The San Francisco 49ers found themselves in solid cap position this offseason, as they were able to add some key weapons while returning their entire defense. They currently sit $3.395 million below the cap. Although they have a roster spot still open, it is unlikely they would use much of that cap figure to add a player. It provides some room if some potential trade scenario presented itself, but even that is fairly unlikely.
Rather, the value of that money is that the 49ers are able to roll it over to next season and boost their cap figure. This could very well prove necessary because of various obligations coming due. The 49ers have done a solid job to date in massaging the salary cap, but will be tested once again next offseason. The folks at NFL.com are putting together daily looks at different teams cap situation, and they covered the 49ers today.
Dashon Goldson will be a free agent once again, with a potential franchise tender figure of $7.454 million. It will be interesting to see if the 49ers elect to draft a safety early in the 2013 draft, or make a play on somebody in free agency. Given the way things have played out, it just seems like the 49ers are unlikely to be looking at Goldson as a long-term solution. Of course, if he puts together a big year this season, that could very well change.
Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean Francois will both be entering free agency this offseason, which raises some interesting questions at the nose tackle position. Ian Williams is on the roster bubble, and still has some practice squad eligibility. Do the 49ers view him as a possible long-term option at nose tackle? The next month could tell us a lot.
NaVorro Bowman is the biggest question as he is building himself towards a big payday. Given the way the cap works, the 49ers can't keep everybody on the roster that they want. Call me crazy, but Bowman would seem to be the kind of guy the 49ers would want to keep around.
The 49ers have a sizable chunk of change devoted to the roster next season, with the cap not expected to increase by all that much. The most prominent player that could face a tough cap decision is Parys Haralson. He is signed through 2013, earning more than $2 million each of the next two seasons. He is a very solid guy to have backing up Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks, but if the 49ers decide they need to roll more money over against the cap next season, maybe they decide to release him this year?
One guy I don't expect to get cut this year, but could be in trouble next year is C Jonathan Goodwin, who is due a bit of a pay increase in 2013. If Daniel Kilgore can show solid skills as a center this training camp, it could make a Goodwin decision a little bit easier in 2013.