During their final press conference, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan confirmed there was a restructure for linebacker Kwon Alexander’s contract. That took place back on November 23, per Over the Cap:
On November 23, 2019 the 49ers and Kwon Alexander completed a contract restructure. The team pro-rated a small amount ($333,525) of Alexander’s remaining 2019 salary to signing bonus. Alexander’s 2020 was lowered from $11.25 million to $976,235 with the rest paid out as an option bonus on April 1, 2020. The team added three voidable years to the contract for salary cap purposes. Alexander’s contract will now void on the 5th day of the 2023 waiver period. This will make Alexander an unrestricted free agent in 2023, same as he was scheduled based on the original contract.
Essentially, the team saved around $8.1 million in cap room for $2020. Center Weston Richburg redid his deal as well, which saved $4.5 million. I think the biggest shock here is Alexander has five accrued seasons in the NFL, and he’s only 25-years old. That’s pretty crazy. The 49ers linebacking corp is in place for the foreseeable future. Here is a look at the before and after from Kwon’s contract:
Wow, Kwon Alexander’s contract took an incredible change going into this offseason— Perry (@Perry_49ers) February 6, 2020
Seem’s like a lot of his money got converted into signing bonus money, which created roughly 10 million in cap space for this season alone. pic.twitter.com/v74C001rfI
One of the biggest offseason storylines will be how many impending free agents will San Francisco be able to retain. The three big ones are Arik Armstead, Jimmie Ward, and Emmanuel Sanders. Armstead is the top priority and has a chance to be tagged. The question then becomes, will that turn into a trade? Moving forward, will this be one of those contract negotiations that is never-ending? It’s no secret that the 49ers defensive line was the reason the defense dominated this year. Armstead’s versatility and ten sacks were a big reason for that.
The players that the team chooses to bring in or back for depth are equally important as we saw this past season. They didn’t get much love at the time, but the front office made a few great signings last free agency that raised the quality of talent on the roster. The Ben Garland’s and Daniel Brunskill’s mean a lot. Restructures like Richburg and Alexander will help the Niners continue to keep this team intact.