A lot of people balked at the contract the San Francisco 49ers gave offensive tackle Garry Gilliam, who projects to be the team’s primary backup at both tackle spots next season. As was the case with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and center Daniel Kilgore, it’s a totally acceptable contract that has many team-friendly provisions.
Contract details for Gilliam has trickled in over the past couple days, but we got some definitive numbers from Nick Wagoner of ESPN on Friday evening. He notes that Gilliam’s numbers include few guarantees and a lower cap hit in year one, with much bigger numbers in year two, but minus guarantees (outside of injuries only).
His $1.75 million base salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed, along with a $400,000 roster bonus. He can earn up to another $500,000 in game roster bonuses for being one of the active 46. For his second year, his cap number jumps to $5.05 million, with only $1.5 million of that guaranteed, and only for injury. It becomes fully guaranteed if he’s still on the roster on April 1, 2019, according to Wagoner.
Gilliam is an important piece for the 49ers at the moment, given the uncertain future of both left tackle Joe Staley and right tackle Trent Brown. Staley is simply getting up there in years and contemplated retirement a year ago while Brown has injury concerns as well as motivational concerns.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have both said positive things about Brown at the NFL Combine, but they also have both suggested that they need more from Brown. The team is unhappy with the communication surrounding Brown’s shoulder injury last season, and he has shown up to multiple offseeason programs out of shape.
Of course, Brown’s play on the field has been nothing short of fantastic. With one year left on his deal, I hope the two sides can get something figured out. But Gilliam’s deal, with its low number for 2018, where he will be a backup and higher number for 2019, where things are more uncertain.