49ers undrafted free agents: Signing bonuses have modest impact on 49ers salary cap

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

We have some information about the signing bonuses for most of the 49ers undrafted free agents. We break down the details and the salary cap implications.

Earlier this week, the San Francisco 49ers announced the signing of seven undrafted free agents. Yesterday, Jason Hurley reported that tight end Asante Cleveland got an $8,000 signing bonus. Based on some new information today about the other players, it is possible that money is a split of signing bonus and guaranteed first year salary money.

Matt Maiocco reported earlier today on the upfront money five of the seven UDFAs received. I've combined some of that below with the base salary information found via the NFLPA. They are all getting rookie minimum contracts, which is no surprise. However, a few of the players get a small portion of their first year salary guaranteed.

The most notable example is linebacker Shayne Skov. Per Maiocco, Skov received a $7,500 signing bonus, and then another $2,500 in guaranteed money on his first year salary. If Skov is released before the start of the regular season, that means he gets $2,500 of his $420,000 rookie contract. For any non-guaranteed part of a player's base salary, it is paid out over the course of the regular season over 16 weeks. I'm pretty sure annual base salary is divided out over 16 weeks, thus not including the bye, but I'm not positive.

For salary cap purposes, the signing bonus numbers below are pro-rated over the three years of the contract, while the first year guaranteed money for Skov and Morgan Breslin will only impact the 2014 salary cap. That means, if Skov were cut, by the end of training camp, his dead money hits would be $5,000 (2014), $2,500 (2015), $2,500 (2016). If you look at Jason's 2014 cap rundown, you'll see dead money appears for Darryl Morris, among others. The reason for that is because Morris was released at the end of camp last year, then signed to the practice squad. He basically becomes "two separate players" for cap purposes, and thus has some dead money, and some "live" money on the 2014 cap. Hopefully that makes sense.

We don't have signing bonus money for Fou Fonoti, but all seven players signed three year contracts. That also means that if any of them make the roster, when their contract is up, they would be restricted free agents instead of unrestricted free agents (because of three accrued seasons of service, not four).

Another question I've seen pop up is how the 49ers will sign rookies with so little cap space. Maiocco reported that the 49ers are $592,000 under the salary cap following the trade for Stevie Johnson. Our man Jason Hurley has the number more specifically at $591,801. I'll talk to Jason about getting a more detailed explanation together, but just to give you a basic idea, right now, the 49ers cap space is based on the Top 51 salaries on the roster. That means when a player signs a rookie minimum deal, he is likely not actually impacting the 49ers cap space for now. When final roster cuts are made, at that point the 49ers entire roster (53-man roster, injured players, practice squad) will all need to fit under the salary cap.

Shayne Skov

Signing Bonus: $7,500
2014 Base: $420,000 ($2,500 guaranteed)
2015 Base: $510,000
2016 Base: $600,000

Morgan Breslin

Signing Bonus: $5,000
2014 Base: $420,000 ($2,500 guaranteed)
2015 Base: $510,000
2016 Base: $600,000

James "LJ" McCray

Signing Bonus: $6,000
2014 Base: $420,000
2015 Base: $510,000
2016 Base: $600,000

Dillon Farrell

Signing Bonus: $5,000
2014 Base: $420,000
2015 Base: $510,000
2016 Base: $600,000

Kory Faulkner

Signing Bonus: $3,000
2014 Base: $420,000
2015 Base: $510,000
2016 Base: $600,000

Fou Fonoti

Signing Bonus: Not known at this point
2014 Base: $420,000
2015 Base: $510,000
2016 Base: $600,000

Asante Cleveland

Signing Bonus: $8,000
2014 Base: $420,000
2015 Base: $510,000
2016 Base: $600,000

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