Fooch's Note: In the time since Jason first wrote up this post, Nate Stupar has been waived. Per Jason, he was making $405,000, and had earned $214,412 through this week. The 49ers save $190,588 by waiving him.
The 49ers head into the second half of the 2013 season with several players due back to the roster. Their return will have an impact on the team's salary cap situation due to the removal of current players. The offseason salary cap considers the top 51 contracts on a team's roster, but the in-season salary cap considers all contracts. The in-season salary cap includes the 53-man roster and ALL injured players on PUP, NFI and Injured Reserve.
As of now, I have the 49ers at $2.018 million under the cap. In the coming days the team is expected to activate Mario Manningham (PUP) and Eric Wright (NFI). The team has until Tuesday to make those decisions. Additionally, the team will eventually activate linebacker Nick Moody from short-term injured reserve, and wide receiver Michael Crabtree from the PUP list.
When they activate these four players, the team will have to make cooresponding roster moves to make room on the 53-man roster. Here are my candidates for making roster spots for the above mentioned 4 players, with salary cap considerations in mind.
QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson - He is making $333,824, and has earned $112,941 through the first nine weeks of the season. I include week 9, since we have passed the date when a player gets their weekly check. The 49ers would save $220,883 by cutting him after week 9.
WR Kyle Williams - He is making $630,000, and has earned $333,529 so far through week 9. The 49ers would save $296,471 by cutting him after week 9.
TE Garrett Celek - He is making $480,000, and has earned $254,118 so far through week 9. The 49ers would save $225,882 by cutting him after week 9.
DE Tony Jerod-Eddie - He is making $405,000, and has earned $214,412 so far through 9 weeks. The 49ers would save $190,588 by cutting him after week 9.
DE Demarcus Dobbs - He is making $555,000, and has earned, after a week 1 suspension, $261,176 so gar through 9 weeks. The 49ers would save $261,177 by cutting him after week 9.
CB Nnamdi Asomugha - He is making $1 million, and it is guaranteed. At the beginning of the season, he earned a $225,000 roster bonus for making the Week 1 53-man roster. Additionally, he has earned a $25,000 workout bonus, and has $18,750 for being active the first three weeks of the seasons.
Nnamdi has been inactive the last five weeks, through which the 49ers have saved $31,250 in game day roster bonuses. The 49ers would save his entire $425,000 playing time incentive, based on playing time, which I believe is in the 50 percent range. Given his inactive status lately, it is not likely that he will reach this amount of playing time. If Nnamdi were cut after Week 9, the team would save $50,000 max in roster bonuses.
Other possibilities that are more remote include the following:
RB Anthony Dixon - He is making $630,000, and has earned $333,529 so far through 9 weeks. The 49ers would save $296,471 by cutting him after week 9.
WR Kassim Osgood - He is making $884,704, and has earned $470,000 so far through 9 weeks, though he has only been on the team for eight weeks. The 49ers would save $414,704
CB Darryl Morris - He is making $333,529, and has earned $142,941 so far through 9 weeks, though he has only been on the 49ers 5- man roster for 6 weeks.
I do not expect to see WR Jon Baldwin waived. He is earning $1,061,510, which is guaranteed as a first round pick under the new CBA. Additionally, safety Raymond Ventrone, earning $715,000, is guaranteed his base salary as a vested veteran.
If I had to predict who would be released in the coming days, I suspect the 49ers will likely cut Asomugha, and either Dobbs or Jerod-Eddie in order to get Manningham and Wright onto the 53 man roster.
As for salary cap purposes, the 49ers would gain either $736,177 by cutting Asomugha and Dobbs, or $665,588 by cutting Asomugha and Jerod-Eddie.
The 49ers would then go from around $2.018 million under, to either $2.683 million under with the Asomugha/Jerod-Eddie cuts, or $2.755 million under with the Asomugha/Dobbs cuts.
The final roster spot to create comes down to McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Kyle Williams, or one of the unexpected cuts, Kassim Osgood, Anthony Dixon, and Darryl Morris.
I am hoping they cut ties with Kyle Williams, as he hasn't proven he is worth a roster spot. And I believe the 49ers would be better off with Perrish Cox returning punts, and either Kendall Hunter or LaMichael James handling kick returns. It would surprise me if they decide Osgood is expendable. He has proven his special teams worth throughout the season.