The San Francisco 49ers will be cutting down to 53 players over the next day or so. They have to be at the 53-man limit by 1 p.m. PT on Saturday, at which point they also need to be under the salary cap with their entire roster (53-man, IR, PUP, NFI, practice squad).
One thing that will factor into roster decisions is guaranteed money. We've talked about it with Blaine Gabbert, but there are other ways in which guaranteed money can impact roster decisions. If a player with 4 or more years of accrued service is on the roster Week 1 of the regular season, their base salary for that year automatically becomes guaranteed.
Two players of particular note with this issue are Brandon Lloyd and Kassim Osgood. The two wide receivers are long-time veterans, at a position in which the 49ers have quite a bit of depth. Osgood is a special teams machine, while Lloyd has received all sorts of praise in camp.
Last year, the 49ers cut Osgood during final roster cuts, and then signed him after Week 1. He stuck around the rest of the season, but the 49ers retained the option of releasing him without owing him his full salary. My thought is we see something similar this year. The 49ers contracts with both players include a little bit more incentive to keep them off the Week 1 roster:
@NinersNation Brandon Lloyd & Kassim Osgood have 53-man 1st game roster bonuses. Lloyd's is $95,000. Osgood's is $20,000.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) August 28, 2014
That is not a crazy amount of money, so this would not guarantee they are released. However, it is one more interesting consideration in the final roster cutdown.
The 49ers have quite a few players who will have their 2014 salaries guaranteed if they are on the Week 1 roster. Most of these players are expected starters, but I figured this was useful information to share.
Patrick Willis - $5.285 million
Vernon Davis - $4.7 million
Stevie Johnson - $3.625 million
Ray McDonald - $3.5 million
Michael Crabtree - $3.5 million
Frank Gore - $3.3 million
Justin Smith - $3.15 million (Note that $2 million was guaranteed when he signed his extensions last offseason)
Mike Iupati - $2,970,500
Joe Staley -$2.7 million
Alex Boone - $2 million
Andy Lee - $1.9 million
Anthony Davis - $1,845,600
Dan Skuta - $1.3 million
Antoine Bethea - $1.25 million
C.J. Spillman - $1.225 million
Phil Dawson - $1 million
Adam Snyder - $1 million
Anquan Boldin - $955,000
Brandon Lloyd - $955,000
Bubba Ventrone - $855,000
Craig Dahl - $825,000 (Note that $365,000 of his base salary was guaranteed when he restructured his deal this offseason)
Kassim Osgood - $570,000
Chris Cook- $570,000
Josh Johnson - $570,000
Other players who have their base salaries guaranteed in their contract are below.
Aldon Smith - $2,336,454 (Due to him being a 1st-round pick under the new CBA, his deal was fully guaranteed)
Blaine Gabbert - $2,011,587 (Due to him being a 1st-round pick under the new CBA, his deal was fully guaranteed)
Ahmad Brooks - $855,000 (Was guaranteed when he restructured his deal this offseason)
Eric Reid - $790,489(Due to him being a 1st-round pick under the new CBA, his deal is fully guaranteed)
NaVorro Bowman - $730,000 (Was guaranteed when he restructured his deal this offseason)
Colin Kaepernick - $645,000 (Was guaranteed when he signed hiss extensions this offseason)
Tank Carradine - $579,895 (His 1st 2 years were guaranteed in his rookie deal)
Vance McDonald - $518,599 (His 1st 2 years were guaranteed in his rookie deal)
Carlos Hyde - $420,000 (His 1st 2 years were guaranteed in his rookie deal)
Jimmie Ward - $420,000 (As part of being a 1st-round pick, his 1st 3 years are guaranteed).
Any other player that isn't listed here can be released in season to have cap savings.