Since the Super Bowl 19 name value players have been released from their contracts and today the first one of those players actually signed a new contract when Earl Mitchell agreed to a four year, $16 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. While we don’t know the full details Matt Maiocco tweeted out that the first year salary is $5.5 million which is a pretty nice haul for a player who was released in part because his former team determined paying him $4 million for the season was too high.
Thus far in the small extensions we have seen, little, if any, of the contracts reflect the huge amount of cap room that is expected to be available this March. I’d consider this to be the first signing to indicate otherwise and one that should be a good sign moving forward for free agents. Mitchell will be 30 this year and has missed 11 games in the last two years so its not as if he was a slam dunk, star to earn a contract let alone one that will give him a raise. The $5,5M salary ranks 24th among all defensive tackles and 34 defensive ends.
Traditionally the 49ers have been big proponents of money tied to roster bonuses and even with the changes at general manager I would expect that to remain, so its possible that a good chunk of his salary will be tied to actually playing on Sundays.
The $4M APY makes Mitchell the 10th highest paid player on the 49ers and his $5,5 million salary ranks 7th on the team. This is expected to be the first of many moves the 49ers will make in an attempt to rebuild their franchise.