The San Francisco 49ers decision to place quarterback Colin Kaepernick on injured reserve likely means his time with the team is done, but it also saves them money on this year's salary cap. The 49ers contracts frequently include game-day roster bonuses, earned if a player is on the 46-man active roster. This is meant to protect the team in case of injuries.
Kap's contract had more game-day bonuses than anybody on the team. Each year he was due $2,000,000 in game-day bonuses, which breaks down to $125,000 per game. Kap's placement on injured reserve means he will not be active for the final seven games of the season. That adds up to $875,000 in cap savings. The 49ers can roll any 2015 cap space to 2016. Barring any notable contract extensions, the 49ers will be rolling over upwards of $15 million in cap space.
The 49ers will lose a modest amount of cap space with the promotion of Dylan Thompson to the active roster. He was earning $6,600 per week as part of the 49ers practice squad. He now will earn the NFL league minimum, which is $435,000. That is paid out on a weekly basis, and will amount to approximately $25,588 per week. He was due to earn $46,200 in practice squad salary. Assuming he is on the roster the final seven weeks, he will earn $179,116. Not bad for a couple months work.