Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers struck a deal Wednesday on a six-year contract extension, which sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter is worth more than $110 million — including a record $61 million guaranteed.
The deal ties Kaepernick to the 49ers through the 2020 season and puts him among the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL. His signing bonus will be $12 million, sources told Schefter, unique in that most big contracts for quarterbacks are in the range of $24 million to $40 million. Kaepernick was scheduled to make $1.073 million this season.
When signing the contract, Kaepernick specifically requested that it allow the 49ers the flexibility to negotiate extensions with other players such as wide receiver Michael Crabtree. According to one source, Kaepernick specifically asked, “So this structure gives us room to try extensions with my teammates, right?” He was told yes.
“Colin’s hard work and dedication have played an integral role in the recent success of the 49ers organization,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “His work ethic, leadership and on-field production have positively influenced our team, and we look forward to his continued growth in all areas.”
Since taking over the starting job from Alex Smith midway through the 2011 season, Kaepernick led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl in 18 years after the 2012 season — losing by three points to Baltimore — and then to the NFC title game again last season, a three-point defeat to the Seattle Seahawks, the eventual Super Bowl champion.
The extension is expected to have strong implications for potential deals for Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and Alex Smith this year, along with those for Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson next year, when they are eligible to sign their first contract extensions.
A second-round draft pick out of Nevada in 2011, Kaepernick has thrived under former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh — and the coach has said how much he wants the mobile, strong-armed QB around for the long haul. Accomplishing an extension before the season is a big deal as the team begins its first year in $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium at team headquarters.
“I really expect a real breakout year for Colin. Athletically, he looks bionic,” Harbaugh said during the organized team activity last week. “If you all remember ‘The Six Million Dollar Man,’ that’s what it looks like to me. He’s very gifted and he always has been. He has the look and feel of a guy who’s really going to break out, even more so than he already has. I’m really excited about everything about his game right now.”
More From ESPN Stats & Info
Colin Kaepernick’s extension through the 2020 season reportedly includes $61 million in guaranteed money, the most in any current NFL contract. Other Kaepernick observations:
- Since his first start in Week 11 of 2012, he’s the third-highest-rated QB in the NFL with a Total QBR of 69.6 on the 0-100 scale, behind only Peyton Manning (83.3) and Aaron Rodgers (71.3).
- According to Elias Sports Bureau, he is the sixth-youngest QB in NFL history to start multiple conference championship games. He’s started the last two, beating Atlanta in 2012 and losing to Seattle last season.
- Including the playoffs, his record against the rival Seahawks is 1-3 with 3 TDs and 7 picks, and 20-5 with 35 TDs and 9 INTs vs. all other opponents.
- Since his first start, he is tied for 4th in the league with 17 wins and ranks in the top 7 in both yards per pass attempt and yards per rush.
- He completed 60.5 percent of his passes in the pocket last season, a steep regression from his first year as a starter in 2012 (65.7 percent).
In a sensational playoff debut in January 2013 against Green Bay, Kaepernick used his speed to run for a quarterback-playoff-record 181 yards and two touchdowns. Then, in a season-opening win against the Packers last September, he threw for a career-best 412 yards and three scores.
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