2014 NFL salary cap could rise even further

The NFL salary cap projections continue to climb with each report. What does it mean for Frank Gore and the 49ers cap picture?

The 2014 salary cap projections have been slowly creeping up, and we've got a new projection that could push it even higher. Previously, Adam Schefter projected a $130 million salary cap, and then John Clayton said might be as high as $132 million. Now, according to our lovely friends at Pro Football Talk, the 2014 NFL salary cap could end up "a few million" higher than $132 million. Furthermore, moving forward, similar annual increases are expected.

Previously the thought had been relatively limited increases until the next big round of television contracts. Now that we're getting this potentially big increase this year, the upcoming round of television contracts will only further boost it. We like this very much.

We obviously need to take this with some semblance of a grain of salt. These are all based on anonymous sources. The official number will come out shortly before free agency and the new league year get going next month. Signs are looking good for a big increase, but for now we'll wait and see how it finally shakes out.

Agents will use this for negotiation purposes, so to that extent, the benefit to signing free agents might be a bit of a wash. Smart cap managers and negotiators will figure out ways to use this to their advantage, so that doesn't really change things. However, where it gets interesting is in looking at potential contract restructuring.

The more this cap potentially increases, the more convinced I am that Frank Gore will not re-structure his current contract, and won't end up with an extension at this point. Instead, look for Gore to play out the season with his $6.45 million cap hit. At that point, both sides will figure out the future. Maybe he signs an extension, but I would be surprised. If Marcus Lattimore shows he is back from his knee surgery, and can take over a sizable chunk of the work, the odds seem high that 2014 is Frank Gore's final season in San Francisco. It hopefully gets Gore over 10,000 yards (he's 33 away), and gets him the Super Bowl ring.

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