The unique six-year contract extension signed by Colin Kaepernick made Nick Foles happy to see another colleague rewarded.
It didn’t make Foles jealous, envious or even disappointed.
Foles on Monday said Kaepernick’s deal, first reported at $126 million with $61 guaranteed but with several team-friendly incentives that could severely lessen the total, won’t be in the back of his mind as he goes through the 2014 season.
By CBA rules, Foles won’t be eligible for an extension on his rookie deal until after this season, his third year since being drafted in the third round out of Arizona.
“I think if you start worrying about numbers, you stop worrying about what you’re doing,” Foles said after the Eagles' OTA on Monday (see observations from practice). “That’s where you mess up. I’m happy for those guys who do well, but my most important thing is being successful with my teammates. When I’m playing out there, there’s no dollar sign on me when I’m throwing a ball.”
Foles is one of several high-profile quarterbacks from the 2012 draft class who can break the bank next offseason, a list that includes Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson.
Foles, who last year registered the third-highest passer rating in NFL history (119.2) and tossed 27 touchdowns with just two interceptions, will make $615,000 this year. He made $543,520 in guaranteed money. Next year, in his final year, Foles is slated to make $660,000 if he doesn’t have his contract extended first.
“I’ve always said how I play, how our team is, how I am as a leader -- that will all take care of that when the time comes,” he said. “I’m really just having fun out here. I’m having fun with my teammates. I’m having fun playing the game.”
The final numbers show that Kaepernick’s new contract has the chance to pay out much less than the original reported numbers. He actually received a signing bonus of just $13 million, which is well below the benchmark bonus for elite quarterbacks.
Kaepernick has taken the 49ers to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games in less than two full seasons as a starter. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who has one career playoff win, pocketed $54 million in guaranteed money. Matthew Stafford, who has never won a playoff game, signed an extension that pays out $43 million guaranteed.
Kaepernick traded bonus money for extremely high base salaries, which are guaranteed for injury only. He’s slated to make $12.4 million this year, $13.9 million next year, and then his salaries jump to $16.5 million, $17 million and $18.8 million in each of the following three seasons.
But there are also de-escalators built into the deal to safeguard the Niners in case Kaepernick’s production tumbles.
Foles said he followed Kaepernick when the Niners quarterback starred in college at Nevada, running the pistol offense and becoming the only quarterback in FBS history to pass for more than 10,000 yards and rush for more than 4,000 yards in a career.
“I was just happy for him,” Foles said when asked for his thoughts on Kaepernick’s deal. “He’s played really well. I followed him in college when he was at Nevada and I thought he had a great college career, so I was just happy to see him be able to provide for his family and do great things.”