This is not exactly going to assuage the annoyance with Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals, but there are some salary cap ramifications from yesterday's deactivations. The San Francisco 49ers are dealing with a variety of injuries, and each week certain players do not play, the 49ers save some cap space.
Anthony Davis, Vernon Davis, and Tramaine Brock each have roster bonuses that are paid out over the course of the season. The bonuses require they be active for a given game, and it is factored into the 49ers cap space. When the players are inactive, it saves the 49ers a little cap space here and there.
Anthony Davis: $2,320,000 in roster bonuses breaks down to $145,000 per game. Davis has missed 3 games, so the team has recouped $435,000 in cap space. There is no word on when Davis will return to action.
Vernon Davis: $400,000 in roster bonuses breaks down to $25,000 per game. Sunday was his first inactive game of the year. Jim Harbaugh told the media he is optimistic Davis will be able to return in Week 4.
Tramaine Brock: $320,000 in roster bonuses breaks down to $20,000 per game. Brock has missed two games, so the team has recouped $40,000 in cap space. He is dealing with a sprained ligament that is being described as turf toe. There is no word on when he will return.
NaVorro Bowman: $750,000 in roster bonuses breaks down to $46,875 per game. The 49ers linebacker will be on the PUP list for at least the first six weeks, with his stay likely lasting into late October or early November. Bowman has missed three games thus far, which amounts to $140,625 in saved cap space.
Aldon Smith: His 2014 salary is $2,240,273, which divides into 17 game checks for $131,780. He will miss 9 games due to his suspension, during which time he is not paid. Through three game, that adds up to $395,340. When he returns, he will have lost out on $1,186,020.
The 49ers also released Josh Johnson over the weekend, freeing up a roster spot to promote tight end Asante Cleveland. The 49ers were without Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald, and Cleveland served in essentially an emergency tight end role. Cleveland played on special teams, but never saw the field in offensive action.
Johnson signed a league minimum deal for $730,000. He is a vested veteran (4+ years of accrued service time), which means he was guaranteed the full amount. The 49ers were able to use the minimum salary benefit, so he only counts $570,000 against the cap. If the 49ers were to re-sign him when they move Asante Cleveland off the roster (after Vernon and Vance get healthy), he would not be able to double-dip in salary. If the 49ers signed him to another league minimum deal, it would essentially pull from the original $730,000 he signed for this summer.
According to Jason Hurley, the 49ers are approximately $4,383,000 under the salary cap.