The San Francisco 49ers signed wide receiver Brandon Lloyd to a 1-year contract on Tuesday, and we're starting to get details. Matt Maiocco first reported the contract is for the veteran minimum of $955,000, with a $50,000 workout bonus. The $1,005,000 deal counts for that entire amount against the salary cap, but none of it is guaranteed.
When I first saw those numbers, I was confused because a veteran minimum deal with less than $65,000 in added compensation should make the deal hit the cap for the minimum salary benefit. That would make it worth $620,000 against the cap. That's the second year veteran salary plus the workout bonus. However, according to Maiocco, there are additional incentives in the contract that exceed the allowable $65,000 threshhold. Given that the additional incentives are not hitting the cap, they are likely categorized as Not Likely To Be Earned Incentives.
The deal includes no guarantees, so the 49ers can cut him at any point with limited implications. I imagine he'll be at OTAs, and so the workout bonus will kick in, but other than that, there is no worries about additional dead money. This is a virtually no risk deal. There are some concerns about blocking younger guys, comparing it to the Nnamdi Asomugha signing last year. I would argue it is more like the Austin Collie signing. A low risk move with modest upside. I suppose he could block out a guy like Chuck Jacobs, or impact Quinton Patton's looks in the preseason, but for right now I'm just not overly concerned about it.
This also means I don't think it changes the 49ers draft plans. Brandon Lloyd is not a long-term answer at this point. The 49ers will look for the best options they can in the draft, and hope Quinton Patton shows strong improvements in year two.