The San Francisco 49ers announced on Monday that wide receiver Kassim Osgood signed a 1-year contract to return in 2014. His contract is for the veteran's minimum of $955,000. According to Aaron Wilson, Osgood also has a $20,000 first-game roster bonus. He is eligible for the veteran's minimum salary benefit, which means his contract will count for $590,000 ($570k base + the bonus) against the salary cap. Following this move and the Bruce Miller extension, the 49ers now have somewhere between $3.991 and $4.027 million in cap space.
In 2013, Osgood appeared in 14 regular season games and all three postseason contests for the 49ers, and registered 12 special teams tackles. He recovered a muffed punt in the end zone at Tennessee in Week 7, marking the first fumble recovery for a touchdown in his career. Osgood also blocked his first career punt against Seattle in Week 14.
This past season, the 49ers signed Osgood to a 1-year deal, released him at the end of training camp, and then signed him before Week 2. Under the rules of the CBA, if a vested veteran is on the Week 1 roster, his base salary for the season becomes fully guaranteed. A vested veteran is a player four or more accrued seasons. Osgood is a vested veteran, so my guess is one reason they released him before Week 1 might have been to avoid the salary guarantee. He came back when the team placed Nick Moody on short term IR.
It does not appear they gave him the same first-game roster bonus as we see with this contract. It would seem kind of bush league to include that with the intention of releasing him before the season starts and then signing him to avoid the guarantee. The 49ers won't promise anybody anything, especially an almost exclusively special teams player, but given his impact this past season, I'd say odds are good he's on the roster Week 1.
It will get interesting to see how this impacts roster decisions. Osgood is listed as a wide receiver, and spent some time on the field this past season as a wide receiver, but he really isn't a wide receiver. The 49ers are still likely to draft at least one wide receiver in May. It will be interesting however to see how the team addresses the roster when we get to roster cuts. Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Quinton Patton are locks for the wide receiver position. Kassim Osgood seems close to a lock as well. The question then is whether the team keeps five or six receivers. If they draft one wide receiver, what are the odds Chuck Jacobs does enough to justify a roster spot as well? The roster competition behind Crabtree and Boldin will be fascinating to watch in August.