The 49ers recent trade for cornerback Eric Wright raises a variety of question marks about the cornerback position. Wright has a salary that is not guaranteed if he does not make the roster, leaving him battling numerous players for a spot. Given Wright's potential in the slot, I want to take a look at the implications of cutting current 49ers starting cornerback Carlos Rogers.
Rogers cap figure includes $4,483,593 in prorated bonus money, from 2013-2015, and he received a $1.25 million guarantee this past April 1. If Rogers were cut, the entire $1.25 million would count as dead money for 2013, and would NOT be prorated over two seasons like most post-June 1 cuts.
Currently, Rogers has a 2013 cap figure of $7,344,531. Of that figure, $1,494,531 is prorated bonus, he has a $250,000 roster bonus, and he already received a $100,000 workout bonus for participating in the 49ers workout program.
If Rogers were cut between now and the end of training camp, the savings for 2013 would be $4.5 million. His release would result in a dead money hit of $2,844,531 for the 49ers 2013 salary cap. Additionally, his 2014 savings would be $5,105,469, and his 2014 dead money would be $2,989,062.
Those are big numbers, considering the 49ers only have roughly $5.8 million in 2014 cap space. However, let's not get to far ahead of ourselves, as the 49ers have roughly $4.5 million in 2013 cap space at this point. Barring any additional contracts, the 49ers could roll that over to 2014, nearly doubling their cap space.
The 49ers could also create some more space with a variety of contract extensions. Mike Iupati is one of the more prominent players who could be extended now, and of course we know that Tarell Brown is in his walk year. Another option could be extending Frank Gore beyond his 2014 end date, which could lower his current salary.
If the 49ers choose to keep Carlos Rogers for 2013, they could then cut or ask for a major pay cut in 2014. A cut would net the 49ers the same $5,105,469, since he would have 2 years left, and this would be a pre-June 1 cut. Post June 1 cut would be more cap space, roughly $1,494,531 more, since it would be broken in half for the two seasons.
Basically cutting Rogers now or in 2014 will have the same effect for 2014. However, for 2015, the 49ers would save his entire $9,094,531 with a cut now, or $7.6 million with a post-June 1 cut next offseason.
Either way, it's the same basically. The 49ers must determine whether or not they want to keep Rogers, who has seen his performance decline, or go with Wright, and others like Nnamdi Asomugha, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver, along with the likes of Perrish Cox, Tramaine Brock, and rookies Marcus Cooper, and Darryl Morris. Training camp will provide the team an opportunity to make a more informed decision about Rogers.