Reports: 49ers want to sign Kaepernick to mega-deal before camp opens
Russell Wilson is all of seven weeks removed from winning a Super Bowl, and already it looks like he has enough fodder to give a season-long chip on his shoulder the size of Puget Sound.
When Joe Flacco led the Baltimore Ravens to win the Super Bowl in February 2013, he did so as a pending free agent. After the Ravens struck gold, Flacco did, too, signing a six-year, $120.6 million contract.
The losing QB in that Super Bowl? San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick.
This past season, Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks to the best record in the NFC and ultimately Super Bowl XLVIII, where he outdueled Peyton Manning en route to the Seahawks’ 43-8 demolition of the Denver Broncos.
The QB Wilson beat in the NFC Championship Game to get to the Super Bowl? San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick.
And how much money will Wilson, projected in some reports capable of becoming a nine-figure (that’s $100 million-plus) and holder of the top-selling jersey in the NFL, make in 2014?
$662,234 base, according to Forbes. And per the collective bargaining agreement, third-year QBs like Wilson are locked into their rookie contracts.
Well … guess who just fulfilled his third season and reportedly may receive a mega-extension before the start of training camp?
Yup, Colin Kaepernick.
According to CSNBayArea.com, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said getting Kaepernick signed to a big-money extension before the start of camp is a priority for the club.
According to CSN, the team and Kaepernick’s agent, Scott Smith, have held preliminary talks. The fourth-year QB is in the final year of his rookie contract and is reportedly scheduled to make $1.073 million in base and bonuses this coming season. CSN reported that is roughly half of the $2.011 million Blaine Gabbert, a first-round bust in Jacksonville recently traded to San Francisco to back up Kaepernick, will make.
Kaepernick became a starter during the 2012 season, his second in the league. The 2011 second-round pick is 21-8 with the two NFC title game appearances and the one Super Bowl loss. And to his credit, he did finish third in NFL jersey sales this past season (Manning was second).
As for how much that new contract would be worth?
According to a group-interview transcript posted by the San Jose Mercury News, 49ers CEO Jed York said:
ESPN reported that Kaepernick "likely will command a contract that averages in the $18 million to $20 million range." That would put him on par with QBs like Jay Cutler, Tony Romo and Matt Ryan.
Hey, those guys have never even been to a Super Bowl (Kaepernick and the 49ers actually beat Ryan’s Falcons in Atlanta in the NFC title game to reach Super Bowl XLVII).
As for Russell, two things are virtually assured. First, if he is upset, he likely won’t let anyone know it publicly. Second, as upset as he could be now, imagine how happy he’ll be this time next year, when his payday comes due.