The San Francisco 49ers came to terms with their final eight draft picks on Thursday, which means they will have all ten at training camp on time. The new rookie wage scale has made it easier to get rookies signed since there is now officially a limited amount of money teams can give to their rookies. There were slots in previous years and general expectations on money, but it was spiraling out of control for higher end picks.
For the 2011 rookie class, the 49ers were allowed to spend no more than $6,935,903 on 2011 salaries, but had to spend at least $5,115,676. Additionally they were allotted $38,147,464 for the combined length of the ten contracts. Matt Maiocco of CSN received information on the various allocations allowed for each pick.
There are some interesting numbers from Maioco's information. Aldon Smith is allowed between $1,200,364 and $2,615,273 his first year, with a total deal max of $14,384,000 over four years. Last year, the seventh pick of the draft, Joe Haden, received a five-year contract worth a minimum of $40 million and a maximum of $50.2 million with $25.6 million guaranteed. That's a huge difference.
The rookie wage scale was more meant to bring the top end salaries down rather than impact the lower end salaries nearly as much. A good example of that is in the contract of third round pick, cornerback Chris Culliver. His maximum four-year allocation is $2,885,953. That compares to J.D. Walton who received $2.588 million as the 80th overall pick in 2010. I don't know how the 2010 to 2011 increase compared to previous years, but it shows that not every rookie salary was downgraded.