As reported by various outlets on Thursday afternoon, the San Francisco 49ers and wide receiver Jon Baldwin reached a settlement on a restructure of Baldwin’s contract. Instead of potentially earning a base salary of $1.4 million for the 2014 season, Baldwin will now earn a base of $645,000 while he could make up the $755,000 through reaching incentives. The restructuring of Baldwin’s contract can be viewed through a number of different angles.
First and foremost, it means that Baldwin will not be cut anytime soon. Although, if he does not show the 49ers coaches something more than what he showed last season, he could be a training camp cut, which is a real possibility. Therefore, Baldwin can view the restructuring of his contract as him being given a second chance at being able to prove his worth given that he was only active for seven games. In those seven games, he had three catches.
Anyone who watched the 49ers last season for any significant time knows that Baldwin was part of a wide receiver corps which was the weakest unit on the team during the 2013 season. Therefore, it would be hard to phantom Baldwin to somehow make a great leap in production which will see him be a valuable contributor as a wide receiver. That said, Baldwin restructuring his contract means that he can maintain his roster spot in a different role.
One of the many free agents that the 49ers have on their roster is special teams specialist Kassim Osgood and there is a good chance that he could depart as a free agent. Therefore, if Osgood were to not be on the 49ers roster for the 2014 season, there will be an opening on the roster for a special teams specialist. It is this role that can see Jon Baldwin maintain a roster spot and be a member of the 49ers during the 2014 season in a quiet but vital role on the roster.