A while back I was poking around the Internets and came across a couple of interesting websites related to the salary cap. The NFL is pretty hush-hush about contracts, so you certainly have to take the following information with a grain of salt.
One of the premier sites in regards to general information is Ask the Commish. The guys at Ask the Commish have put together a quality rundown of salary cap information (as well as a vast array of other NFL information).
A second site is run by Ian Whetstone. Ian has put together each team's current salary cap situation, as well as a look into the future of every player. In the case of the 49ers, that takes them to 2014 (Nate Clements contract). As Ian mentions, the information is brought together from multiple sources and is somewhat incomplete at times. So, feel free to download the Excel document for the 49ers (it's free). Additionally, each team has a Word document with notes on some of the players deals.
In looking at this from the 49ers perspective, there are some incomplete areas, but a lot of good information nonetheless. A lot of the deals involve numbers that we know about, including the various free agents brought in.
Today we'll check out the dead money this team brings forward this year. As anybody who has followed the 49ers for the last decade knows, dead money is the bane of our existence. Whether we were paying for JJ Stokes or still paying for Gabe Wilkins, there have been some hideous contracts the team has had to hash through in getting out of salary cap hell. For this year, the team has approximately $8 million in dead money hitting the cap. Of course, close to $7 million of that is courtesy of Kevan Barlow and Antonio Bryant. I'm still researching when they both come off the books, but I believe Barlow is off next year. I believe Bryant is a little longer since he was released before June 1, but I'm not 100% sure.
I think the most important thing to recognize is that the players involved are relatively recent 49ers. While they all ended up being busts on some level, they weren't busts 5 or 6 years ago that have dragged out in the salary cap all this time. The team has smartened up considerably, which will be key going forward.
A cursory glance into the future shows a few hits of note. Derek Smith is looking at a $5M+ hit next year, and at the same time, likely losing his job to Patrick Willis by that time. Nate Clements is a big hit this year, but thanks to the signing bonus amortization, his figure is cut in half next year. While his cap hit increases dramatically by 2014, the deal is likely to be voided or renegotiated before then. Aside from the Clements contract, the team has avoided the huge back-loaded deals that crippled the team in the past.
It's always good to know your present situation, as well as what lies in the future. This is one more sign that all is well.
I'm working on trying to get as complete a picture as possible of the salary cap situation, as I'm sure the Excel spreadsheet is missing some details. If you come across any contract details, feel free to share them here. If we get enough information, I'll set up a separate page with a salary cap rundown that we'll keep updated.