Planning for Colin Kaepernick's next deal

March, 30, 2013
3/30/13
1:00
PM ET
Jay from Cincinnati wants to know how Colin Kaepernick's contract situation with the San Francisco 49ers might align with future increases in salary-cap allotments.

"With the cap expected to jump for 2015," he writes, "that seems like perfect timing, with Kaepernick signed through 2014."

Jones
Kaepernick
Sando: Teams are expecting relatively small increases in cap space for the next few seasons. Some of the increases players won in the last labor agreement are showing up in benefits falling outside the salary cap. Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal explained some of the dynamics in this 2012 piece.

Kaepernick's deal does run through the 2014 season. Rules prevent players from renegotiating their contracts until following the third year of their rookie contracts. That means Kaepernick, as a second-round draft choice in 2011, becomes eligible to renegotiate before the final year of his rookie contract. So, if Kaepernick continues on his current trajectory, we should expect the 49ers to work toward an agreement with him after the upcoming season.

The 49ers will of course plan for Kaepernick's next contract. They'll have flexibility regarding the first-year cap number. We've seen Joe Flacco, Percy Harvin and others sign contracts with relatively small first-year cap hits. The 49ers could follow that course if it made sense for them. But with 14 draft choices at their disposal in 2013 alone, the 49ers are in position to stock their roster with lower-cost players.

Justin Smith, Anquan Boldin, Jonathan Goodwin, Donte Whitner, Tarell Brown, Mario Manningham, Phil Dawson, Tramaine Brock and Parys Haralson are among the 49ers' veteran players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents after the 2013 season. San Francisco will replace some of them with draft choices. The 49ers have done a good job re-signing most of their top players in recent seasons. Getting a deal done for Kaepernick before 2014 would make sense. Aldon Smith, Michael Crabtree, Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati are among the core players whose contracts also expire after the 2014 season.

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