Steelers News

Colin Kaepernick Contract Extension Full Of Fluff

Details of the six-year contract extension signed on Wednesday by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have now emerged and I thought I would pass them along being as so many people are concerned about how it might affect contract negotiations with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

For starters, several reports indicate that Kaepernick only received a $12.328 million signing bonus. In addition, his $973,766 base salary that he was originally scheduled to earn in 2014 was lowered to $645,000. His $100,000 workout bonus that he was also already scheduled to earn, reportedly stays in place.

Being as Kaepernick still had $556,691 of amortization left over from his rookie contract signing bonus, his 2014 cap charge should come in at just over $3.767 million.

So what about the $61 million guaranteed?

According to Pro Football Talk, that’s a farce, just as I suspected it would be.

While $13.073 million was guaranteed at signing, Kaepernick’s base salaries in years 2015-2017 are only fully guaranteed for injury only. In addition, only $5.2 million of his 2018 base salary is guaranteed for injury only. Those injury guarantees reportedly work on a year-to-year basis and each year’s amount only becomes fully guaranteed on April 1 of that particular year.

Those injury only guaranteed base salaries total out at $48 million. Add the $13.073 million on to that, and there’s your supposed $61 million guaranteed. I feel compelled to add an LOL right here.

Here’s another kicker, per PFF. Kaepernick’s deal requires him to purchase, with after-tax dollars, a disability policy that pays the 49ers $20 million if he suffers a career-ending injury.

If that’s not enough fluff for you, Kaepernick’s contract can potentially de-escalate by $2 million per year. Here is the details as to how that works per PFF.

In each year from 2015 through 2020, however, there’s a catch. A big one. The total payout potentially de-escalates by $2 million per year, with up to $12 million potentially going away.

Kaepernick can halt the de-escalation by taking, in any year of the deal, 80 percent of the snaps and if:  (1) the 49ers appear in the Super Bowl; or (2) Kaepernick is named a first-team or second-team All-Pro.  If he satisfies the requirement in 2014, the full $12 million remains.  If he fails in 2014 but succeeds in 2015, $10 million stays.  If he does it for the first time in 2016, $8 million remains.  If he does it for the first time in 2017, $6 million stays — and so on until 2019, when if he satisfies the requirement that year for the first time $2 million stays in the deal for 2010.

We won’t get into the specifics of the rest of the contract as you can read it on PFF, but $2.4 million of the deal is tied to workout bonuses while another $12 million of the deal is tied to per game roster bonuses beginning in 2015. In other words, Kaepernick will lose $125,000 for every game that he misses from 2015-2020.

So, are you still worried about how this will affect Roethlisberger? The 49ers have a Rent-A-Kaepernick deal now in place with their quarterback and essentially only gave him $13.073 million guaranteed. If my math is right, Kaepernick has the potential to earn $139.073 million over the course of seven seasons, but we all know damn good and well that won’t happen. Sure, people can claim that this is an average yearly value of nearly $20 million over seven years, but it’s all fluff.

Rest easy, Steelers fans.

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