NFL Free Agency has gotten off to a bit of a harried start with all sorts of contracts coming together through the first 48 hours. Details leak out about the value of the contracts, but we don't get a lot of very specific breakdowns early on. Smaller contracts are easier to figure out, but for many of the bigger contracts we won't know the specific 2012 cap implications for a few days.
The San Francisco 49ers find themselves in a tough position if they want to add a particular high impact receiver. Many 49ers fans want to see Mike Wallace signed to an offer sheet, but the numbers remain tough to figure out. Niner Cap Hell has the 49ers with around $18M in cap space, while Matt Maiocco is estimating the 49ers are in the $15 million range. The difference in these two would be Maiocco estimating around a $3M cap hit for Rogers, while NCH lists Rogers with a cap figure of $5,580 (for some "other" category).
The 49ers can potentially save up to $3M if they unload Shawntae Spencer, but we don't really know what their plans are with regards to Spencer. And of course, Alex Smith still doesn't have a contract in place. The 49ers conceivably could have somewhere in the range of $15 million and $18 million. They need to re-sign Alex Smith (one would assume) and probably add a veteran guard.
We don't really know if the 49ers or anybody else are making a run at Wallace with an offer sheet. If the 49ers are looking to add him, the first year of the contract would likely need a cap hit in the $11M to $12M range. It is necessary because the idea is to push it too high for the Steelers to match. That means a high base salary in year one, as opposed to a huge signing bonus that gets prorated.
I believe the 49ers will need somewhere in the $4M to $5M range to sign their draft picks. If that's the case, even if the 49ers release Shawntae Spencer, it still might be a little too close for the 49ers to pull the trigger. And if they think they can spread the wealth around a bit more with a Manningham or Lloyd, a Schilens, a Leonard Davis (for example) and maybe some special teams coverage help, maybe it makes more sense for the bigger picture. I don't know if I necessarily agree, but if the room isn't there, it isn't there.
Of course, we also have most bad ass negotiator on the planet, so maybe it isn't worth getting too concerned.