Colin Kaepernick has completed the last step needed in order to return to the role of starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, agreeing to restructure his seven-year, $126 million contract.
According to Adam Schefter and Adam Caplan of ESPN, Kaepernick’s contract is now a one-year, $11.9 million deal with a player option to return for the 2017 season.
The new deal allows Kaepernick to become a free agent after the season.
By agreeing to the new deal, Kaepernick is agreeing to drop the final four years of the deal that were worth $65.3 million.
The deal was considered important for Kaepernick to become a starter again because of the injury guarantees built into the original contract.
Through the end of this season, Kaepernick will have made $25.7 million of his contract. The contract included $61 million guaranteed against a career-ending injury. If Kaepernick were to get hurt this season under the original deal, the 49ers would have still owed him more than $35 million.
The 49ers also free up more than $19 million salary-cap space for the 2017 season if Kaepernick does indeed become a free agent.
According to Schefter, the new deal also includes some added incentives for Kaepernick, including playing time bonuses and roster bonuses which have been added to his guaranteed salary. It is unclear how much those add to the deal.
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