three seasons, but this past season saw him become a big part of the passing game. Part of that was due to Michael Crabtree's absence, but it was clear he was becoming more important in that regard. He was turning into more of a Delanie Walker type of player.

The question now is what kind of deal the 49ers and Bruce Miller can work out for the long term, or if they will be able to work out such a deal. The fullback position is not prominently featured across much of the NFL, but as we know, the 49ers are all about their fullback.

The folks at Over The Cap do not break out fullback salaries in their position rankings. Spotrac has them though, and here are the current salaries ahead of Miller:

1. Marcel Reece - $2,950,000
2. Le'Ron McClain - $2,500,000
3. Mike Tolbert - $2,325,000
4. Jerome Felton - $1,950,000
5. Vonta Leach - $1,750,000

It's not huge dollars, but I have to think Miller will be in the market for a deal up closer to the top of that group. In his transition college defensive end to NFL fullback, I don't think the 49ers could be much happier with his development. I assume they'll want to see how his scapula recovery progresses, but would anybody really be surprised if he got an extension before next season?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Niners Nation

You must be a member of Niners Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Niners Nation. You should read them.

Join Niners Nation

You must be a member of Niners Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Niners Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker