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Considering linebackers 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 | WR | OL | DL | CB | S

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 linebackers. The 49ers made two of their most significant acquisitions at the position. They signed Malcolm Smith to a five-year, $26.5 million contract in free agency, and then traded up to pick No. 31 to select Alabama’s Reuben Foster. With NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks both on the books as well, it creates some questions about playing time.

Reuben Foster is recovering from a torn rotator cuff, but is expected to be ready for training camp, while NaVorro Bowman appears good to go following last year’s Achilles injury. If Foster is in place for camp, one option is having him come on in sub-packages in place of Smith. Brooks would seem situated to be the SAM, as he enters the final year of his contract. We could see some rotation there as well, but Brooks has the all-around game to handle the role.

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

NaVorro Bowman: $13,478,000

$2.6 million in 2017 base salary, $680,000 in signing bonus prorations from 2017-2020, $520,000 in option bonus prorations from 2017-2021, $690,000 in option bonus prorations from 2018-2022, $800,000 option bonus proration, $654,000 in signing bonus prorations for 2017, 2018.

Guaranteed Money left to be paid: $6,050,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $5,254,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $8,224,000

Malcolm Smith: $11,500,000

$7 million signing bonus prorations, his $2 million 2017 base salary, and $2.5 million of his 2018 base salary.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $4,500,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $3,650,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $7,850,000

Reuben Foster: $7,338,444

$4,711,320 signing bonus, guaranteed base salaries of $465,000 in 2017, $875,708 in 2018, and $1,286,416 in 2019.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $2,162,124
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $3,804,954
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $3,533,490

Ray-Ray Armstrong: $1,208,334

$333,334 in signing bonus prorations, $875,000 of his 2017 base salary.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $875,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $1,041,666
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $166,668

Dekoda Watson: $1,000,000

All signing bonus prorations.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $0
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $333,333
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $666,667

Ahmad Brooks: $848,750

All signing bonus proration.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $0
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $848,750

Brock Coyle: $400,000

All signing bonus proration.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $0
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $400,000

Eli Harold: $348,687

All signing bonus prorations.

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $0
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $174,343
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $174,343

Jimmie Gilbert: $62,000

$12,000 signing bonus, $50,000 of his 2017 base salary

Fully Guaranteed Money Left to be Paid: $50,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2017: $54,000
Post June 1 Dead Money 2018: $8,000

OLB Donavin Newsom - TBD