The San Francisco 49ers have plenty going on right now, but there is a little bit of house-keeping to take care of regarding the salary cap. The 49ers waived/injured offensive lineman Ben Gottschalk on August 6. He was not claimed on waivers, and rather than keep him on injured reserve, the 49ers agree to an injury settlement worth $56,118. Jason Hurley confirmed that information on Tuesday.
NFL salaries are generally not guaranteed, but when a player is injured, a team cannot just cut him and pay him nothing. When a player is hurt in the course of practice or games, his team will end up paying him some or all of his salary in a given year. Gottschalk is not a vested veteran so he goes through the waivers process. Due to his injury, he got that waived/injured designation. Once he cleared waivers, he and the 49ers negotiated out a settlement based on how many games he might miss.
Prior to the waiver move, Jim Tomsula told the media Gottschalk had a foot problem that was going to require a procedure. There is no word on the specifics of the injury, but this settlement would indicate he would be looking at about a three week absence. If he had stayed on injured reserve, he was going to receive a $318,000 split salary. If you divide $56,118 by three weeks, you get $18,706. I multiplied that by 17, and got $318,002.
One interesting note about an injury settlement. If the 49ers decide they want to bring back Gottschalk, they have to wait out those three weeks before re-signing him. Any other team can sign Gottschalk in the meantime.