The San Francisco 49ers entered free agency with the second most salary cap space, and a week in, they currently have the most cap space with $73.9 million. The team has spent approximately $40 million in 2017 cap space in adding 11 players to the roster.
There is plenty of talk about how much each team is spending, but with NFL contracts, what really matters is guaranteed money. NFL contracts are almost never fully guaranteed at signing, although we do sometimes see it with one-year deals. A regular feature of 49ers contracts is rolling guarantees. A player signed for more than one year will often have a salary that is guaranteed for injury at signing, but will not become fully guaranteed (for skill or cap-related cuts) until April 1 of the year in question. There were a lot of critiques about this issue in Colin Kaepernick’s contract, but it is a regular feature of most every notable 49ers contract.
I don’t have numbers for the rest of the league, but I did some math on the fully guaranteed money on the 49ers recent contracts. Since we don’t get to see the physical contracts, this comes courtesy of Jason Hurley’s reports, and those of Over The Cap, Aaron Wilson, and Tom Pelissero.
The numbers are for what has been reported as 100 percent guaranteed at signing, and not money that is guaranteed for injury. I included the free agent contracts signed before the start of the new league year, as well as Jeremy Kerley’s contract extension and the Jeremy Zuttah trade. We do not have numbers on Brock Coyle’s deal other than his base salary, or that of re-signed DT Chris Jones.
In going through these deals, I count $60,200,000 in fully guaranteed money, and $160,315,000 in total contract value handed out. I don’t have comparable numbers for the rest of the league. On Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert took a look at all guaranteed money handed out. His numbers did not include many of the 49ers signings, and he looked at total guaranteed money, including rolling guarantees that are only guaranteed for injury at the present time. At that point, the Jacksonville Jaguars led the NFL with $68,750,000, and the 49ers seventh with $38,450,000. Again, this was any guarantees, and was limited to a handful of player contracts.
Here is what the 49ers full guarantees look like per player. The number in parenthesis is contract length and total value.
QB Brian Hoyer: $9.85 million (2 years, $12 million)
FB Kyle Juszczyk: $7 million (4 years, $21 million)
WR Pierre Garcon: $17 million (5 years, $47.45 million)
WR Marquise Goodwin: $4.45 million (2 years, $6 million)
TE Logan Paulsen: $125,000 (1 year, $1 million)
LB Malcolm Smith: $11.5 million (5 years, $26.5 million)
K Robbie Gould: $1 million (2 years, $4 million)
QB Matt Barkley: $500,000 (2 years, $4 million)
WR Aldrick Robinson: $500,000 (2 years, $4 million)
DT Earl Mitchell: $4.65 million (4 years, $16 million)
CB K’Waun Williams: $75,000 (1 year, $765,000)
DB Don Jones: $750,000 (2 years, $2.2 million)
WR Jeremy Kerley extension: $2.8 million (3 years, $8.4 million)
OL Jeremy Zuttah (trade): $0 (2 years, $7 million)
WR DeAndre Carter: Appears to be no guaranteed money (1 year)
LB Brock Coyle: No info other than $1 million base salary (1 year)
DT Chris Jones: No info yet (1 year)