When Chip Kelly signed a four-year, $24 million contract with UCLA, we knew that his new salary was going to offset a portion of what the San Francisco 49ers still owe him stemming from the four-year contract they gave Kelly in 2016. What we didn’t know were the exact numbers.
Strictly speaking, we still don’t, but a report from Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports gives us some more specifics, and it sounds like Kelly did the 49ers a big favor. Instead of taking less base salary from UCLA to force the 49ers to pay more money, Kelly signed a deal with UCLA that is very typical of standard head coaching contract.
In 2018, Kelly is scheduled to earn around $6.5 million, which is what the 49ers owed him, but approximately $3.125 million of that is coming from UCLA. In 2019, Kelly is due approximately $7.7 million, with $3.75 million of that coming from UCLA.
In all, UCLA is saving the 49ers close to $7.5 million over the course of two years, more than half of what the 49ers were scheduled to owe Kelly.
This is all accomplished due to standard percentage-based pay raises over the course of the contract. He could have taken a low base salary to force the 49ers to pay more, but he did not, according to Maiocco’s source with knowledge of the situation.
As I said before, Kelly was a fun coach to cover and I was sad to see him go. He didn’t really get a fair shake in San Francisco, even if I have doubts about the viability of his offense in the NFL. I wish him the best at UCLA, especially after he saved the 49ers a decent chunk of change with his new contract.