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Considering quarterback guaranteed money and 49ers roster locks

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The 49ers handed out all sorts of contracts this offseason. Time to look at guaranteed money and what it means for each positional depth chart.

Earlier this week, following the 49ers three latest roster moves, I asked how many locks the 49ers have on their roster. With a new coaching staff and front office, few players are going to be safe when the time comes for roster cuts in late August. Some players seem like clear locks, while other seem clearly in danger, but nothing is really all that clear given the organizational overhaul.

In that roster locks article, I mentioned the value of looking at guaranteed money. User Brother Girth looked at that money for free agent additions to consider roster security. I decided that we should take this a step further. With help from cap guru Jason Hurley, I thought we’d take a look at each position group and the salary cap issues in play.

With each position, we’ll look at the amount of fully guaranteed money still to be played out, and what dead money hits would look like following a release or trade. It is May 10, but I decided to focus on these exclusively as post-June 1 cuts. Any player cut after June 1 has their dead money split between 2017 and 2018. The 49ers could make some roster moves between now and then, but we’re looking at this based on training camp-related cuts. Also, we don’t know how offset language works for most of these contracts, so we are not factoring that into the assessment.

We’re starting with the quarterback position. It has a lot of long-term questions, but all things considered, it’s arguably the simplest position to assess for 2017. The 49ers have made it clear Brian Hoyer will start, Matt Barkley will be the backup, and C.J. Beathard will be the developmental prospect. Shanahan did not specify, but it sounds like Beathard will spend the entire season as the inactive third quarterback.

Hoyer is the only player with a significant guarantees. He received a $4 million signing bonus. If he were cut today, the 49ers would still owe him $5.85 million in base salary between 2017 and 2018, pending offset language and if he signed elsewhere.

We can say with almost complete certainty Hoyer, Barkley, and Beathard will be on the roster this season. I suppose someone like Barkley might technically not be a lock, but I just don’t see any way he is not on the roster when final cuts are made later this summer.

Here is a rundown of each player’s pertinent salary numbers. If you have any questions, or think there is a better way to organize this for the rest of the series of articles, let us know in the comments.

Brian Hoyer: $9,850,000

Includes a $4 million signing bonus, his 2017 base salary of $2.95 million, and $2.9 million of his 2018 base salary.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $5,850,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $7,850,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $2,000,000

QB Matt Barkley: $500,000

All signing bonus

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $0
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $250,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $250,000

QB C.J. Beathard: $706,284

Signing bonus once he officially signs

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $706,284
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $176,571
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $529,713

QB Nick Mullens: $20,000

$2,000 signing bonus, $18,000 of his 2017 base salary

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $18,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $18,666
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $1,334