As most agents in the NFL will do, Williams overstated those numbers. The true figures of the contract came out to be $37.5 million. Brooks will earn the $44.5 million if he reaches all incentives stated in the contract.
Still, for many around the league, this was surprising. Many saw it as too much money for Brooks. Many people around the league did not even expect Brooks to be re-signed at all.
49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers, another one of the team's free agents, said even he was surprised at the deal. “That’s good. I’m happy for him. It’s surprising but get what you can get. He’s a big-time player for this team,” Rogers said in a Sirius XM interview.
However, this deal may not be as pricey as many are making it out to be.
Brooks will only post a $2.85-million number against the salary cap for the 49ers this year. That number is important, because on the surface, it looks as if Brooks would have posted around $7-8 million against the cap. The 49ers were expected to have an estimated $30 million dollars to work with under the salary cap for the upcoming season, and they have many free agents to re-sign and some free agents hopefully to sign.
The official salary cap has not been released for the upcoming year, so estimations are based on if the cap doesn't change much from this year's number of $120.375 million.
Brooks posts $2.85 million against the cap because his base salary for the year is $750,000. Then, his signing bonus is factored in over each year of his contract at a pro-rated figure. That is $1.5 million, and then he can earn $600,000 in roster and workout bonuses.
As most contracts are in the NFL, Brooks' contract is back-loaded. So, Brooks will have a higher salary cap number in the coming years of his contract. This contract does, however, make one wonder what the 49ers will do with linebacker Parys Haralson. Brooks and now second-year player Aldon Smith will likely be every-down players at the outside linebacker positions. Haralson is scheduled to make $3.45 million in the upcoming season, according to Sportrac. Most teams will not pay that much to a role player on the defensive side of the ball, meaning Haralson may have to re-structure his contract.
Brooks is excited to be back with the 49ers because they gave him a chance to succeed. "Something was telling me just to sign here. I feel like this is where I should be," Brooks told the AP. "These are the people who gave me a chance to get this contract."
Wide receiver Kyle Williams said he felt like Brooks stayed because he felt like he belonged. "I think he felt a part of the team. He felt like it was home," Williams said. Brooks had been told he was not wanted by multiple teams, and that he couldn't learn the playbook defensively, but the 49ers took a chance on him.
This deal, along with the contract extension of CJ Spillman and the seemingly inevitable release of Shawntae Spencer would essentially mean the 49ers will still have about $29 million to re-sign their other free agents. Spencer is due $3 million this upcoming season, and the deal for Spillman is expected to hit the salary cap for around $1 million.
That still leaves some wiggle room for the 49ers to re-sign their remaining free agents: Alex Smith, Josh Morgan, Adam Snyder, Chilo Rachal, Carlos Rogers, Dashon Goldson and Ted Ginn.
The 49ers will also likely target some key free agents this offseason at wide receiver, cornerback and offensive line positions.