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49ers salary cap: Week 1 contract guarantees

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The NFL CBA guarantees salaries for vested veterans on a team's roster when Week 1 arrives. We break down how this impacts the 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers will cut down to their final roster in just over three weeks. When the 53-man roster is set at that point, it will likely not be completely finalized. We will see roster moves in the days leading up to Week 1, and there could be a flurry of roster moves immediately after Week 1 wraps.

The reason for that latter prediction is due to NFL rules regarding veteran contracts. Generally speaking, NFL contracts are viewed as not guaranteed, barring some additional negotiation between player and team. However, once the regular season starts, certain salaries become fully guaranteed for that season.

Under the terms of the CBA, if a player has four or more years of accrued service, if he is on the team's Week 1 roster, his base salary for that season becomes fully guaranteed. It does not guarantee future salaries, but it guarantees money owed that year. A player accrues a season's worth of service when he is on the 53-man roster, IR or PUP list for at least six regular season games.

The best example of this in recent years has been the 49ers adding and dropping of special teams player Kassim Osgood. He and others have gone through training camp, only to be released during final roster cuts, and later added after Week 1 concludes. The player gets a 25 percent salary guarantee if on the roster after Week 1.

This is mostly notable for veteran players. For example, the 49ers brought in Lance Briggs for a visit over the offseason. They elected not to sign him, and there is no indication that will happen anytime soon. If the team is interested, they would likely wait until after Week 1, when he no longer gets the full salary guarantee. A veteran minimum is not a crazy amount of money, but if you don't see the player as a definite starter, there is a chance he will be released later in the year for another roster issue. Waiting until after Week 1 allows for more flexibility.

I thought it was time to take a look at all the 49ers players that will have their 2015 salary become fully guaranteed when Week 1 hits. First up, we have a list of vested veterans (4+ years of accrued service). Some had parts of their salary guaranteed at signing or on a particular date, and that information has been included in parentheses.

All of these salaries are already factored into the salary cap, so these are not new impacts to the 49ers existing salary cap space.

QB Colin Kaepernick - $10.4 million
QB Blaine Gabbert - $1.45 million
RB Reggie Bush - $1.6 million ($500,000 was already guaranteed at signing)
FB Bruce Miller - $1.1 million ($819,000 is already guaranteed as of April 1st)
WR Anquan Boldin - $5.5 million ($3 million is already guaranteed as of April 1st)
WR Jerome Simpson - $745,000
TE Vernon Davis - $4.35 million
C Daniel Kilgore - $800,000
LG Alex Boone - $3.4 million
LT Joe Staley - $4.5 million
RT Eric Pears - $1.45 million ($500,000 was already guaranteed at signing)

DE Darnell Dockett - $3.25 million ($2 million was already guaranteed at signing)
DE Glenn Dorsey - $1.5 million
NT Ian Williams - $1 million
OLB Ahmad Brooks - $3.5 million
ILB Phillip Wheeler - $870,000
ILB Desmond Bishop - $870,000
ILB Nick Bellore - $750,000
CB Shareece Wright - $850,000
FS Craig Dahl - $875,000 ($450,000 was already guaranteed when he restructured his deal)
PK Phil Dawson - $3.134 million

Two of the above players also have roster bonuses they will earn Week 1 for making the 53-man roster. I suspect both players make the roster, but these roster bonuses do provide an excuse to release a player if the team thinks they could add him back after Week 1.

DE Darnell Dockett - $250,000
ILB Philip Wheeler - $130,000

This next group of players have base salaries that are already fully guaranteed, either for being on the roster as of April 1st, 2015, or for having it written into their deals.

RB Carlos Hyde - $537,349
WR Torrey Smith - $750,000
DE Arik Armstead - $435,000
ILB NaVorro Bowman - $4.7 million
CB Tramaine Brock - $1.85 million
FS Eric Reid - $1,175,978
SS Antoine Bethea - $3 million
SS Jimmie Ward - $743,297
SS Jaquiski Tartt - $435,000

The only other players who have part of their base salary guaranteed are below.

QB Dylan Thompson - $10,000 at signing
RB Kendall Hunter - $100,000 as of April 1st
RB Jarryd Hayne - $107,100 at signing
WR Dres Anderson - $44,000 at signing
WR DeAndrew White - $25,000 at signing
WR Isaac Blakeney - $7,500 at signing
DE Lawrence Okoye - $50,000 at signing
OLB Marcus Rush - $5,000 at signing
SS Jermaine Whitehead - $7,500 at signing

As always you can follow me on Twitter, @Jay_AB81, and check out more salary cap articles, and thoughts throughout the 2015 season, right here on Niners Nation.