Rising cap strengthens Kaepernick's market value

YSTL: Will 49ers extend Kaepernick before '14 season begins?

Rising cap strengthens Kaepernick's market value
March 3, 2014, 9:45 am
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Colin Kaepernick's representatives are reportedly setting the 'floor' from a contract at $18 million per year. (USATSI)

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Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s market value has only risen since the end of the season.

That’s why, as reported during the NFL Scouting Combine, Kaepernick’s representation considers the “floor” for a contract extension to be $18 million annually.

The Chicago Bears are paying Jay Cutler $54 million over the first three years of the deal he signed in early January. The 49ers know full well that the market has been set, and that’s why negotiations appear to be moving in a positive direction.

Moreover, Dallas signed Tony Romo to an extension worth $18 million annually in April. And that deal was signed at a time when there were reports the NFL salary cap would remain “flat” until 2015.

Last week, the cap was set at $133 million per team – a $10 million increase over last season. And the NFL Network reported last week that with new TV money coming in, the cap can be expected to rise another $10 million in 2015.

The Kaepernick camp has every reason to expect contract negotiations to begin at the Cutler/Romo level – especially with the salary cap on the rise.

Cutler turns 31 in April. He has started just two postseason games in his career. He is coming off a career-best 89.2 passer rating with 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 11 games.

Romo posted far better numbers than Kaepernick. He threw 31 touchdowns with 10 interceptions for a passer rating of 96.7. But he turns 34 in April, and his teams are 1-3 in the playoffs with the last postseason appearance coming in 2009.

Kaepernick is 26 years old. He accumulated a passer rating of 91.6 with 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his first full season as a starter. His career postseason record is 4-2, including a 3-1 mark in playoff road games.