Late last month, Washington announced they had signed 49ers backup quarterback Colt McCoy to a 1-year contract. Matt Maiocco is now reporting McCoy signed a 1-year deal worth $730,000, and received a $65,000 signing bonus. This move is unlikely to benefit the 49ers in determining the 2015 comp pick formula, although I cannot say that with 100 percent certainty.
It also means Washington will not be able to use the veteran minimum salary benefit on McCoy. The latter does not matter to the 49ers, but I figured it was worth noting. You'd think Washington could have signed McCoy with a 50,000 bonus and taken the benefit, but I suppose they don't get the benefit of Paraag Marathe! Never mind on this. The minimum salary benefit additional compensation increased to $65,000 for 2012-2014, so he still counts as such for Washington.
The 49ers are unlikely to get the comp pick benefit because of the fairly minimal bonus. The comp pick formula does not include league minimum players, and Maiocco reported that it is "believed" the formula does not include signings with minimal bonuses. The contract value is based on the total package, and not just individual salaries. Craig Turner has been trying to crack the comp pick formula, and generally has done a good job with it. I had asked him about smaller bonuses, and he simply said the average annual compensation includes everything.
If McCoy's deal does not count toward the formula, the 49ers will be looking at two compensation picks next year. You can check out our offseason tracker, but for simplicity, here are the names.
49ers free agency additions
S Antoine Bethea signs 4-year deal
CB Chris Cook signs 1-year deal
49ers free agency departures
S Donte Whitner signs with Cleveland Browns
RB Anthony Dixon signs with Buffalo Bills
CB Tarell Brown signs with Oakland Raiders
WR Mario Manningham signs with New York Giants
QB Colt McCoy signs with Washington
Chris Cook and Mario Manningham were straight minimum salary guys, while McCoy has the modest signing bonus. The first two will not count, and McCoy likely won't, but I'm not positive. The 49ers still have one more free agent in Jonathan Goodwin. If he does sign anywhere, it would likely be closer to the season. He had previously indicated he was thinking of retirement, but it sounds like he might consider another year if the right opportunity came along. I wouldn't expect a big contract for him, but I could see him getting more than the league minimum. That would be enough to potentially net a third comp pick.
As things currently stand, the 49ers have eight draft picks next year, with their original seven, plus the Colts seventh round pick in the Cam Johnson trade. Two comp picks get them to ten, and we haven't even seen what they'll add with a few trades. More importantly, if Donte Whitner, Anthony Dixon and Tarell Brown can put together strong seasons, maybe the 49ers can get two solid comp picks. It's easy to forget about departed free agents, but their upcoming season will be worth a look as we move forward.