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49ers salary cap: Michael Crabtree future contract comparisons

The San Francisco 49ers face some big questions in the coming years as they have a host of big-name players hitting free agency. We take a look at potential contract parameters for wide receiver Michael Crabtree.


Last week, I began our look at upcoming 49ers free agents. I opened the series by looking at offensive tackle Anthony Davis and offensive guard Mike Iupati. Not long after that article, Davis signed a five-year contract extension. Maybe these articles can provide some help in getting more deals done!

I want to continue this series with WR Michael Crabtree, who is also scheduled to hit free agency after the 2014 season. Once again, I will take a look at comparables in the recent offseason.

Crabtree will likely look for contract terms in the range of what Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Greg Jennings and Mike Wallace earned. I don't think Wallace will be an exact match, but I will look at his contract anyway.

Lets start with Vincent Jackson, who went from San Diego to Tampa Bay in the 2012 offseason. He was able to sign a then five-year deal, worth a weird amount of $55,555,555. It included $26 million guaranteed, including a first year roster bonus of $2 million. He also received guaranteed $12 million base salaries in 2012 and 2013. He later restructured his deal in order to provide the Buccaneers with extra cap space this offseason.

Next up is the Kansas City Chiefs re-signing of WR Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs and Bowe agreed to a five-year contract worth $56 million, with a $15 million signing bonus. Bowe's guarantees include his 2013 base salary of $750,000, and a 2014 base salary of $8.75 million. He also has a guarantee for $1.75 million of his 2015 base salary, which is set at $10.75 million.

Next up is Greg Jennings, who went from Green Bay to Minnesota. He signed a five-year contract, worth $45 million. The deal included a $10 million signing bonus, and he also received guarantees on his first two years of base salaries, at $2.9 million and $4.9 million.

Finally, Mike Wallace. He signed a mega-deal with the Miami Dolphins, worth $60 million over five years. It included an $11 million signing bonus, along with guarantees on his first two years worth of base salaries at $1 million in 2013 and $15 million in 2014. He also gets $3 million in guaranteed money of his 2015 base salary of $9.85 million. This gives us a total of $30 million guaranteed.

There is no way the 49ers will cave and give Crabtree anywhere near what Wallace got. That contract is a nightmare for any team with a cap situation that is tight against a flat cap. I see more of a Jennings or Bowe type deal as being reasonable. I can see a $10 million signing bonus, plus some base salary guarantees. But I can't imagine a high amount in guarantees. The team won't do any deal that is not cap friendly.

Currently, Crabtree still has pro-rated bonuses due to him, around $2.529 million for 2013 and 2014. He can also receive $500,000 in roster bonuses tied into offseason workouts and per-game roster bonuses. Very complicated stuff.

No doubt that Crabtree is high on the 49ers wish list of getting extended, but whether they can get him to agree to a fair value and cap friendly deal is yet to be seen or known. Hopefully we find out soon.