Contract Comparison: Donte Whitner vs Antoine Bethea

Mar 13, 2014 at 1:56 PM


Below is Antoine Bethea's Contract Details

2014 2015 2016 2017
Salary 1.25M 3M 4.5M 5.25M
46-Man Roster Bonus 400k 400k 400k 400k
Work Out Bonus 100k 100k 100k 100k
Signing Bonus Amortization 1.25M 1.25M 1.25M 1.25M
Total Salary Cap Hit 3M 4.75M 6.25M 7M

for Comparison, below is Whitner's Contract Details

2014 2015 2016 2017
Salary 2M 4.5M 6.2M 6.3M
Signing Bonus Amortization 2.25M 2.25M 2.25M 2.25M
Total Salary Cap Hit 4.25M 6.75M 8.45M 8.55M

ANALYSIS

Clearly, Donte Whitner is getting more money every year over 4 years, but the real difference comes in the details. Whitner's 6.5M salary through 2015 is effectively gauranteed, compared to Bethea's 5.25M, which requires Bethea to make the 46-Man Roster all 16 games for 2 seasons and attend offseason workout sessions for 2 seasons. Under this deal, SF safeguards their money in the event Bethea is injured or has off the field issues that cause him to not stay on the team.

Another important note to make is the salary cap hit in 2015, Whitner (6.75M) vs Bethea (4.75M). There is only a 2M difference, but that can be a big deal next year when SF has plenty of key players headed towards Free Agency.

Finally, pay attention to the amount of dead dead money following the 2015 season. Should either Safety be released after the 2015 season, Whitner will have a 4.5M impact to the 2016 salary cap, while Bethea will have a 2.5M impact to the 2016 salary cap, once again a 2M savings.

At first, Bethea's intially reported 4yr/$26M contract was disconcerning, but I suspected it would be a total lower amount, with several incentives to safegaurd the franchise. Bethea is really on a 2yr/$10.25M, whereas Donte is really on a 2yr/$15.5M. For me, $5.125M a year for a 31 year old Safety is still too much, especially with a $4.75M Cap hit in 2015.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


3 Comments

  • Matt One
    good research work on the detail of their contracts. this is what makes me return to this site often for "in-depth analysis". as for the Safety position, it's obvious the Niners will draft a rookie sometime in May to eventually take over as the longterm answer.
    Mar 24, 2014 at 9:57 AM
    0
  • Grant
    Great analysis. I agree we paid a premium, but I don't know if I'd say the 49ers overpaid. If they paid (W)hiter, that would have been worse. I think they paid what the market has determined in a supply/demand sense. Maybe they don't like any other FAs available AND there is no one they are in love with in this years draft (ala Reid last year). It's possible they have info from their scouts that there isn't a reasonable S starter in the next years draft either. If this be he case, the market value for. Decent starter at SS just went up, especially for one that has proven to be durable, and that's made the pro bowl. Considering this, the 49ers didn't overpay by much. Do we really want Dahl or Spillman back there all year?
    Mar 15, 2014 at 1:37 PM
    0
  • Gabe
    Very good breakdown but the savings means very little if there is a big drop off in performance.
    Mar 13, 2014 at 5:15 PM
    0
    Response: Thank you, I don't agree with the personnel decision on the 49er's side. I don't agree with the $ amount for Bethea. I'm sure everyone will agree that we don't want a performance drop off in any offseason, but the savings I've identified here will help us a ton over the next 2 years.

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