The NFL salary cap has often remained hidden behind curtains, with information available only through leaks here and there. The curtain is slowly being drawn back however, with more and more information being made available to the public.
The latest piece of information is a cap space report issued by the NFL Players Association. Wednesday night, the NFLPA Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs, George Atallah, tweeted a link to a public report providing current salary cap space for each team.
The "Top 51 League Cap Report" includes the carryover from last season, current salary cap for each team and current cap room. The report updates at 5 a.m., 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. pacific time each day to reflect any new contracts.
The San Francisco 49ers are listed as having $4,029,822 in cap space. It is worth noting that number does not reflect the Colt McCoy trade or the Nnamdi Asomugha signing. Those two deals have been completed and announced by the 49ers, but the paperwork is being filed with the league, and thus their salaries are not reflected.
Nnamdi signed a deal reportedly worth $1.35 million, with $1.65 million in incentives. Colt McCoy is scheduled to make $1.5 million this season. I spoke with our cap man Jason Hurley to get some clarification on the numbers. The 49ers current cap space, based on those two contracts, would be the $4,029,822 minus $1.35 million, minus $1.5 million plus $480,000*2.
The reason we add in the two $480,000 contracts is because McCoy and Nnamdi would replace the bottom two salaries in the Top 51. Per Jason, that would cover Garrett Celek and Jewel Hampton, who both make $480,000 this year.
With those adjustments, that would leave the 49ers with approximately $2,139,822 in cap space. I will keep an eye on that report to make sure that figure is accurate. I imagine the Nnamdi and McCoy contracts will appear by the end of this week.
There are also some questions about the 49ers cap space related to the rookie pool. Over The Cap posted estimates on the rookie pool, including a breakdown of each potential pick. The 49ers lists $7.4 million and change against the 2013 salary cap. It is worth noting, however, that the 49ers do not actually need that much cap space to sign their rookie class. The primary reason for this is that players with higher salaries will replace players with lower salaries on the Top 51 report.
That being said, the 49ers could also elect to work out some contract wrinkles to open up space. They might re-negotiate some deals, or even get a guy like Justin Smith signed to a contract extension. Additionally, we have not factored in potential trades. The 49ers are likely to move some of their 2013 picks to boost their 2014 haul. Additionally, they might package together two or three picks to move up in a given round this year. If they turn a 2013 second into a 2014 first, or package some of their picks to climb in the first, that could be a good chunk of money off the books for this year.