While details are still coming out about the contract specifics, we do know that the overall contract is for 6-years and $126 million with guarantees of $61 million total. Now in the grand scheme of things, the overall amount is pretty irrelevant in football because it is almost never seen, but the guarantees definitely are and that is what is alarming.
By comparison, quarterback Joe Flacco was awarded a $120 million contract with guarantees of $51 million over 6 years. That is significantly less than what Kaepernick is going to earn and Flacco won a Super Bowl and was MVP of the big game after having a historic post season that ranks above players like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Let's also remember that Flacco held out that final year and went into the offseason holding all the leverage against general manager Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens' brass.
Kaepernick is still a quarterback adjusting to life in the NFL and being a real starter that the offense can rely upon. He has a good personality and a catchy little touchdown celebration to go with his commercials, but if what a contract is rewarding is success on the field, Flacco clearly has it where it counts.
While I'm happy for the San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick, I can't help but think how crippling that contract really will be. Us Ravens fans know first hand how often that Flacco's "massive contract" was going to "doom the team to be basement dwellers" in the eyes of both some Ravens' fans and fans of other teams. However, looking at this contract has to make every Ravens' fan, coach and player smile like the Cheshire cat with the relative steal that they have.
Most fans are happy with Flacco, but every fan has to be happy with the bang for the buck we have in our franchise quarterback in light of today's news. Good luck 49ers fans, you'll need it through the onslaught of comments coming your way and through the players that you won't be able to keep now.