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49ers free agents: Considering Gerald Hodges & Michael Wilhoite, and their next NFL contract

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Gerald Hodges and Michael Wilhoite are competing for a starting ILB spot in their respective walk years. We look at some potential scenarios in which one of them signs a contract extension with the 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers kick off training camp on Saturday, with the arrival of rookies and veterans. The team saw Kaleb Ramsey retire on Thursday, and Anthony Davis is currently applying for reinstatement. Other than that, the 90-man roster is just about set. With offseason roster additions mostly done, 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, and outside linebacker Tank Carradine Today, we wrap it up with a pair of inside linebackers, Michael Wilhoite and Gerald Hodges.

Wilhoite and Hodges head into training camp competing with Ray-Ray Armstrong for the 49ers starting inside linebacker spot next to NaVorro Bowman. All three split reps fairly evenly in OTAs and minicamp, so for the time being, nobody seems to have a clear edge.

Today, I will breakdown two scenarios for extending Wilhoite or Hodges, looking at a fairly average season, and then looking at a breakout season. Also, since only one of these two can win the job, I will only cover one set of breakdowns. I would be surprised if the 49ers retained the loser of this competition past 2016.

This season, Wilhoite and Hodges are each earning $1.671 million. Wilhoite’s salary comes from the restricted free agent tender he signed. Hodges’s salary comes from his rookie deal getting a bump in year four courtesy of the proven performance escalator (PPE).

Average Season

As always I will be using OverTheCap for contract terms, so click on each link to see their OTC breakdown. If Hodges or Wilhoite has an average season, the 49ers could elect to extend the player while also investing a high draft pick in a an option for the long term future.

Erin Henderson, New York Jets

Henderson signed a 2-year deal, worth $4 million, with $750,000 fully guaranteed.

Year Base $ (gtd) Bonuses Cap $
Prorated Roster Workout
2016 $885,000
($750,000)
$0 $365,000 $0 $1,250,000
2017 $2,250,000 $0 $500,000 $0 $2,750,000

Sean Spence, Tennessee Titans

Spence signed a 1-year deal, worth $2.5 million, with $500,000 fully guaranteed.

Year Base $ Bonuses Cap $
Prorated Roster Workout
2016 $1,500,000 $500,000 $500,000 $0 $2,468,750

Karlos Dansby, Cincinnati Bengals

Dansby signed a 1-year deal, worth $2 million, with $700,000 fully guaranteed.

Year Base $ Bonuses Cap $
Prorated Roster Workout
2016 $1,000,000 $700,000 $200,000 $100,000 $2,000,000

With an average season from the winner of this competition, I would expect the 49ers to offer a one- or two-year deal, worth $2 million or $2.5 million a. It would include $700,000 in fully guaranteed money, along with offseason workout bonuses and per game roster bonuses.

Breakout Season

Perry Riley, Washington

Riley signed a 3-year deal, worth $12 million ($4M APY), with $5 million fully guaranteed.

Year Base $ Bonuses Cap $
Prorated Roster Workout
2014 $730,000 $1,049,804 $0 $0 $2,900,392
2015 $3,000,000 $1,049,804 $0 $0 $4,049,804
2016 $4,000,000 $1,049,804 $0 $0 $5,049,804

Demario Davis, Cleveland Browns

Davis signed a 2-year deal, worth $8 million ($4M APY), with $4.1 million fully guaranteed.

Year Base $ (gtd) Bonuses Cap $
Prorated Roster Workout
2016 $2,100,000
($2,100,000)
$1,000,000 $0 $100,000 $3,200,000
2017 $3,700,000 $1,000,000 $0 $100,000 $4,800,000

Jerrell Freeman, Chicago Bears

Freeman signed a 3-year deal, worth $12 million ($4M APY), with $6 million fully guaranteed.

Year Base $ (gtd) Bonuses Cap $
Prorated Roster Workout
2016 $1,000,000
($3,500,000)
$500,000 $2,500,000 $0 $4,000,000
2017 $3,500,000
($1,000,000)
$500,000 $0 $0 $4,000,000
2018 $3,500,000 $500,000 $0 $0 $4,000,000

In this scenario, I would expect the 49ers to offer a two to three year deal, worth $4 million a year. It would include approximately $4 million fully guaranteed, with offseason workout bonuses and per game roster bonuses each year. I would not expect the 49ers to do the same structure as the Bears did with Freeman’s deal, as I doubt they would guarantee two year’s worth of base salaries at signing.

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.