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Colin Kaepernick received $39 million of his ‘record’ $126 million contract

Colin Kaepernick didn’t
even come close to receiving all $61 million of his “guaranteed”

Christian Petersen/Getty

After leading the San Francisco 49ers to consecutive NFC
championship games and one Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick was
rewarded with a “record” seven-year, $126 million contract in

But after three seasons of declining production, including one
season of headlines surrounding his protest of the national
anthem, we got to see that the contract was not nearly as
big as everybody made it out to be at the time, and in the end he
received only $39.4 million.

The contract gave Kaepernick a $12.3 million signing bonus and a
2014 salary of just $645,000.

Those were the only truly guaranteed portions of the contract,
despite reports that Kaepernick’s deal included a record $61
million in “guaranteed” money. It turned out the $61
million was only guaranteed if he were to suffer a
career-ending injury. Each year of the contract after the first,
the 49ers were free to cut Kaepernick and not owe him any
more money.

To make matters worse, Kaepernick was supposed to get his first
large salary ($12.4 million) during the 2015 season.
However, because of the way the contract was worded, that
salary actually went down to $10.4 million. Kaepernick’s
salary went down $2 million each year if he was not named first-
or second-team All-Pro, or if the 49ers didn’t play in the Super
Bowl the previous season with 80% of the snaps taken by
Kaepernick. None of those things happened.

Kaepernick eventually
restructured his contract
during the 2016 season, turning the
2017 season into a player option. Knowing that the 49ers were going to
release him later in the summer
, Kaepernick opted out of his
contract in early March hoping to take advantage of becoming a
free agent earlier and having more time to secure a new contract.

In the…

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