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Laken Tomlinson deal is effectively a one-year extension and then ‘we’ll see’

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Here’s how the cap hits and potential dead money look for the 49ers.

Tuesday morning we learned the details of offensive guard Laken Tomlinson’s three-year contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. Jason Hurley broke them down, but I thought it might help to sort out the annual cap hits, and then dead money implications if the team elects to release him along the way.

Tomlinson is entering the final season of his rookie deal, and the three-year extension was tacked on to the end of it, rather than replacing the year. He is signed through 2021, but the structure of the deal leaves the 49ers with some outs, particularly thanks to their excess of cap space.

The 49ers had Tomlinson signed through 2018, and chose to decline his fifth year option. That option would have been worth approximately $9,625,000 in 2019. All offensive linemen are combined together for purposes of the fifth year option, and that number is what players picked 11-32 receive. Tomlinson was the 28th overall pick of the first round.

This extension includes $6,600,944 fully guaranteed between his signing bonus and 2018 base salary. He received $10 million in total guaranteed money between his $5 million signing bonus and injury guarantees on future salary. This effectively spreads the cost of the 2019 option over multiple years. The 49ers did not think he was worth a big hit in 2019, particularly if they later decided he was worth an extension. Instead, they signed him to a more modest deal that gets Tomlinson a pay day while giving the 49ers some outs along the way.

Here’s how each year of the deal breaks out:

2018

He received $5 million signing bonus paid this year. His $1,600,944 base salary became fully guaranteed with the deal, but that was his existing base salary for the final year of his rookie contract. Although the deal is a three-year extension, paying the signing bonus in 2018 means it prorates for four years ($1.25 million per year) instead of three. That adds $1.25 million to this year’s salary cap.

2019

Base: $2,000,000
SB proration: $1,250,000
Roster bonus: $400,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
CAP HIT: $3,750,000

His base salary is guaranteed for injury. It becomes fully guaranteed next year, likely at the beginning of April, as the 49ers usually do. If the 49ers cut him after the 2018 season, they would carry $3.75 million in dead money and clear no cap space. If cut him but designated him as a post-June 1st cut, they would carry $1.25 million in dead money in 2019 and $2.5 million in 2020. If cut, they would clear $2.5 million in cap space next year.

2020

Base: $3,500,000
SB proration: $1,250,000
Roster bonus: $400,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
CAP HIT: $5,250,000

$3 million of his base salary is guaranteed for injury. It becomes fully guaranteed next year, likely at the beginning of April, as the 49ers usually do. If the 49ers cut him after the 2019 season, they would carry $2.5 million in dead money and clear $2.75 million in cap space. If cut him but designated him as a post-June 1st cut, they would carry $1.25 million in dead money in 2020 and $1.25 million in 2021. This would result in clearing $4 million in cap space in 2020.

2021

Base: $4,500,000
SB proration: $1,250,000
Roster bonus: $400,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
CAP HIT: $6,250,000

None of his base salary is guaranteed for injury. If the 49ers cut him after the 2020 season, they would carry $1.25 million in dead money and clear $5 million in cap space. As it would be the final year of his contract, there would be no post-June 1st designation.