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49ers free agents: Considering Tank Carradine and his next NFL contract

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Tank Carradine is entering his walk season, having done very little through three seasons. We look at some potential scenarios in which he signs a contract extension.

The San Francisco 49ers have just about wrapped up any offseason roster additions, and so we thought it would be fun to take a look at some potential contracts for next offseason. I started with quarterback Blaine Gabbert and tight end Vance McDonald. Today, we move on to outside linebacker Tank Carradine.

Fooch's note: This was written before the Aaron Lynch suspension, so it certainly improves Tank's opportunities.

It has been a rough first three seasons for Tank Carradine. ACL recovery kept him off the field for most of his first year. The team then tried to bulk him up to play defensive tackle, and that was a flop. Last year, they finally realized edge rusher was Tank’s strength, and began the process of bringing him down in weight. But there is some optimism in the Bay Area that Carradine can bounce back with a good season in this final year of his rookie contract. He is back in the outside linebacker role, and will likely focus on work as a pass rusher in the 49ers defensive rotation.

When I looked at Gabbert and McDonald, I broke it down into what each might get with a decent 2016 season, and what each might get with some kind of breakout 2016 season. We’ll do the same thing with Carradine. The first analysis is what he could get with some modest improvement, while the second analysis is what he could get with more of a breakout season. The numbers might not blow you away, but given his lack of production the first three years of his career, a "breakout" season is not going to be considered a monster year.

Average Season

As always I will be using OverTheCap for contract terms, so click on each link to see their OTC breakdown.

Frank Zombo, Kansas City Chiefs

Zombo signed a 3-year deal this offseason, worth $3.6 million ($1.2M APY), with $500,000 fully guaranteed. He had 3.0 sacks last season, and has 10.0 over his six year career.

Year Base Salary Bonuses Cap hit
Prorated Roster Workout
2016 $760,000 $166,666 $100,000 $40,000 $1,066,666
2017 $900,000 $166,666 $150,000 $40,000 $1,256,666
2018 $920,000 $166,668 $150,000 $40,000 $1,276,668

Albert McClellan, Baltimore Ravens

McClellan signed a 3-year extension this offseason, worth $3.75 million ($1.25M APY), with $600,000 fully guaranteed. He has two sacks for his career.

Year Base Salary Bonuses Cap hit
Prorated Roster Workout
2014 $800,000 $200,000 $0 $0 $1,000,000
2015 $1,000,000 $200,000 $0 $0 $1,200,000
2016 $900,000 $200,000 $0 $0 $1,100,000
2017 $1,000,000 $200,000 $0 $0 $1,200,000
2018 $1,250,000 $200,000 $0 $0 $1,450,000

James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers

Harrison signed a 2-year deal, worth $2.75 million ($1.375M APY), with $500,000 fully guaranteed. He’s getting a little long in the tooth, but had 5.0 sacks last season, and 5.5 the year before.

Year Base Salary Bonuses Cap hit
Prorated Roster Workout
2015 $1,000,000 $250,000 $0 $0 $1,250,000
2016 $1,250,000 $250,000 $0 $0 $1,500,000

Based on the above contracts, I see the 49ers offering something in the 2-3 year deal, worth $1.2-$1.3 million a year range, with no more than $600,000 fully guaranteed. I would also expect the team to put in per game roster bonuses, and offseason workout bonuses.

Breakout Season

Willie Young, Chicago Bears

Young signed a 3-year deal in 2014, worth $9 million ($3M APY), with $3.95 million fully guaranteed. At the time he signed the deal, he was coming off 3.0 sacks in 2013. He had 6.0 sacks through the first three seasons of his career.

Year Base $ (Gtd) Bonuses Cap hit
Prorated Roster Workout
2014 $950,000
($1,950,000)
$666,666 $1,000,000 $50,000 $2,666,666
2015 $2,450,000 $666,666 $0 $50,000 $3,166,666
2016 $2,450,000 $666,668 $0 $50,000 $3,166,668

Arthur Moats, Pittsburgh Steelers

Moats signed a 3-year deal in 2015, worth $7.5 million ($2.5M APY), with $1.9 million fully guaranteed. He had 4.0 sacks his first season with the Steelers. He had 2.5 sacks each of his first two seasons with the Bills to start his career, but had no sacks his next two years before joining the Steelers on an initial one-year deal.

Year Base $ (Gtd) Bonuses Cap hit
Prorated Roster Workout
2015 $850,000 $633,333 $0 $0 $1,483,333
2016 $2,500,000 $633,333 $0 $0 $3,133,333
2017 $2,250,000 $633,334 $0 $0 $2,883,334

If Carradine has a decent breakout season, then I can see the 49ers offering a 3-4 year deal, worth between $2.5 million and $3 million a year. Guarantees would be in the $2 million and $3 million area. And like with the average season, I expect the 49ers would offer per game roster bonuses, and offseason workout bonuses.

He could certainly put up a huge double-digit sack performance, and that could change these numbers. But given his lack of production through three seasons, we have to consider even a "breakout" season in moderation.

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.