The 49ers got some somewhat bad news this morning: they lost a coin toss. The 49ers were awaiting the results of the coin toss between the Titans and the Panthers (whose pick the 49ers hold), and the Titans won, pushing them into the #16 slot and SF’s pick to #17. While a one-spot move doesn’t affect the team too much on the face of things, there’s another lesser known element in play.
Teams picking #1-16 can negotiate contracts up to 6 years in length. While few get there, it is a sizable bargaining chip for those teams since players typically want to get to free agency as quickly as possible. That’s an easy concession to make that can save a million bucks or so for the #16 pick. For #17? Not so much, as the maximum length of contract is 5 years. Teams will fight to hold onto that guy for the full five years or give a concession that makes a First Round pick available to the world in as few as 4 years.