Wake-Up Call: Impact Of the Kaepernick Deal

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Last week we asked former agent and salary cap expert Joel Corry about the type of deal Nick Foles might command if he has another strong season in 2014. His response is worth revisiting given what has transpired since.

“Now to get in the game with quarterbacks, you’re going to have to go 18 million per season and close to 50 million in guarantees. [Colin] Kaepernick should get done before  training camp starts. That’s going to be another benchmark Foles is going to point to,” said Corry. “And I can’t see that number coming in below [Jay] Cutler. He wants $20 million per season…I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets it. That’s just going to be another data point to add to the equation to help Foles.”

Sure enough, Kaepernick signed a six-year deal that is reportedly worth $126 million ($21 million per season) and contains $61 million worth of guarantees. [Though the numbers aren’t quite what they appear.] He joins a growing list of QBs that have cashed in of late to help set the market.

Below is a list of mid-to-upper tier quarterbacks that have received new deals over the last two years.

Name
Years/Total Value
Average per year
Guarantees
Date of deal
Colin Kaepernick6/$126 million$21 $61 million6/4/14
Jay Cutler7/$126.7 million$18.1 $54 million1/2/14
Matt Ryan5/$103.75 million$20.75$59 million7/25/13
Matthew Stafford3/$53 million$17.66 $41.5 million7/9/13
Aaron Rodgers5/$110 million $22 $54 million4/26/13
Tony Romo6/$108 million$18 $40 million3/29/13
Joe Flacco6/$120.6 million$20.1 $52 million3/1/13
Tom Brady5/$60 million$12 $60 million2/25/13

* Salaries courtesy on Rotoworld and Spotrac.

Average that out between the eight, and you come up with $19 million per season with $53 million in guarantees.

Kaepernick’s deal is of particular interest as we try to size up Foles’ situation. The former second-round pick was entering the final year of his rookie deal and was scheduled to make about $1 million in 2014.  Foles, who will be eligible to renegotiate after the final regular season game this year, is slated to make less than that in 2015. The low Year 4 salary should theoretically give the team some leverage at the negotiating table, as Andrew Brandt recently pointed out during an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic. Yet Kaepernick was able to secure the most guaranteed money in NFL history assuming the early numbers are accurate. [Update: PFT has the details of the deal here. The way it is structured is pretty team-friendly.]

The Niners (and Kaepernick’s representation) probably recognized that the price for QBs will only go up. Cam Newton was drafted the same year as Kaepernick and is eligible for a new contract. At the end of this season, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, RGIII and Foles will be able to strike new deals as well.

The Eagles have traditionally tried to sign their core players early in the name of locking them in at a discount rate. Given the current landscape and the big deals on the horizon, even a discount rate could be a hefty sum if Foles is dynamite once again this season.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Even with Foles at the helm,  the zone read isn’t going anywhere.

Scouting the scouts: The Eagles made a series of hires and promotions yesterday in the front office.

Says Michael Bamiro“I’m really just doing whatever I can to get myself on that field.”

Don’t try telling DeMeco Ryans he needs to come off the field at any point, Sheil writes.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Zach Ertz is the most intriguing Eagle in 2014, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com:

Ertz seems to be a tremendous fit in Kelly’s offense, but he had a relatively pedestrian rookie season. This season, with no DeSean Jackson, and a bunch of targets up for grabs, Ertz could be the recipient. We could see a lot of two-tight end sets from the Eagles and Brent Celek is not getting any younger.

Brad Smith could turn into another one of Chip Kelly‘s weapons now that he’s been able to adjust to the offense, Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com notes:

Without OTAs, training camp or a preseason, Smith never blossomed with the 2013 Eagles. He got just 20 offensive snaps after signing, none in the playoff loss to the Saints.

He did contribute on special teams — 93 snaps, or 15½ per game — but the multi-talented two-way weapon who was so dangerous earlier in his career? Just didn’t happen.

COMING UP

We’ll put together a Twitter Mailbag and see what else pops up.

Josh Paunil contributed to this post.

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