Colin Kaepernick's new deal could be, at its minimum, $13 million for one season, or $28 million over two years, according to league sources.
Here's how it works.
The deal is worth a maximum of $126 million in new money through 2020, but also includes de-escalators that could lower it to $114 million based on performance. And while the deal includes a record $61 million in injury guarantees, the guarantees for performance and cap only kick in annually, giving the 49ers plenty of wiggle room.
Given Kaepernick's limited sample size as a starter, they can essentially evaluate him over the next two years for around $28 million total, and part with him for a reason other than injury if need be, as unlikely as that seems. The deal would be worth $44 million over 3 years, $63 million over four years and $82 million over five years.
That five-year average in total money would be $16.4M, which roughly equates to the present-day franchise tag for quarterbacks.
Furthermore, there are de-escalators of $2 million a season starting in 2014.
If Kaepernick fails to be named to the Associated Press All-Pro first or second team this season or fails to lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl while playing in 80 percent of the snaps in the regular season and 80 percent of the snaps in the playoffs, then his 2015 salary de-escalates by $2 million. Once he does have one season that meets the de-escalation clause, then it disappears for all other seasons. So if he achieved those marks in 2014 for instance, he wouldn't have to do it again: the de-escaltors would expunge for the duration of the deal.