Sometime last night there was a report that 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick was on the trade block. The 49ers quickly refuted the report, but since I am getting a number of questions about it here is how a trade would work from a financial perspective.
Any trade involving Kaepernick would result in a $9,863,013 charge against the 49ers salary cap. Kaepernick’s current cap figure of $15,265,753 would vanish and the 49ers would realize a cap savings of $5,402,740. The 49ers would carry no charges for Kaepernick in 2016 if traded.
The team acquiring Kaepernick would need to have the space available to take on a salary cap charge of $12,800,000. Over the next three seasons his future cap charges would be $14,300,000, $16,900,000, and $17,400,000. Most of those salaries are guaranteed for injury and become fully guaranteed if he is on the roster on April 1 of each year, which is very late, so a team trading for him would have ample time to determine if they wanted to release him in the future.
In general those terms are very cheap for a starting QB. The team aquiring him would look at the contract likely as either a two year deal for $13.55 million a season or four year deal for $15.35 million, with the option to reduce if things go badly. That should make him very attractive and likely drive the price to a first round pick plus more. A few years ago the 49ers received two second round picks for Alex Smith and I believe the market would be stronger for Kaepernick who has far more tools to work with than Smith.
I had made a comment before all of this started that Kaepernick would be a good target for the Eagles down the line if things went poorly in San Francisco this season. I would imagine they would be a team interested now, but in many cases these rumors get started because a team like Philadelphia will pick up the phone and say “any interest in moving player X” and when the reply isn’t an immediate hang up rumors can get started.
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.