The 49ers wanted to get an extension done with quarterback Colin Kaepernick before training camp started in July and they did that on Wednesday in record-setting fashion. Kaepernick and San Francisco have agreed to terms on a six-year, $126 million deal that will include $61 million in guaranteed money, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has confirmed.
The $61 million in guaranteed money is the most ever given to an NFL player in one contract. The money isn't technically fully guaranteed because Kaepernick has to be on the roster at a certain date each season. Additionally, La Canfora reported Thursday, Kaepernick has de-escalators in his contract involving the 49ers making the Super Bowl or Kaepernick making the first- and second-team All-Pro teams.
It's a huge contract and Kaepernick knows it. "The only thing I can say is I'm going to work to make sure I'm worth every penny of this," the quarterback said after signing.
The new deal will keep Kaepernick in San Francisco through the 2020 season. Under his old contract, which was set to expire after 2014, Kaepernick would have made less than $1 million in base salary this year.
Instead, Kaepernick will make about $12.75 million in 2014, with $12 million of that coming in the form of a signing bonus. Kaepernick will also make $645,000 in base salary and another $100,000 in a workout bonus.
In 1½ seasons as the 49ers starting quarterback, Kaepernick has put together a 17-6 record and helped lead San Francisco to back-to-back NFC title games and a Super Bowl XLVII appearance.
With Kaepernick headed into the final year of his rookie deal, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke had said in March that he would like to have an extension done with his quarterback by the time training camp starts in July.
Now that deal is done.
"Colin's hard work and dedication have played an integral role in the recent success of the 49ers organization," Baalke said in a statement after the deal was done. "His work ethic, leadership and on-field production have positively influenced our team, and we look forward to his continued growth in all areas."
The negotiations between the 49ers and Kaepernick's camp didn't take long. After taking almost two months off following the incident in Miami, the two sides met face-to-face this week for the first time since the NFL combine in February.
The 49ers picked up some extra cap space on June 1 when the contract of former cornerback Carlos Rodgers was wiped off the books. That freed up $6.6 million for potential negotiations.
Kaepernick's deal could raise the stakes for other quarterbacks around the league who are expected to get new contracts soon. That group of players includes Cam Newton, Alex Smith and Andy Dalton.