The San Francisco 49ers made a roster move over the weekend that was not entirely shocking, but will still cost them a chunk of change. The team promoted Andrew Tiller from the practice squad, and cleared a roster spot by releasing cornerback Shareece Wright.
In releasing Wright, the 49ers will take on approximately $2.6 million in dead money. Over The Cap lists Wright's dead money at $2.7 million, but Jason could not find the extra $100,000. Whatever the case, it's close enough for our purposes. The dead money is broken up as follows:
Signing bonus: $1.5 million
Base salary: $850,000
Workout bonus: $250,000
Normally base salaries are not fully guaranteed. However, for vested veterans, the base salary becomes fully guaranteed if the player is on the 53-man roster for Week 1 of that season. In this case, Wright was, and so his salary was fully guaranteed. There is no word on if the deal included any sort of offsets.
This was clearly a waste of a deal. Wright lost his job fairly quickly in the preseason, and nothing ever came of his roster spot other than wasted cap space. The 49ers will have a lot of cap space next year, and Wright was leaving after this year, but that is a lot of money that could have been rolled forward.
I really don't have a problem with signing Wright to a sizable signing bonus if you think he can be a decent cornerback. That can certainly raise eyebrows, but the 49ers have done fairly solid work in terms of bringing in veteran corners. My guess is Trent Baalke figured the team could do with Wright what it did with Rogers. That was not the case, but I will not fault the process.
The bigger issue was keeping him around and locking yourself in to that $850,000. I suppose some might argue, in for a penny in for a pound. And maybe they honestly didn't think he would subsequently ask for his release. Whatever the case, that's $850,000 down the tubes. Not exactly ideal.