This week, Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers agreed on a six-year contract extension that is reportedly is worth more than $110 million with $13 million guaranteed. It is a contract that many experts will claim was a good idea because he has taken San Francisco to the Super Bowl. The problem isn’t the fact the 49ers gave Kaepernick a new contract, the problem is the amount of money they gave the young quarterback who hasn’t won a Super Bowl yet during his career.
A look at Kaepernick’s 2013 season stats shows a major disconnect between money and production. Kaepernick threw for 412 yards during San Francisco’s season-opening win against the Green Bay Packers. In his final 15 games, he threw for 2,785 yards or 185 per game. Are those stats for a quarterback that should be paid $14 million per season? They obviously aren’t. San Francisco was smart to lock Kaepernick up to a long-term deal but giving up that kind of money is the equivalent of printing Monopoly money and throwing it in the air. There is also no disputing that Kaepernick is a fun quarterback to watch.
It is true that Kaepernick has at least made it to a Super Bowl unlike several of the other highest-paid quarterbacks around the NFL and he deserves a bump in salary for that fact and $13 million guaranteed isn't too bad but the whole deal is still bad for the game. Kaepernick did take a much lower signing bonus than the other high-priced quarterbacks who haven’t even been to the big game. There is still a major problem going on however.
The league is pricing their fans out of the game with the high salaries. The constant stream of money going out for a family of four to go to a NFL game in this day and age is staggering. There were tickets going on the resale market for over $400 each last season. There are fans that will pay whatever price it takes to go to a game but those fans are older with jobs and disposable income. What about the kids who can’t go to games now? They will get older and realize that it’s better to watch a game on a big screen instead of paying hundreds of dollars for the game day experience. They are already being conditioned to do that.
The NFL and the players should take a step back and think carefully about the money being put out for salaries. The next generations of fans are watching the game from home or on their phones and are not at the stadium. That will mean weakened revenue as the years go on. Kaepernick’s deal is a sign that things aren’t going to change anytime soon.