Even after working out a new contract, the San Francisco 49ers currently sit among the league leaders in salary cap space. They are reportedly in the $23 million range, although they have to net out what they'll lose for rookies and gain if/when they release Shawntae Spencer. It puts the team in a strong position to handle its business and build a long term contender.
Things might be getting a little more interesting with regards to their cap space, as well as for the rest of the league. I missed this post initially, but on Saturday, PFT reported that the NFL and the NFLPA are actually trying to figure out a way to increase the tentative salary cap figure for 2012. Apparently the benefits portion of the cap has gone up this year, which means less money for salaries. Now that there seems to a solid relationship in place, the two sides are working together to figure out a solution.
This all comes as the Pittsburgh Steelers have reportedly moved to approximately $10 million under the previously expected salary cap as they try to find some space to eventually sign wide receiver Mike Wallace, among many others. A boost in the cap would benefit them, but it's not like Mike Wallace is the only issue to deal with this offseason.
Mike Lombardi wrote that an offer sheet with a first year cap figure of $12 million might be too much for the Steelers to match. However, a potential increase in the expected cap figure might provide enough space for the Steelers to match such an offer sheet. The cap figure has to be in place by March 13, so time is quickly running out to get it figured out. It should make for a crazy week leading up to free agency.