We'll have a Pro Bowl game thread a little later for the diehards. In the meantime, I thought I'd throw up a post for discussion about the 49ers cap space. It's obviously more of a mid-week post since it's so big, but what the heck, let's roll with it on a Sunday.
When you do a google search for 49ers 2009 cap space you get a vast array of articles throwing out also sorts of numbers. As was previously mentioned in the Golden Nuggets, Scot McCloughan said in one of his mailbags that the 49ers will have a significant amount of cap:
A: When it’s all said and done, we’ll be in the top 10 [in cap space] in the NFL for sure. We’ll have room and we’ll be one of the teams with the most room. We have enough room to possibly be aggressive and there’s enough room to take care of our own guys. Whatever we want to do, we’re going to do it. We have some cap room where we can improve our roster because of the room we have. We’re in very good shape.
In having to blow up the team and start over, that is one area where McNolan did an impressive job. Even if you think the team needs help in certain areas, it's a fact that the team has brought in some talented players (Justin Smith, Nate Clements) and not killed their cap space.
A search of our SB Nation sites brought me to our friendly rival over at Silver and Black Pride. One of their writers came across a site called Draftsharks.com. Draft Sharks did a rundown of every team's cap space, along with a little analysis. I tried to check it out at their website, but apparently it costs some bucks and I'm not going to fork that over. So, thankfully, the folks at Silver and Black Pride posted some pertinent information. Specifically as to the 49ers, they're ranked 9th in terms of cap space with $26 million in cap space:
9. San Francisco -- $26m under – In 2007 and 2008 the 49ers were top-3 in cap room, so they’re still hanging in there nicely. They can cut QB Alex Smith and OT Jonas Jennings and free up $7.3 million more. Smith is coming off the busted shoulder and simply isn’t a great player. Jennings has missed all or parts of 47 games the last 4 years. DE Justin Smith’s big contract last year has a bloated cap figure for 2009 - $10.5 million – but they’ll let it ride. Ninersnation.com is clamoring for the team to land free-agent DE Terrell Suggs at all costs.
Just for people's knowledge, the 8 teams ahead of them are (counting from 1st to 8th): Tampa Bay, Arizona, Denver, Kansas City, Tennessee, Miami, Buffalo and Detroit.
No site is likely to nail this number perfectly, but it fits in with folks seem to be saying. I also believe the 2009 number could be increased depending on the release/renegotiation with Alex Smith and what they do with Jonas Jennings. Either way, they've got a whole lot of money with which to work.
There are plenty of free agents to work with, but the question also is what you do with your own guys? One option is to do what the A's have done with pre-arbitration players. Sign them to a little more than they'd get at that point, but less than they'd get in a couple years on the open mark. A guy like Jason Hill seemed to take a step forward this year. His value really is only going to go up, it's just a matter of how much. Maybe you try and like a guy like that up now for 4 or 5 years.