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Considering what kind of contract Carlos Hyde might find

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The 49ers running back has struggled at times to stay on the field, but is effective when active.

The 2017 season is over for the San Francisco 49ers and 27 other NFL teams, which means it is time to look ahead to free agency. The new league year starts in March, but until then, teams have exclusive negotiating rights with their free agents.

The San Francisco 49ers have a host of notable free agents, but the biggest names are quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, running back Carlos Hyde, safety Eric Reid, and center Daniel Kilgore. With the season behind us, it’s time to move onto projecting potential contracts for these key free agents. We’ll get started with Carlos Hyde.

Hyde is coming off arguably his best season as a 49er. He rushed for 940 yards and eight touchdowns, while also hauling in 350 receiving yards. His yards per carry was down this year, but he became a much more regular feature in Kyle Shanahan’s short passing attack.

I see Hyde’s market being somewhere in the range of $5 million to $6.5 million per year. He made it through the 2017 season relatively unscathed, but his injury history likely will impact his deal to some extent. There is a certain amount of speculation with this because it will depend on how the running back market shakes out.

As always I will be using Over The Cap for contract terms, so click on each link to see their OTC breakdown.

Latavius Murray

The first contract to consider belongs to Latavius Murray of the Minnesota Vikings. The Oakland Raiders originally drafted him in 2013, and he hit the open market last year. He signed a three year contract with the Vikings, worth $15 million.

Murray received $3.4 million fully guaranteed at signing. That included a $1.8 million signing bonus and his 2017 base salary. For each of the three seasons, his contract includes $500,000 in per game roster bonuses, which breaks down to $31,200 per game.

Murray also has his 2018 base salary ($5,150,000) guaranteed for injury, and it becomes fully guaranteed if he is on the roster on the third day of the 2018 league year. It is a similar tool the 49ers use, although San Francisco uses April 1st as their day of choice. It effectively makes this a one year contract with two options years.

You can review Murray’s contract at Over The Cap.

Giovani Bernard

The Cincinnati Bengals’ running back signed a three year contract extension in June 2016 worth $15.5 million. He received $5 million in fully guaranteed money, with $3 million coming in the form of a signing bonus. Bernard was entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, so the prorated signing bonus applied to that first year, plus the three years worth of the extension.

Looking at OTC’s review of the contract, Bernard appears to have gotten a $1 million roster bonus this past season, along with getting $200,000 roster bonuses each year, from 2017-2019. If these are per-game roster bonuses, they would break down to $12,500 per game.

You can review Bernard’s contract at Over The Cap.

Lamar Miller

The Houston Texans signed Lamar Miller after he completed his rookie contract with the Miami Dolphins. Miller signed a four year contract worth as much as $26 million, following the 2015 season.

Miller’s deal included got a $14.4 million fully guaranteed. The guaranteed money included a $4 million signing bonus, a $3.5 million roster bonus in 2016, and his 2016 & 2017 base salaries. It looks like Miller has $750,000 in per game roster bonuses in 2018, and 2019, which breaks down to $46,875 a game.

I do not believe that Hyde will get anywhere near this kind of guaranteed money at signing. If he returns to the 49ers, they usually do not do a big roster bonus in the first year of deal, with it guaranteed on a certain date.

You can review Miller’s contract at Over The Cap.

Potential contract parameters

If Carlos Hyde re-signs with the 49ers, I see a potential contract with the 49er being more in the Latavius Murray range if they decide to do a three year deal. It would include a guaranteed 2018 base salary with a decent sized signing bonus. It would include an April 1, 2019 guarantee on his second year base salary. As they usually do, the 49ers would add in per game roster bonuses, in the $500,000 to $750,000 range. Finally, there would be workout bonuses, ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 per year.

For comparison with running backs not on their rookie contract, here is a ranking of the top ten players based on average salary per year, according to Over The Cap. Where would you see Hyde fitting in this group?

1. Le’Veon Bell - $12,120,000 (franchise tag)
2. Devonta Freeman - $8,250,000
3. LeSean McCoy - $8,010,000
4. Doug Martin - $7,150,000
5. Lamar Miller - $6,500,000
6. Chris Ivory - $6,400,000
7. DeMarco Murray - $6,375,000
8. Giovani Bernard - $5,166,667
9. Latavius Murray - $5,000,000
10. Darren Sproles - $4,500,000
10. Marshawn Lynch - $4,500,000
10. C.J. Anderson - $4,500,000

As always you can follow me on Twitter, @Jay_AB81, or check our salary cap section here, on Niners Nation, which is now officially the exclusive home for my salary cap information.