Assuming the Trade/Release of Alex Smith and some expected cuts (below), the 49ers should have about $12m - $14m left in salary cap space for 2013 (assuming a $121m cap). With that, we probably resign Goldson and RJF right away, probably Delanie Walker too. But that still leaves a lot of money after these projected cuts:
|Ginn Jr., Ted||WR/ RS||2012||$1,380,580|
|Hall, Chad||WR/ RS||2012||$28,500|
As can be seen, that leaves a lot of money left over for free agent signings or extensions. As we all know Trent Baalke only signs value free agents, like Mario Manningham. In 2013, one of those free agents will be Steelers WR Mike Wallace.
Mike Wallace, who held out of camp, wanted Larry Fitzgerald money -- he didn't get it -- so he returned to PIT for his option year. However, he had disappointed immensely this year and has proven himself to be a #2 or #3 WR - the deep threat guy. Compounding the dilemma for Wallace is the daunting salary cap situation for the Steelers in 2013: $8m over the cap, but only 35 guys under contract. What that tells me is everyone who is not a core player will be gone while they rebuild.
With the loss of leverage, Wallace should be on the FA market and fetch Mario Manningham money - a 2-year contract for $7 - $9m total. We only have $85m in committed salaries for 2014 (sans Alex Smith), so a Manningham-esque contract hits the cap a lot more in the 2nd year than the first would work well.
Wallace would give us a huge deep-threat ability that would allow us to stretch the field big time: picture 3-wide with Jenkins, Wallace, Crabtree, and Vernon Davis -- with LaMichael James out of the backfield! Speed kills. Signing Wallace would also give us leverage over Manningham and Crabtree in contract negotiations -- neither are mist-keep players.