Joel Corry of the National Football Post once again does an excellent job of navigating the ins and outs of a big NFL contract:
The $45.25 million deal contains slightly more than $25 million in guarantees. $11.5 million is fully guaranteed. $7.5 million is a signing bonus and $4 million is an option bonus due on next April 1 with an equivalent non-exercise fee. The remainder of Bowman’s $540,000 2012 base salary ($158,823.53), $630,000 2013 base salary, $4 million 2014 base salary, $4.7 million 2015 base salary and $4.17 million of his $5.85 million 2016 base salary are guaranteed for injury only.
The injury guarantees do turn into full guarantees, provided Bowman is on the roster as of April 1st in each league year. Corry also breaks down the roster bonuses and other salaries in the contract if you follow the link.
In my opinion the 49’ers are following a trend by extending early and paying for the good seasons rather than being stuck with large cap hits on the back end of the contract. Its a similar strategy used by the New England Patriots in their extension of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Like those deals the 49’ers have plenty of protection with Bowman due to rolling guarantees and per game roster bonuses. Per my calculations the cap charges should be as follows:
|Year||Cap||Dead Money||Cap Savings|
Essentially the 49’ers are in a position where they can walk away from the contract with minimal cap implications in 2016, which is a big win for the team. The ability to push bonus money into 2012 and 2013 lessens the hurt that the team might feel if they waited until 2014 to sign him. I wonder if more teams will be proactive, within the CBA limits in extending young players once they have proven they can play at this level?