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49ers free agents 2016: Projecting a contract for Garrett Celek

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Garrett Celek is set to hit free agency in March. We take a look at a potential contract for Celek.

The San Francisco 49ers have a handful of notable free agents set to hit the market in March. In recent years, when they have extended their own players, it has frequently come prior to free agency. That does not bode well for these players, but the market will dictate what will happen. Over the next week, I will be taking a look at four of these unrestricted free agent, giving contract comparisons on what to expect if the 49ers do attempt to retain that player.

We started with defensive tackle Ian Williams, and moved on to wide receiver Anquan Boldin, and looked at offensive lineman Alex Boone on Tuesday. Today, we wrap this up with tight end Garrett Celek.

Celek showed some signs this year, with injuries and the Vernon Davis trade providing him more opportunities with the starting offense. However, a high ankle sprain cost him the final month of the season. A year ago, Celek was a restricted free agent coming off an injury-plagued 2014 season. He signed a one-year deal last offseason. It was worth $710,000, with only $25,000 fully guaranteed at signing.

I imagine Celek would like to stick with the 49ers. They get him an opportunity after he went undrafted in 2011, and the departure of Vernon Davis combined with Vance McDonald's own struggles opens the door at the position. Additionally, his brother, Brent, played for Chip Kelly in Philadelphia.

For these comparison, I must give all credit to Jason Fitzgerald, and his team at Over The Cap. Each linked player name will take you to their OTC player page for more details.

Niles Paul - Washington

A year ago, Paul signed a 3-year extension, worth $6 million. He received $2.5 million fully guaranteed, including a $1 million signing bonus. His contract averages $2 million per year. Here is the contract breakdown:

Year Base Salary Prorated SB Roster Workout Other Cap #
2015 $1,250,000 $333,333 $250,000 $0 $0 $1,833,333
2016 $1,250,000 $333,333 $250,000 $0 $0 $1,583,333
2017 $1,750,000 $333,334 $250,000 $0 $0 $2,333,334

Jeff Cumberland - New York Jets

Two years ago, Cumberland signed a 3-year extension, worth $5.7 million. The deal includes $1 million fully guaranteed, and averages $1.9 million per year. Here is the contract breakdown.

Year Base Salary Prorated SB Roster Workout Other Cap #
2014 $900,000 $0 $1,000,000 $0 $0 $1,900,000
2015 $1,900,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $1,900,000
2016 $1,900,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $1,900,000

Jim Dray - Cleveland Browns

Two years ago, Dray signed a 3-year deal, worth $5.625 million. He received $2.25 million fully guaranteed, including a $900,000 signing bonus. His deal averages $1.875 million per year. Here is the contract breakdown.

Year Base Salary Prorated SB Roster Workout Other Cap #
2014 $1,350,000 $300,000 $0 $0 $0 $1,650,000
2015 $1,600,000 $300,000 $0 $0 $0 $1,900,000
2016 $1,775,000 $300,000 $0 $0 $0 $2,075,000

I would like to see the 49ers re-sign Celek. Given his injuries and spot on the depth chart, it should not be that expensive to bring him back. I would offer a two to three year deal, worth an average of $2 million a year, with around $2.5 million fully guaranteed.

I would also add in low per game roster bonuses, and workout bonuses. I would go with something like $150,000 per year for a roster bonus, and $100,000 per year for a workout bonus. The $2.5 million in guaranteed money would come from a 2016 base salary totaling $1 million, and a signing bonus approaching $1.5 million. His 2016 cap number would be either $2 million on a 2-year deal, or $1.75 million on a 3-year deal.

As always you can follow me on Twitter, @Jay_AB81, or check our salary cap section here, on Niners Nation, which is now officially the exclusive home for my salary cap information.