The San Francisco 49ers inked two more of their 2014 draft picks on Thursday. First-rounder, safety Jimmie Ward and third-round pick, inside linebacker, Chris Borland to rookie deals.
Both Players will earn the rookie minimum $420,000 in their first year.
Ward’s deal has a fifth-year option, something that has been included in all first-round contracts since the new collective bargaining agreement was completed in 2011.
Ward a safety, will for now be a nickel-corner on the 49ers defense, only coming in on obvious passing downs. As well as be an understudy at safety, behind Antoine Bethea. Bethea, 28, signed a four-year deal worth $21.5 million dollars in March. Only 9.25 of which is guaranteed and $3 million of which is there in case of injury. If Ward does outperform Bethea, he will likely fill his spot in 2015.
Borland, however will be competing for a chance to play next to Patrick Willis, but only while NaVorro Bowman is unable to suit up. Michael Wilhoite is Borlands biggest competition and has come in before to start when Willis was hurt 2013, making 24 tackles, a career-high 14 of which came in week five against the Houston Texans. Borland will have to work hard if he wants to start over the veteran, Wilhoite, among others vying for the spot.
Only three draft picks at this point remain unsigned for the 49ers. Third-round selection, C Marcus Martin, OG Brandon Thomas and fourth-rounder, WR Bruce Ellington.
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