clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

DT Chris Jones signed veteran minimum salary benefit contract

The 49ers have an intriguing rotational player in Chris Jones.

Last week, the San Francisco 49ers announced that they re-signed defensive tackle Chris Jones to a one-year contract. 49ers cap expert Jason Hurley has the details on the contract, which will use the veteran minimum salary benefit.

Fooch’s update: Aaron Wilson is reporting the deal also includes a $30,000 playing time incentive.

Jones’ deal would normally count $825,000 against the cap based on the salary plus signing bonus. However, it only counts $665,000 against the cap because of the minimum salary benefit. This rule allows a team to sign a player with four or more credited seasons to a minimum contract, but save money on the cap hit. It was instituted to encourage teams to sign veterans instead of discarding them for rookies. The rule applies to the following situation:

1. A player With 4+ credited seasons

2. He signs a one year contract for the veteran minmum

3. The contract has no more than $80,000 in "additional compensation" (signing bonus, roster bonus, reporting bonus, incentives)

If those conditions apply, the player receives the full minimum contract, but his salary cap is that of a second year player. In this case, Jones gets the minimum salary for players with 4-6 credited seasons, which is $775,000. His cap hit is that of a second year player, which is $615,000, plus the signing bonus.

Jones will get to compete for a rotational role on the 49ers defensive line. If the 49ers were to draft Solomon Thomas, it would seriously cut into Jones’ opportunity considering the signing of Earl Mitchell. Jones would get plenty of chances in the preseason, but if the 49ers go in a direction other than Thomas with the No. 2 pick, it opens the door for a potentially significant backup role for Jones.