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49ers UDFA Dylan Thompson to get $5,000 signing bonus, $15,000 base salary guarantee

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The San Francisco 49ers are giving South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson $20,000 in guaranteed money, but only $5,000 counts against their UDFA bonus max. We explain why.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have not announced their undrafted free agent signings quite yet, but some details are leaking out. South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson tweeted that he signed with the team, and now there are some details about his contract. NFL writer Aaron Wilson is reporting the team is giving Thompson a $5,000 signing bonus. Additionally, the team will guaranteed $15,000 of his 2015 base salary.

The team has a little over $86,000 they can spend on signing bonuses for undrafted free agents. The 49ers contract with Thompson will only count toward $5,000 of that amount because the $15,000 base salary guarantee is separate. This is something teams have done more and more frequently to circumvent the UDFA signing bonus max rule.

The competition for UDFAs is fierce, with it coming down to a combination of money and playing/development opportunity. This work-around with the money helps the team sway a player. And for Thompson, there are only two other quarterbacks on the roster. His odds of making the 53-man roster are probably still long, but his only competition for the potential emergency third QB role would be tight end Blake Bell. He probably cannot find that opportunity with many other teams.