Kaepernick, a third-year starter for the San Francisco 49ers going into the 2014-15 season, is set to make more money than Tom Brady, Peyton and Eli Manning,
Drew Brees and Joe Flacco, despite losing in his only Super Bowl appearance. While some could see this as the Niners investing in Kaepernick’s future potential, this contract sets a bad precedent in the NFL and will only raise the bar for the potential big paydays for other young quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck,
Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson.
Heaven forbid the contract extension for Johnny Manziel,Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles in 2018. If Kaepernick fulfills his full potential and gives San Francisco a hefty return on their investment of him, how much would these new young guns makes—let alone the marketing/hype machine known as Johnny Football.
While the parameters of Kaepernick’s staggering deal are both team and player friendly, as per reports, Kaepernick only wanted a low signing bonus so that the Niners could add more pieces, the contract having $16 million in playoff incentives, the $61 million guaranteed for a player entering his second full season as a NFL starting quarterback is financially reckless.
To put things in the everyday Joe Schmo point of view, Kaepernick’s deal averages $21 million a year—since the deal is $126 million with incentives—the former Nevada standout is set to make as much as some Fortune 500 corporate executives, whereas Wilson makes Walmart greeter-type of money in only making the equivalent of NFL minimum wage of $662,000.
Good thing that Wilson lives and works in Seattle today, huh? While the average fan will never be able to relate to that type of money, you see where I am going with this.
Kaepernick may have the sexy jaw-dropping athleticism and big contract, but Wilson has the football intelligence and Super Bowl ring that will justify his big contract in 2015.
Make no mistake, from an eye test point of view, Kaepernick is a dynamic and exciting player that is able to break off long runs at will and put pressure on a defense. But what this writer is concerned about is his long-term durability and health—condolences to RGIII fans—but the age of the running quarterback has long passed, Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick be damned.
Thanks to the just-as-mobile—but more accurate—Wilson, the age of the small and mobile quarterbacks is upon us.
In addition to having the advantage in Super Bowl rings, one to zero, Wilson has also thrown more touchdowns(26) to Kaepernick’s(21), higher QB rating(101.2) to Kaep’s(91.6) and a higher completion percentage of 63.1 to Kaepernick’s 58.4.
While I did state in my column posted here that Wilson is a game manager and that Kaepernick is average by stating, “Kaep(Kaepernick) needs to work on improving his accuracy and becoming a better passer, if he ever hopes to be considered one of the best in the game today.”
Based on the stats above, if you’re a Niners fan you have to asking, “What are they thinking?”
The best way to explain Kaep’s mega-deal is that its promise vs. potential and putting down on an investment in hopes big dividends, in the case of San Francisco, Kaepernick would be wise to put in extra time working with receivers and learning to check-down, recognize pre-snap formations and finding the “hot route” early instead of relying on his legs.
While going 21-8 in 29 starts and leading San Francisco to three NFC Championship Games(started in two of them), winning three road playoff games and one Super Bowl, Kaepernick claims the much-wanted mantle of the most overpaid average quarterback in the NFL due to his inability to make quality throws from the pocket consistently and a troubling inability to go thru his progressions.
His $61 million guaranteed money is higher than four Super Bowl winning quarterbacks in Brady($57 million), Brees($55 million), Rodgers($54 million) and Joe Flacco. While talented from an athletic point, Kaepernick deal represents a sad state of affairs in today’s pass-happy league and makes you wonder how much his rival–and playoff nemesis from the Pacific Northwest in Wilson, who he is 1-2 against in the regular season and 0-1 in the post-season will get in 2016?
For the Niners, their best hope is that their new $126 million-dollar QB magically morphs into the second coming of Joe Montana before the season starts.
For Wilson, he has now been enabled by an unlikely source in both Kaepernick and the Niners and now holds all the cards in negotiating his own mega-deal in the very near future.
Robert D. Cobb Is the CEO/Founder/Senior Editor-In-Chief of the InscriberMag: Digital Magazine and a member of the PFWA (Pro Football Writers Association), please follow him on Twitter at @RC_TheInscriberMag