SANTA CLARA, California — The San Francisco 49ers signed quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Wednesday to a six-year contract extension that could be worth $110 million, including a potential record $61 million guaranteed.
The details of the contract extension that takes Kaepernick through the 2020 season appear to make him one of the top-10 paid quarterbacks in the NFL. The total guarantees in the deal won’t be certain until final numbers are confirmed by the NFL players association.
“Colin’s hard work and dedication have played an integral role in the recent success of the 49ers organization,” 49ers 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.
“Our organization always looks to reward our players for their contributions and commitment to the team. Colin’s agents, Scott Smith and Jason Bernstein, along with Paraag Marathe and Brian Hampton, should be commended for working diligently to reach an agreement.”
Kaepernick (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) was originally selected in the second round (36th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft by San Francisco. He has played in 32 games (23 starts), completing 382 of 639 pass attempts for 5,046 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Kaepernick, 26, has started all six postseason games in which he has appeared, including two NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. In those games, he posted four wins and threw for 1,374 yards and seven touchdowns, while completing 94 of 162 pass attempts. He has also rushed for 507 yards and four touchdowns on 51 rushing attempts in the playoffs.
In 2013, Kaepernick started all 16 regular-season games, and all three postseason contests, setting career highs in completions (243), passing yards (3,197) and passing touchdowns (21), while also recording 92 rushing attempts for 542 yards and four touchdowns.
He was scheduled to have made $1.073 million this season.
The contract could have widely felt repercussions for upcoming deals involving Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and two former No. 1 overall picks, Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) and Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts).
Meanwhile, the 49ers began their second week of OTAs knowing they would be without starters Vernon Davis and Alex Boone, who are both hoping to receive restructured contracts.
Now that the biggest domino has fallen — the signing of Kaepernick — new deals could be coming up for Davis and Boone.
The 49ers got roughly $6.6 million in salary-cap relief June 2 when a large portion of cornerback Carlos Rogers’ cap figure was cleared from the team’s 2014 books.
Now that the biggest deal is done, the 49ers could move to other players, like Davis and Boone. But they might be more focused on players whose contract status is more immediate, like Michael Crabtree and Mike Iupati — both of whom are free agents following the coming season. Davis and Boone have two years left on their respective deals.
Thanks to an influx of 12 draft picks and some notable free agents, the 49ers might have their deepest roster in years, which has been the underlying theme of OTAs to this point. With the team hoping to overtake Seattle for the conference crown and perhaps the Lombardi Trophy, fostering competition has been priority No. 1 for head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke.
Across the board, no position is lacking depth, from offensive line to cornerback. The 49ers appear to be loaded with talent that should create a compelling training camp and preseason slate.
With Kaepernick’s signing, the team’s financial future gains some clarity, allowing the girth of position battles to become a little easier to project.