Phil Dawson contract details show some apparent flexibility after Year 1

Ronald Martinez

Details of Phil Dawson's new 2-year contract have emerged. We break them down, what it means for the 49ers cap, and what it could mean for Dawson beyond 2014.

The San Francisco 49ers got several transactions completed on the first day of free agency, with Phil Dawson's contract among them. After a few days of waiting, we finally have contract figures courtesy of Aaron Wilson and Tom Pelissero. Dawson signed a 2-year deal worth a total of $6.134 million. This is the last contract we had to figure out from the 49ers transactions to date.

Signing Bonus: $2,000,000

Base: $1,000,000
Incentives (NLTBE?): $25,000
Tentative Cap Figure: $2,000,000

Base: $3,134,000
Incentives (NLTBE?): $25,000
Tentative Cap Figure: $4,134,000

According to Wilson, the deal includes $3.5 million in guarantees. That includes the signing bonus, and then I'd imagine his 2014 salary and part of his 2015 salary. We'll keep an eye out for more details, be it from Jason Hurley or one of the beat writers. The incentives were mentioned by Pelissero. Given that they are not part of the $6.134 million, my guess is they are not likely to be earned (NLTBE), but I'm not certain.

Based on these figures, Dawson's 2014 cap hit would be tied with Connor Barth for 12th in the league. His 2015 cap hit would be second in the league. In my mind, that would indicate that if Dawson puts together a strong 2014 season, the team might turn his 2015 base into a bonus as part of another 2-year extension through 2016. And if Dawson struggles in 2014, the team could cut him, leaving $1.5 million in dead money (the remaining pro-rated signing bonus and the $500,000 in guarantees Wilson mentioned). It appears to provide at least a little bit of flexibility after Year 1.

The 49ers had approximately $4.7 million in cap space after the Eric Wright contract details came out. This would seem to leave them with approximately $2.7 million in cap space (not counting Carlos Rogers' $6.6 million coming free in June). This is a very tentative number for now, but hopefully it can at least give us an idea of things. Fooch's Update: I believe the cap space is actually at $3,306,835 million right now, per the NFLPA cap spreadsheet minus Dawson's deal. Still trying to finalize that number.

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