Programming note: 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco will join Jim Kozimor tonight on Yahoo SportsTalk Live at 5 & 11 p.m.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick seemingly wanted to avoid squeezing the 49ers for every penny to allow the organization a better opportunity to keep as much of the team's roster together as possible.
The result is that the 49ers signed him to essentially a seven-year, $115 million deal that was worked out seven weeks before general manager Trent Baalke’s stated goal of the opening of training camp.
But Kaepernick’s new contract certainly is no guarantee that wide receiver Michael Crabtree and guard Mike Iupati are soon to follow. In fact, the Kaepernick deal might actually complicate matters, according to industry insiders.
The 49ers have set a precedent with Kaepernick’s contract.
Their franchise quarterback received a signing bonus of $12,328,766 (to be exact) and a fully guaranteed 2014 base salary of $645,000 for this season. That works out to just less than $13 million fully guaranteed.
In comparison, guard Andy Levitre received $13 million guaranteed ($10.5 million signing bonus and $2.5 million fully guaranteed salary) in his deal with the Tennessee Titans in 2013. Logan Mankins (New England) got $21.5 million guaranteed, while Carl Nicks (Tampa Bay) and Jahri Evans (New Orleans) both received guarantees of $19 million.
Iupati, a two-time Pro Bowl player who was a first-team All-Pro in the 2012 season, figures to get more guaranteed money than what the 49ers paid Kaepernick if he reaches the open market. He is entering the final year of his contract. He would likely have to make some dramatic concessions to return to the 49ers.
It’s why some believe that the 49ers might have better luck extending Alex Boone, who has two years remaining on his contract but is skipping the voluntary offseason program as he seeks a new deal.
The 49ers appear to be bracing for some turnover at guard. Centers Daniel Kilgore and Marcus Martin can both play guard, so the player who loses the competition might end up becoming the top center/guard backup. Joe Looney has shown some promise at guard, and the 49ers selected Brandon Thomas in the third round. Thomas will spend this season rehabbing from ACL surgery.
Crabtree is entering the final year of his deal, too. As everyone remembers, he was difficult to sign as a rookie when he had no outside negotiating power. It would be a major surprise if the 49ers reach an extension with him before he has a chance to test the open market next spring.
Receivers Anquan Boldin, Stevie Johnson, Quinton Patton and Bruce Ellington are under contract through at least the end of the 2015 season, so the 49ers have some building blocks in case Crabtree is not back next year.
The 49ers are not in the business of overpaying -- or doling out huge amounts of guaranteed money -- for anyone. And they do not engage in bidding wars, either.
So just because the 49ers theoretically saved some money with Kaepernick’s deal, do not expect team president and chief negotiator Paraag Marathe to haphazardly spend it.