A lot was made of Colin Kaepernick’s new contract last year, when the San Francisco 49ers agreed to pay him around $126 million. The contract would be spread out over seven years, but it was still looked at as a landmark deal. Now that the 49ers have no chance to make the playoffs, though, some interesting wording in the contract means that it’s not so huge after all, and Kaepernick’s bad season is going to be costly.
For example, the quarterback was supposed to get a salary in 2015 of $12.4 million. However, stipulations in the contract said that he either had to take the 49ers to the Super Bowl, or he had to be considered an All-Pro even if the team missed the Super Bowl. Brad Reifler even said Kaepernick has actually been in the bottom half of the league with his quarterback stats, so he’s not making the All-Pro teams, and the 49ers are out of the playoffs, so they’re not going to the Super Bowl.
As a result, Kaepernick instantly loses $2 million. If this happens again next year, he loses another $2 million. This keeps happening throughout the contract. This deal shows why it is very important to focus on all aspects of a contract, not just the overall money. The maximum amount that a player can get is usually not guaranteed in the NFL, so the wording can make a deal far less valuable.