Colin's done, now Crabtree or Frank Gore?

Last year's result, and this off-season, has really got me looking at the future of our team. In previous fanposts, we talked about how much other QB's in the league are making, and what would be right for Kap. Without making you re-read:

  • The leagues elite QB's, other than the Manning brothers, were making less than 9% of their teams salary cap when they won their Super Bowls. This equates to ~12M in today's cap dollars. We are going to pay more than this for Kap. It's not a horrible thing, it just means that our chances of winning the SB will go down slightly over time as his salary erodes other parts of the roster. Our chances will still be better than most teams.
  • Kap is a Top 12 QB. We can debate where he falls within that group, no one is really arguing him out of it. Given what other QB's are making, a 14M contract seems reasonable for Kap based on where he is at today.
  • Kap's camp is asking for 18M per year. If you give him a 5yr/90M extension, then this works out to 18M per year over the 5 years, but less than that when you factor in 2014. Over 6 years, he would make 91M, averaging a little over 15M per year. For this exercise, I am assuming a 30M signing bonus and 45M guaranteed money.

I've put together a sample Colin Kaepernick deal here:

This hypothetical contract gives us two low cap years and then tracks slightly under 12% of the salary cap. If Kap did not work out, we would start a rookie in 2017 and absorb 12M in dead money.

I know there are a lot more exotic ways to put this type of deal together, and maybe that is what we should discuss, but that is not why I wrote this. We've talked about Kap enough.

The sample contract above gives some flexibility in 2014, but puts a decent constraint on 2015. Kap's number for 2015 is only 10M, but when you add in a few other player signings and adjustments our cap space falls to about 3M. Here is how I got there:

2015 space = 23M (per Jason, Niner Cap Hell)
additional space from cutting Carlos = 7.4 (sorry Carlos)
subtotal = 30.4M
- 8.4M (to fill out roster from 46 to 53 + 8 PS + IR)
- 10M Colin's cap number from above
-6M assumes Donte Whitner resigning
-3M assumes Bruce Miller extension
net = 3M

There are so many unknowns that it is hard to get to an exact number. If you've done this work, please share. Regardless, what I see is that 2015 is going to have limited cap space. Assuming Aldon plays under the 5th year tender (it is included above), it is time to sign that 3rd big free agent.

The 3rd free agent is either Iupati or Crabtree. After seeing the impact of both of these players out this last year, I've swung my vote to Crabtree. It's not that Iupati isn't worth more, it's that Looney can at least adequately cover that space. I really like Patton, be we just don't know what we can get from the backup receiving corp.

We are not going to sign Crabtree for 3M (number above), but what about for 9M? I think that is a potentially real number. Crabtree is great, but he has just enough question marks that I don't believe teams will shell out more for him.

How do we get that extra 6M in 2015? Cut Frank Gore this year. I don't believe we will need his salary in cap space this year, but we could carry it over.

So, my question, would you cut Frank Gore this year to be able to resign Crabtree next year? Baalke has said that we can absorb Frank's contract this year, and we can, but it may be at the expense of who we resign in 2015.

Also, a 3rd alternative is to not resign Donte Whitner. For this exercise, I've plugged him in at 6M per year. He may end up being closer to 8M. Anyway, maybe we either find a cheaper FA or rely on the draft.

This is the choice I am posing to you, nation. Assuming my numbers are close enough, which two of these three guys do we resign/keep?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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