Last year, the friendly folks at the NFLPA began providing a rundown of salary cap space at NFLPlayers.com/cap. The numbers are updated four times a day (the times listed are ET), and provide a look at where each team stands.
The numbers reflect officially completed contracts, so for some teams, the numbers might not be exactly right. For example, when the details of Colin Kaepernick's contract came out on Friday, the NFLPA cap database did not reflect the change in cap space because the contract had not been officially filed with the NFLPA. Once a contract is signed, various copies have to make their way to the NFL's Management Council (the side that handles labor issues for the league) and the NFLPA before they become "official".
Based on these numbers, here's a look at where each team ranks in cap space as of Monday, June 9:
The San Francisco 49ers number is not waiting for any changes at this point, as far as I can tell. Barring any unknown contract restructuring, the 49ers currently have $5,725,793 in cap space. There are eight teams with less space than the 49ers, but cap space rankings really don't matter. The 49ers have signed all their rookies, and they've locked up their biggest contract.
There is of course, still plenty to be done from a contract perspective. Mike Iupati, Michael Crabtree, and Chris Culliver lead the way among 2014 free agents. Alex Boone and Vernon Davis reportedly want new contracts, and Joe Staley may get his deal restructured at some point. There is a lot to be done, but the 49ers have some opportunities to get some deals done.
For example, Michael Crabtree is due $3.5 million in base salary this season. The veteran minimum for a player with five years experience is $730,000. The 49ers could work out a deal that pays him a sizable signing bonus, but cuts the salary down to that $730,000. It's hard to speculate on total numbers at this point, because we don't actually know what Crabtree is asking for from the 49ers, or where the team is willing to go with a deal.
I could say he wants a 4-year, $35 million deal, or a 4-year $44 million deal, or anything else, and it would be hard to provide hard evidence as to why. Yes, we can look at what other wide receivers make, but both sides could throw out a variety of statistics for why Crabtree deserves to be compared with Player A instead of Player B, or Player C instead of Player D. I hope the 49ers work out an extension, but without being there for negotiations, I can't really say anything with absolute certainty. People will jump on the 2009 holdout, and I am not surprised people do this. I think time has passed and we're talking about a different situation five years later, but people are going to do what they're going to do. I just hope for an extension to get done, and will wait until then.
Whatever the case, the 49ers have some room to make some things happen. Maybe they get some deals done now, maybe they don't and end up rolling over their cap space. I wish I could predict the future, but I can't. I do think we see at least one more extension between now and the start of training camp, but as far as who it goes to? Your guess is as good as mine.