FanPost

A look ahead to 2014 inspired by Brother Girth

This began as a three year look ahead inspired by Brother Girth’s Fan Post on the subject. After working through some of the decisions for the later years, I realized that there are very significant decisions related to how to get through 2014 under the cap and going out to 2015 and beyond was extreme overkill.

First, we won’t know for several months who makes the 53 man roster for 2013 so some assumptions had to be made to project who to consider in 2014. First, I took all players who were on the active roster last year who were signed for 2014 and beyond. I added any free agents who were signed this year for 2014 and beyond (Dorsey, Dahl, Skuta and Snyder). Last, I added any 2013 draft picks from rounds 1 through 4. This gives us a list of 35 guys most likely to be back for 2014 for $102,267,218.

Player

2014 salary

Carlos Rodgers

2015

7,850,000

Anthony Davis

2019

7,533,666

Ahmad Brooks

2017

7,500,000

Vernon Davis

2015

7,366,666

NaVorro Bowman

2018

7,050,000

Patrick Willis

2017

6,909,875

Frank Gore

2015

6,450,000

Ray McDonald

2015

5,584,460

Michael Crabtree

2014

5,359,000

Aldon Smith

2014

4,577,000

Glenn Dorsey

2014

3,792,500

Joe Staley

2017

3,595,000

Mike Iupati

2014

3,255,863

Andy Lee

2018

2,400,000

Eric Reid

2016

1,927,445

A.J. Jenkins

2015

1,894,094

Craig Dahl

2015

1,883,333

Alex Boone

2015

1,740,000

Dan Skuta

2014

1,650,000

C.J. Spillman

2014

1,555,000

Colin Kaepernick

2014

1,530,000

Ian Williams

2015

1,333,333

Adam Snyder

2014

1,305,000

Tank Carradine

2016

1,124,473

Brian Jennings

2014

1,033,000

LaMichael James

2015

885,000

Vance McDonald

2016

817,995

Chris Culliver

2014

795,000

Kendall Hunter

2014

754,000

Daniel Kilgore

2014

685,000

Joe Looney

2015

676,000

Bruce Miller

2014

660,614

Corey Lemonier

2016

630,880

Quinton Patton

2016

592,875

Marcus Lattimore

2016

570,146

$103,267,218.

That means that we need to add an additional 18 guys to round out the 53 and that, given a projected cap around $125mm, we have about $22mm to fill out the roster. We can consider re-signing some of the 18 most significant guys with contracts that expire after 2013 and we can consider some of our list of 35 for cutting and account for any dead money generated in the process. First, we have to consider who to re-sign and for how much.

I have a list of 18 most likely to re-sign with an estimated cost to re-sign and a replacement cost when I’m estimating that we don’t re-sign the player. When we don’t re-sign, I’ve estimated a typical cost for a rookie draft pick or UDFA or a low budget FA pick-up. The total I got when I did that was $30.95mm which exceeds our estimated available cap space by about $9mm.

I would expect lots of discussion around who we re-sign and for how much. Remember these are all guesses and estimates and some of the details will change as we move on through camp and the pre-season. As I write this, Goodwin just took a salary cut of $1.2mm to get us under the cap with all rookies signed.

Player

2013 salary

Est Cost to re-sign

Replacement

2014 salary

Colt McCoy

1,500,000

2,000,000

1,500,000

2,000,000

Re-sign

Scott Tolzien

555,000

630,000

600,000

600,000

Anthony Dixon

605105

720,000

600,000

600,000

Anquan Boldin

6,000,000

6,000,000

1,500,000

1,500,000

Mario Manningham

2,800,000

4,500,000

1,500,000

4,500,000

Re-sign

Kyle Williams

594,839

2,000,000

600,000

600,000

Johnathan Goodwin

3,816,667

4,000,000

600,000

600,000

Justin Smith

8,000,000

6,000,000

1,500,000

6,000,000

Re-sign

Demarcus Dobbs

559,168

630,000

600,000

600,000

Will Tukuafu

555,000

630,000

600,000

600,000

Parys Haralson

1,300,000

880,000

600,000

600,000

Tarell Brown

3,907,314

4,000,000

1,500,000

4,000,000

Re-sign

Nnandi Asomugha

1,350,000

4,000,000

600,000

600,000

Perrish Cox

555,000

630,000

600,000

600,000

Tremaine Brock

1,323,000

1,500,000

600,000

600,000

Donte Whitner

4,933,333

4,000,000

1,500,000

4,000,000

Re-sign

Darcel McBath

630,000

720,000

600,000

600,000

Phil Dawson

2,350,000

2,350,000

600,000

2,350,000

Re-sign

41,334,426

45,190,000

16,200,000

30,950,000

Note that I’ve elected to re-sign six players from the 18 expiring players. First, I’m projecting that Colt McCoy will prove to be seen as a valuable backup and re-signed for another two years and $4-5mm total. I don’t see the point in keeping Scott Tolzien at this point and he will be replaced by a 2014 draft pick if he’s made it this far. The third guy has to be seen as a developmental guy and Tolzien doesn’t fit that for us.

Given our existing stable of running backs, I doubt that Anthony Dixon has made it this far and he won’t be re-signed.

The biggest decisions come at wide receiver. Going into camp Kyle Williams has value as a returner and a slot guy. Best case is that his return duties would be taken over by James or one of the other young guys. He also is one of those with a little experience and is a worthy backup and will be considered for an inexpensive short deal but I’m projecting replacement.

