But specific to San Francisco, such affordable impact pieces equate to an annual Super Bowl contender with three consecutive appearances in the NFC Championship Game.
See: pass-rush extraordinaire Aldon Smith and elite left tackle Joe Staley among others.
The 49ers have maintained their upper-echelon status through some basic means.
One is a team that dominates both lines of scrimmage and keeps the opposition off the scoreboard. Another is a no-nonsense winning culture that extends from owner to the roster’s 53rd man.
And yet another—perhaps as critical as any—is a financially sound operational M.O. that fosters immediate success and preserves it for the future.
Team president Paraag Marathe and general manager Trent Baalke have exercised fiscal responsibility throughout their tenure with the 49ers. They have drafted players, negotiated terms and finalized deals that have benefited this franchise to the highest degree.
The duo—along with all other key executives involved—haven’t been perfect. But take a gander at the team’s current books, and one easily sees intelligent monetary minds at work.
To that end, let’s now highlight the 49ers’ six best player contracts.
Note: All contractual and salary information comes courtesy of Spotrac. Pro-Football-Reference, ESPN and NFL.com provide player/team statistics, while all advanced data derives from Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Note: Each player’s total contract value, guaranteed dollars, signing bonus and 2014 salary form the basis for this top six. Comparing the 49ers’ deals—and each individual’s production—with fellow NFL players at their positions solidify the final rankings.