Word came out latelast week that the San Francisco 49ers reworked the contract of DE Ray McDonald for salary cap relief and today we have the details.
The 49ers reduced McDonald’s base salary to the minimum salary and converted the difference, $2.645 million, to a prorated bonus. The move creates $2,116,000 in salary cap space for the 49ers, who are carrying a large number of players on reserve lists this season.
McDonald already had one voidable contract year in his current contract and to maximize the salary cap relief they added an additional two void years to the contract. This marks the second such contract this year in which the 49ers added a significant number of void years in order to function with the salary cap in 2014. San Francisco is attempting to keep what is arguably the deepest roster in the NFL intact and is basically walking a tightrope with the cap at this stage in trying to do so.
McDonald’s dead money in 2015 is now $4.6 rather than $2.5 million and in 2016, when his contract voids, his dead money charge jumped from $746K to $2.3 million.
McDonald, literally hours after signing this deal, was arrested on domestic violence charges. If suspended 6 games for his actions the 49ers should only be able to recover 6/17ths of his bonus proration for the year rather than the full amount. The remainder of the money should be protected from forfeiture.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.