The real decision is between Boldin and Manningham. We don’t yet know about Manningham’s recovery and we don’t know if Boldin wants to play beyond his existing contract. I’ve put in Manningham being re-signed for $4.5mm in 2014. Given Crabtree’s injury and the uncertainty there, it wouldn’t surprise me if the team retained both at least temporarily.

I can’t see Goodwin being re-signed beyond 2013 and he may still be replaced this year.

Justin Smith has indicated he wants to play on for several years and I think he is re-signed sometime soon on a four year deal worth $24mm. The projected deal lowers his cap number to $6mm from $8mm for the next 3 years and we leave $2mm of dead money on the table for 2016when he retires after 2015. I believe he has recovered from his injury and will be helped by the reinforcements that were brought in this year.

Dobbs, Tukuafu and Haralson just haven’t done enough to retain them beyond 2013 and they will be replaced by the young guys already on the roster or future draft choices,

Of the four corners I would re-sign Tarell Brown for 3 years and an average $5mm which is where the market is at this point. If Asomugha makes the team in 2013, he will likely be too expensive to re-sign. Brock and Cox haven’t shown enough yet to retain either. However, if we want to cut Rodgers we need to retain at least one other guy here. I’d project a high round draft pick in 2014 here.

Whitner has become a popular whipping boy on this board, but I think he has value and I’d like to bring his cap number down a bit and retain him. We do have some options here. I don’t think that McBath will be retained.

I’m projecting that Dawson is a success based on his existing record and I think he gets retained for another year on the same deal.

The next thing to consider is who we could cut and for how much in savings. There aren’t too many realistic candidates here and few who will actually lead to big savings. Of course, instead of cutting a player, you can ask him to re-structure, which we have done 3 times already this year. This works well when the player is going to be on the bubble to make the 53 man roster and he appears to be on the high side of his current value. The prime candidate here is Carlos Rodgers.

Potential cuts

2014 salary

Dead money

Projected Savings

Frank Gore

6,450,000

0

5,950,000

Adam Snyder

1,305,000

250,000

555,000

Glenn Dorsey

3,792,500

1,142,500

2,150,000

Dan Skuta

1,650,000

150,000

1,000,000

Carlos Rodgers

7,344,531

3,000,000

3,844,531

C.J. Spillman

1,555,000

308,333

746,667

Brian Jennings

1,033,000

0

533,000

23,130,031

4,850,833

14,779,198

I’ve listed several potential cuts/restructures of players signed beyond 2013 so we can start to make up the projected $9mm shortfall. The projected savings above are reduced by $500k because a rookie replacement will be added. Also, let’s keep in mind that in the 2013 off-season we have the potential re-signings for Kap, Aldon, Iupati and Crabtree looming. Unless we generate some positive cap space, we won’t be doing any of that.

The big ones here are Gore and Rodgers. No one wants to see Gore leave abruptly like this but we have a solid group of RBs assuming that Lattimore has rehabbed and is as advertised. With him available and Hunter back to 100%, I don’t see keeping Gore beyond 2013 because he will be taking carries from younger guys who need the work. Of note here is that he has roster bonuses of $2.75mm and I don’t know when they are scheduled to be paid.

Rodgers is another whipping boy here but has performed well enough so far that I would envision an attempt to re-structure his contract rather than an outright cut. A cut would cost $3mm in dead money and we will be short on corners particularly if Brown wants more to re-sign than we want to pay. A salary reduction would work here.

Dorsey is next and he has to prove he’s worth his contract. I’ve included him only because we don’t know enough about how well he’ll perform and how he’ll be used.

Snyder probably sticks but he could be replaced by a 2014 draft choice. With Goodwin gone, Kilgore has probably taken over as the starting center and we’ll need the veteran backup.

Spillman and Skuta are primarily special teamers and could be replaced by younger guys for a small savings. Spillman could also be considered more useful if Whitner leaves.

I’m also projecting that Jennings is gone at this point and has been replaced by one of the young guys we’ve brought in.

So, in summary, I’m projecting that we save somewhere around half of the almost $15mm in the total projection and that gets us close to even with the cap. Frankly, that’s not good enough.

Signing the big guys

This could and should begin as early as possible. The problem is that all these contracts expire in 2014 and the projections have us very close to the effective cap for both 2013 and 2014. We are going to have to stretch to find enough room to afford to extend even one of Colin Kaepernick, Aldon Smith, Michael Crabtree and Mike Iupati in a given year.

If you’re interested in the potential contracts, just flip to the salary cap section and read about the information Jason Hurley has put together on similar deals to date. It’s not pretty.

It’s true that the cap is projected to increase in a minimal way (maybe 5%) for 2015 and that gets us an additional $6mm or so. That’s a whole other story, but in a nutshell we can’t expect much help there.

As a general rule of thumb, if you extend a player in the year before his contract expires as we just did with Anthony Davis, you can keep the first couple of years smaller compared to the average per year. I’m sure that’s what they tried to get done with Iupati and it’s possible that can still happen later this year. This technique works better when the player is a first rounder and has a higher salary already. They can’t do that with Kap or Aldon because of the CBA rule that restricts it. I’d be reluctant to try it with Crabtree this year given his injury.

So, to make what could be an even longer story shorter, let’s just say that a reasonable guess for the first year of a new contract for any of these guys is going to add $5mm or so to the first year cap. You should expect to see a lot of turnover to make that happen. I invite suggestions on how to get there.

Just for a heads up, I took all this, projected it out to 2015 with market re-signings for all 4 guys and got a total of $138mm+ against a projected cap of $125mm. I’ll put all that in a future post after we move further into 2013.



This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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