The 49ers decisions to release Nate Clements and David Carr later today will allow the team to clear up some serious cap space. As I understand it, NFL cuts are official at 1:01pm pacific time, which is just an hour or so away. In making these cuts, the 49ers clear $2M+ in Carr and something along the lines of $15M for Clements. That's a nice little chunk of cap space.
According to MM, the latest moves leave the 49ers with approximately $20 million in cap space. I would imagine that cap number factors in contracts for the rookies, Alex Smith and Ray McDonald. For most fans, the cap space would ideally be used in part to bring in Nnamdi Asomugha. He's a lockdown corner who could shut down half the field and you can't underestimate the value of that.
At the same time, if you're the 49ers do you maybe spread that money a little more evenly around the roster? Or can you make the moves you want while still adding Nnamdi? For example, the 49ers have Dashon Goldson, Manny Lawson and Aubrayo Franklin still sitting out there in free agency. We haven't heard a single thing about Franklin, Goldson seems to be bouncing between the 49ers and Raiders, and Lawson was briefly mentioned in connection with the Cardinals.
Beyond even the team's own free agents, there are some areas the 49ers could improve in free agency. They could use a center like Olin Kreutz, a cornerback of some sort even if it's not Nnamdi, maybe a veteran wide receiver. And of course if some of the guys above walk, that opens some possible roster spots.
If you had $20 million in cap space to spend (on football players!), how would you use it this year? This is more a general question as opposed to specifics on what you'd pay different players. After all, the 49ers could sign Nnamdi to a contract paying him $14 million per year and make it look like he's making half that against the cap this year. Just consider it a more general exercise.
For me, I'd love to have Nnamdi in San Francisco, but what about re-signing Goldson, adding Johnathan Joseph, Olin Kreutz and maybe kicking a few bucks at Gore? I honestly have no idea how that would work against the cap. Consider it more just random speculation at this point.