Marathmatics: Paraag Pays Off

May 8, 2010 at 10:55 PM


The fact that Patrick Willis signed a long-term deal is a pretty big deal, and not just because the 49ers locked up arguably the best linebacker in the league until 2016.

The 49ers, and specifically chief negotiator Paraag Marathe, created a unique contract rewarding Willis while simultaneously circumventing league rules.

Now, circumventing league rules isn't a bad thing if you are talking about the salary cap. In the age of the cap, if you aren't cheating you aren't trying. Technically speaking, it's not really cheating. But innovative teams find innovative ways to keep their players.

With Patrick Willis' new contract, chief negotiator Paraag Marathe created a mold for keeping a team's highly valued players under the umbrella of labor uncertainty.

The buzz around the NFL is the 30% rule, which states that a player cannot make more than 30% more in 2010 than they did in 2009. The quick loophole, as seen in Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb's new deal, is to convert most of the money into a signing bonus. A quick way to pay a player while circumventing the 30% rule.

But why would a team want to put so much money up front in 2010 when it's not even guaranteed there will be football in 2011? Teams would effectively be paying a premium for one season, not knowing what would come next. And the players might be okay this year, but low salaries would still take their toll as the contract wears on.

Here is where Marathe really shows his value for the 49er franchise. Willis' deal not only has a signing bonus, but it also utilizes a "supersede bonus" that is paid next near. And the bonus is written in such a way that the 49ers don't have to pay out the entire bonus now, as is typically the case.

So Willis gets his money spread out over the first couple years of the contract. And Willis gets his extension in an environment that's not to long-term-extension friendly. And the 49ers aren't on the hook for the entire contract up front, making it easier on a franchise that might need all potential disposable income for a new stadium.

Strong franchises need strong front offices. Perhaps more importantly, strong franchises need innovation. The West Coast Offense was genius in its innovation. In the early part of the decade, the Eagles innovated a philosophy for drafting players, retaining layers, and strutting contracts.

Now, it seems that the 49ers have a spark of innovation with Marathmatics.
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.


4 Comments

  • Mike in MD
    You hit the nail on the head CCP. Marathe is definitely a beast in the FO managing the cap & negotiating/writing up contracts. Just pls get this guy out of the booth & leave all things football to our future GM & coaches. Marathe is one of the best in the league at what he does & us Niner fans should take great pride in that. Now we need to follow that model & filter it down to some of our asst's..namely going after a LEGIT WINNER OC ASAP & IMO our DL Coach in Tomsula is also questionable who's highest level of coaching exp is from NFLEur. I think the QB Coach is also a vital position. Johnson seems like a definite improvement from Hostler (& his ex-DB asst) but I would feel better if we had a top notch truly reputable Coach here as well. The crucial asst's IMO are obviously OC & DC, then it's OL, QB's, & DL Coaches. We need premium NFL talent here! I believe Sing s/b able to find an OC who shares his belief of being to control the ball on the ground & run when we need to but one who's also creative in the passing game & overall strategy to create mismatches & outsmart the opponent as well. Cameron & Turner are ideal. There s/b others out there in a similar mold.
    May 14, 2010 at 8:36 AM
    0
  • Frank
    Paraag's work behind the scenes will pay long-term dividends...often the financial wizards are misunderstood and under-appreciated. I think we have a real good one in the front office...I like the term Marathmatics...it fits.
    May 11, 2010 at 2:09 PM
    0
  • CacaConPelos
    I always thought this dude was a beast but for some reason alot of Niner fans don't like him. Maybe because he trys to meddle in the actual games where he don't know shit. Parrag, your a beast in the FO. Stay away from the field!!!
    May 9, 2010 at 12:28 PM
    0
  • shobbrobb
    Strong franchises makes the playoffs...
    May 9, 2010 at 9:55 AM
    0

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