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49ers salary cap: Colin Kaepernick and the mighty QB contract

The San Francisco 49ers face some big questions in coming years as they have a host of big-name players hitting free agency. Today, we take a look at potential contract paramaters for QB Colin Kaepernick.


We're back for another round of contract discussion. We opened the topic by discussing potential extensions for Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati. Not too long after, Davis was signed to an extension. We followed that up a week ago with a look at Michael Crabtree. Unfortunately that was not followed by a contract extension. Such is life.

Today we begin the discussion of three key free agents who cannot sign extensions for another year. The current collective bargaining agreement sacrificed rookies both with a rookie wage scale and with limitations on when they can start signing contract extensions. This covers the likes of Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick and Chris Culliver, among others.

We will begin with arguably the biggest contract on the horizon. This is big both in terms of the importance in getting a deal done, as well as potential dollars involved. Colin Kaepernick put together a huge second half of the 2012 season, and if he can build on that, he will be looking at big bucks.

The quarterback position has been cashing in lately, as we've seen some big-time deals this offseason. The most prominent belong to Tony Romo and Joe Flacco. Colin Kaepernick had to be pleased seeing Romo get a reported $108 million, and Flacco get a reported $120.6 million. I want to breakdown each of these deals, and see what we can expect for Kaepernick.

Tony Romo

The Cowboys quarterback received a reported total of $55 million in guarantees. This included a $25 million signing bonus, and a variety of guarantees in his base salaries. The reports turned out to be overestimates, as is often the case. Romo's actual guarantee is in the neighborhood of $40 million.

His APY or Average Per Year is $18 million. Basically Romo's deal is a signing bonus, $5 million proration, and base salary guarantees. He has a $1.5 million base salary guarantee in 2013, and $13.5 million guaranteed base salary in 2014.

Romo's previous deal had three years left. They could have been voided, but since he signed an extension, those three years stayed intact. This is the reason why he has different prorations listed on The leftover comes from previous bonuses he received. Basically, that means Romo got a two-year extension, and the Cowboys have options to get out of the deal down the road.

He also has non-guaranteed base salaries of $17 million in 2015, $8.5 million in 2016, $14 million in 2017, $19.5 million in 2018, and $20.5 million in 2019.

Joe Flacco

The Ravens quarterback signed his extension earlier this offseason. It included a total of $29 million in guarantees, covered by a $29 million signing bonus, a $15 million option bonus due in 2014, and another option bonus of $7 million in 2015. If he is on the roster for all 3 seasons, his guarantees are up to $51 million, plus an additional $1 million for his 2013 base salary guarantee, giving him $52 million in "guarantees".

Flacco also has non-guaranteed base salaries of $6 million in 2014, $4 million in 2015, $18 million in 2016, $20.6 million in 2017, and $20 million in 2018. The complete breakdown is here.

We could look at Peyton Manning's $96 million deal, but that included no signing bonus. Rather it included guarantees depended on his health and roster status for the first 3 seasons. I doubt the 49ers go that route.

If the 49ers go the 6-7 year deal route, I expect a $20 million signing bonus, plus base salary guarantees, roster bonuses, incentives, and possibly de-escalators, and escalators based on play.

If they were to go the five-year deal route, take a look at the Matt Schaub deal below.

Matt Schaub

Schaub received a 5-year deal worth $62 million. His deal has an APY of $15.5 million, and $29.15 million in guarantees. Schaub received a $17.5 million signing bonus, plus $1 million roster bonuses in 2014-2016. He also received guarantees of $4.4 million base in 2012 and $7.25 million in 2013.

The complete structure is here.

You could then look for a similar pattern, with a similar $17.5 million signing bonus. Additionally, we could look for yearly $1 million roster bonuses, which is what Anthony Davis received as part of his new deal.