They hail from different parts of the country, Kaepernick from California, Stafford from Texas. They also have very different playing styles, Kaepernick is a mobile QB and master of the read-option while Stafford is of the true gun-slinger mentality.
As of Wednesday however there is one thing that two signal callers do have in common, their big-money contracts. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the San Francisco 49ers signed Colin Kaepernick to a six-year extension worth $126 million with $60 million guaranteed.
For #49ers QB Colin Kaepernick: It’s a 6-year extension worth up to $126M with $60M guaranteed, source says. Under contract through 2020
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 4, 2014
Both young QB’s, 26, are now among the NFL’s 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in terms of average salary.
(courtesy of Spotrac.com):
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
$110 million over five years ($22 million average), with $54 million guaranteed
2. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
$126 million over six years ($21 million average), with $61 million guaranteed
3. Matt Ryan, Falcons
$103.75 million over five years ($20.75 million average), with $42 million guaranteed
4. Joe Flacco, Ravens
$120.6 million over six years ($20.1 million average), with $29 million guaranteed
5. Drew Brees, Saints
$100 million over five years ($20 million average), with $40 million guaranteed
6. Peyton Manning, Broncos
$96 million over five years ($19.2 million average), with $58 million guaranteed
7. Jay Cutler, Bears
$126.7 million over seven years ($18.1 million average), with $54 million guaranteed
8. Tony Romo, Cowboys
$108 million over six years ($18 million average), with $40 million guaranteed
9. Matthew Stafford, Lions
$53 million over three years ($17.67 million average), with $41.5 million guaranteed
10. Eli Manning, Giants
$97.5 million over six years ($16.25 million average), with $35 million guaranteed
Both quarterbacks also had good intentions when extending their respective deals, each vowing that they wanted to clear cap space to help the team resign their teammates and bring in other talent to help the clubs win.
Kaepernick was due just $973,766 in base salary, plus a $100,000 workout bonus in the last year of his rookie contract in 2014. The 49ers surely didn’t want to play the franchise tag game in 2015 and beyond, with the non-exclusive tender for QBs this year reaching nearly $17 million, so they got in front of the situation and bet on Kaepernick.
In Kaepernick’s short time as the starter since taking over for Alex Smith midway through the 2012 season, he’s had a great deal of success. Kaepernick lead the 49ers to their first Superbowl in 18 years where they fell just three points short to the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. In 2013, Kaepernick lead the 49ers back to the NFC Championship game where they fell three points short once again to division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks.
Matthew Stafford was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2009 and after two injury-shortened seasons, Stafford helped lead the Lions to their first post-season appearance in over a decade. He also threw for 41 touchdowns and 5,038 passing yards along the way that year.
However, the Lions have struggled since that breakthrough year in 2011, finishing 4-12 in 2012 and collapsing late last year when the division was theirs for the taking. To top it off, many point to Matthew Stafford’s regression as a significant culprit for the Lions’ woes last fall.
Colin Kaepernick and Matthew Stafford both have a lot of football left to play, and frankly, both still have a lot to learn. Both are surrounded by talent and both have the full backing of their respective organizations. With expectations high in both the Bay Area and the Motor City, 2014 could be a telling season as far as which club got more “bang for their buck”.
Which QB would you put your money on?