20% off at the official 49ers online store with code COACH20 →

Salary Cap Not a Barrier to Trading Barlow

Aug 15, 2006 at 11:03 PM


The rumor mill is in full swing. In case you've been living in a cave eating Snickers all day here's the skinny: The Jets need a running back and they need one bad.

They recently traded for Cleveland running back Lee Suggs. But alas, Suggs failed his physical and the trade was null and void.

So now the rumor is that the Jets are interested in 49ers running back Kevan Barlow. In 49er land, the time seems right. Barlow seems to be earning the label of underachiever because of his low yards-per-carry average over the last two seasons. And with all the dancing Barlow does before he hits the hole he may have visions of continuing his career on Dancing With the Stars ala Jerry Rice and Emmit Smith. By almost all accounts Barlow seems destined to end up second on the depth chart behind second year player Frank Gore by season's end.

Some people, though, say Barlow should not be traded because he is still the best running back on the roster. With a recent endorsement by Coach Nolan, this seems to be enough of a reason for him to stay. Let's not forget though, Nolan has proven himself an adequate, if not an exceptional gamesman - he effusively praised Winborn and Carter before they were handed another team's jersey and a map to the exit.

Others say that the depth behind Barlow is thin at best with an injury prone Gore, an unproven Maurice Hicks, and rookie Michael Robinson.

Still others say that trading Barlow would cost us too much because of the hit to the salary cap. There, folks, is where I beg to differ. Trading Barlow would not cost much, although it would cost the 49ers depending on who they traded for. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, if a team trades a player after June 1st they are responsible for any pro-rated portions of the bonus due the year of the trade in addition to any salary the player earned. The unearned base salary is taken off the books and the remaining portion of the pro-rated bonus is accelerated on the next season's cap.

Say what? Basically, any money the player earned counts against the cap, in addition to any bonuses for this season. The rest of the bonus is charged to next year's cap.

Kevan Barlow's contract breaks down like this:

Year Salary Base Salary Signing Bonus Other Bonus
2006 $4,420,000 $2,500,000 $320,000 $1,600,000
2007 $5,171,000 $3,250,000 $1,920,000 0
2008 $5,920,000 $4,000,000 $1,920,000 0
Source: Niner Cap Hell

If Barlow were traded then the 49ers would be responsible for $1.92 million in pro-rated bonus owed to him this season. We would also be responsible for any salary earned by Barlow. If we presume that the player earns a check every game week then Barlow earns 2.5 million over 20 games (Including pre-season). So each game he earns $125,000.

If he were traded before the Raider game this weekend the 49ers would have to take a 1.92 million hit, but they would save $2,375,000 or 2.375 million dollars in base salary. (That's Barlow's full year salary minus the $125,000 game check). So the 49ers would actually save $455,000 if he were traded.

Then, next year the team would absorb the rest of the bonus, which would be 3.84 million in that dreaded dead money. Of course, though, the team would save the $3.25 million in salary owed to Barlow in 2007 so it would be a net cap hit of $590,000 in 2007.

Of course, any savings or cap hits would be offset or exacerbated by the contract the club absorbs when they receive a new player. So, in theory, if the player the 49ers traded for were owed a base salary of $455,000 then the team's cap savings for this year would be 0. Anything the player is owed beyond that would be extra cap space the team would use up.

The player the team trades for would probably be owed more than $455,000 this season which means that the team will likely use up more cap space than if they were to keep Barlow. The effect to the cap, though, would be negligible given it is a $100 million dollar payroll.

Regardless of the personnel implications, we know that at the very least, the cap will not stop Nolan from trading Barlow if a good deal were to come along.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Time for Trey? Jimmy Garoppolo not on the field for 49ers' Friday practice

By David Bonilla
Oct 8

All eyes are on the status of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The team is holding its final practice of the week, and it's the last chance for Garoppolo to see if he can go for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. If not, that would likely mean rookie Trey Lance is getting his first NFL start. "I think today is critical," general manager John Lynch said this morning. "If it's not today, then we go with Trey." After missing Wednesday and Thursday's sessions, multiple reports state that Garoppolo was not on the field as today's practice got underway. That likely means we'll see Lance start in his place on Sunday. Of course,



Do the 49ers have an identity crisis on offense? Joe Staley thinks so...and he's not alone

By Marc Adams
Oct 12

Do the San Francisco 49ers have an identity crisis on offense? Former 49ers great, and current analyst, Joe Staley, thinks so. And he's not the only one. Staley went on KNBR's Papa & Lund show on Monday to talk 49ers. In addition to saying Kyle Shanahan will likely go back to Jimmy Garoppolo in two weeks, but that the offense is more exciting with Trey Lance, Staley spent some time talking about the identity of the team. Particularly, the identity of the offense. "What's been shocking to me is that, one of the things, too, has been that stretch zone, but all the play-action roll-outs, that was one of our identities, the keep game. And it hasn't been


Featured

More by Oscar Aparicio

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone