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Salary cap implications of Jimmy Garoppolo injury

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The San Francisco 49ers’ injured reserve list is now a rather expensive proposition. The team placed Jerick McKinnon on the list after he tore his ACL, and now they’ve added Jimmy Garoppolo to the list after his own torn ACL.

McKinnon’s deal included $11.7 million guaranteed at signing to be paid out over the course of the 2018 season, and a $50,000 workout bonus he earned before the injury. The 49ers will not be paying him $250,000 in game-day roster bonus money this season.

Garoppolo’s deal included $48.7 million fully guaranteed at signing, with $41.2 million of it paid out in year one (his $7.5 million base salary in 2019 is also fully guaranteed). Garoppolo earned a $600,000 workout bonus this offseason, and earned 3/16 of an $800,000 in-season roster bonus before the injury. That totals $41,950,000 in cash paid to Garoppolo this year.

So with Garoppolo now done for the 2018 season, which is a huge blow, his 2019 salary cap number drops from $20 million to $19.35 million. This happens because of his roster bonus. Since Garoppolo will not be on the roster for 13 games, his $800,000 bonus becomes only partially likely to be earned. For cap purposes, 3 games ($150,000) will be LTBE, and the remaining 13 games ($650,000) will be NLTBE. If he is on the roster for all 16 games next season (or anything over the LTBE three games), then the 49ers will be debited that amount in the 2020 cap.

The 49ers will get a $650,000 credit against the cap in 2019 for Garoppolo’s missed games, but that will be mostly evened out by the promotion of Nick Mullens from the practice squad. Mullens was earning $10,000 per week on the practice squad, and will get a significant salary bump with his promotion.

Now with Nick Mullens’s promotion from the practice squad, he goes from making $10,000 a week, to $30,000 on his new $480,000 base salary. If he is on the roster these next 13 games, he will earn $390,000 of that salary. That leaves the 49ers saving $260,000 in cap space from Garoppolo’s roster bonus money. Not a huge amount, but it is worth noting.

I have the 49ers now sitting at $36,587,891 in cap space for the 2018 season. If they were to carry that over into 2019, the team would be looking at $65,789,739 in 2019 cap room for 2019. It is worth noting they have signed three players to the practice squad in addition to promoting Mullens, and additional injuries will likely mean roster additions before the end of the season — thus, cap space figures will change before the end of the season.