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Considering safeties 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 — QB | RB | TE | WROL | DL | CB

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.

Last week, we started a series of articles in which we will look at the guaranteed money and dead money related to each player at the various positions. The idea is that players with more guaranteed money or potential dead money hits are less likely to get released under the new management.

With each position, salary cap guru Jason Hurley 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.

Today, we move on to the safeties. The 49ers are making a significant change at the position. They are moving cornerback Jimmie Ward to free safety, and moving Eric Reid to strong safety, where he will compete with Jaquiski Tartt. We’ve talked about the 49ers spending three straight first round picks on the defensive line, but back-to-back defensive back picks in 2013 and 2014 means the 49ers now have first round picks in the secondary.

In terms of guaranteed money, this is interesting given the fifth year option. Reid is currently on his fully guaranteed fifth-year option, paid at the safety rate. The 49ers exercised Ward’s fifth year option a couple weeks ago, but given his cornerback work last year, it is at the higher cornerback rate. Ward’s option is guaranteed for injury, and will become fully guaranteed next March.

It remains to be seen what the 49ers plan is for Reid beyond the 2017 season, and how he will compete with Tartt this year. The 49ers should be able to sort through things for 2017, but it gets nebulous after that. It is conceivable Reid is gone after 2017 and Ward is gone after 2018. If Ward impresses this year, a contract extension could happen, but it is too foggy right now to say anything with any sort of certainty.

Here is a rundown of each player’s pertinent salary numbers.

Eric Reid: $5,676,000

5th-year team option, became guaranteed on March 9, 2017.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $5,676,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $5,676,000

Jaquiski Tartt: $961,642

All signing bonus prorations

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $0
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $480,821
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $480,821

Jimmie Ward: $873,187

All signing bonus proration in 2017. Additionally, has $8,526,000 injury guarantee for his 2018 5th-year option, which becomes fully guaranteed on the first day of the 2018 new league year.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $0
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $873,187

Don Jones: $750,000

$125,000 signing bonus prorations, $500,000 of his 2017 base salary.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $500,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $625,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $125,000

Adrian Colbert: $84,800

All signing bonus prorations.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $0
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $21,200
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $63,600

Malik Golden: $15,000

$3,000 signing bonus proration, $12,000 of his 2017 base salary.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $12,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $13,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $2,000

SS Vinnie Sunseri - $0

FS Lorenzo Jerome - TBD

S Chanceller James - TBD