The conclusion of the 2014 season brings with it word that the San Francisco 49ers will have a little bit more space under the salary cap in 2015. According to the NFLPA salary database, Anthony Davis has seen his 2015 base salary drop from $2,350,000 to $1,850,000.
When Davis first signed his contract, we learned that the deal included various de-escalators for weight and workout requirements. Jason from Over the Cap tweeted that the de-escalation was due to the playing time he missed this year because of injury. Hopefully our own Jason can get further clarification as to what the specific requirements were.
Davis played in only seven games this season due to a variety of injuries, and his absence was keenly felt. While Davis can be inconsistent at times in pass protection, he is a fantastic run blocker, like much of the 49ers offensive line. When he was in the game, Frank Gore found great success running toward the right. When Jonathan Martin was in the lineup, well, not so much.
The 49ers offensive line returns four of the five starters next season, with Mike Iupati potentially departing in free agency. My guess is the 49ers let him walk. They have Brandon Thomas coming off his ACL injury, and he will likely compete with Daniel Kilgore and Marcus Martin for left guard and center. While there will likely be some turnover in 2015, the key will be everybody staying healthy. The changes at center and right tackle were a significant issue in the offense's struggles. They were not the only ones, but they were problematic, nonetheless.