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What Kaepernick’s New Deal Means for Him and Russell Wilson

Courtesy of StandingoSports
Courtesy of StandingoSports

The Deal

Kap recently signed a 6 year deal worth up to $126 million. Much of the money is not guaranteed, only $13,073,000 is completely guaranteed at the time of signing as a signing bonus. While only $61 million is guaranteed over the 6 year contract.  If Kaepernick has complete all the tasks the team asks of him, there is a clause in the contract called the “De-Escalator” which can lower the amount of the deal by $12 million over the life of the contract. If Kap does not take at least 80% of the snaps for the 49ers every year he can lose a chunk of that contract, but he can receive bonuses for being an 1st or 2nd team All-Pro, and leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

Kap also generates around $20 million during the span of the contract by going to offseason workouts every year. So far that is $32 million that can be taken off easily if he does not do what the team expects from him. Kap is a very mobile quarterback which means he can become injured and get injured fairly commonly and Kap makes around $1 Million just for being on the active every week in the base of his salary. If he missed 2-3 weeks due to injury he can lose out on up $4-5 Million just for the injury.


Kaepernick got this deal because he is obviously a great quarterback and a great leader for his team. He has led his team to a Super Bowl (lost) and a Conference Championship in the last two consecutive years. This deal looks like it is great for Kap but, in my opinion, it is a lot better for the  49ers. The 49ers get a great quarterback but they also have protection from his future injuries that are basically guaranteed. Kap loses a chunk of his base salary if he gets a long term injury, this protects the cap for the 49ers and means that they can feel comfortable giving him this contract.

The 49ers pumped up the base of the contract because there is in place the “De-Escalator Clause”. This makes Kap’s agents think that he will receive most of the $126 Million but Kap can lose up $50 million if the 49ers do not play as well as the contract expects. There is basically room for the 49ers to walk away from Kaepernick if they see that he is not good enough for the team.

What it means for the The 49ers

Impact players for the 49ers such as Vernon Davis, who is expecting an extension, are most likely expecting more money now considering how much Kaepernick received. The 49ers have Vernon Davis and multiple offensive lineman who are close to have expired contracts. Without good offensive lineman Kap will not be able to succeed in the pocket and without good receivers such as Davis who is his favorite he may not be able to get many passing completions. The main point of this is to show that other important players for the 49ers will want to cash in and receive what they deserve for helping Kaepernick and contributing to the team’s success.

What it means for Russell Wilson

Courtesy of Forbes
Courtesy of Forbes

Russel Wilson is grinning from ear to ear after hearing about this contract. Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round so his rookie contract was lower than Kaepernick’s. In Kap’s rookie contract (2nd round pick) he earned around $700,000/year, while Wilson earned $526,,217/year. The major difference between Kaepernick and Wilson is that Wilson has won a Super Bowl for his team and has helped rebrand the team as a powerhouse. They are both quicker, scrambling type quarterbacks who have shown that they deserve large contracts and extensions. Due to the contract that Joe Flacco received after winning a Super Bowl you have expect the same or maybe more for Wilson.

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