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Ahmad Brooks to see de-escalation in 2015 salary, but still potential cap casuality

The San Francisco 49ers will clear at least a little bit of room in salary cap space as Ahmad Brooks's 2014 production was not enough to avoid a de-escalator. We take a look at how this impacts the 49ers 2015 cap space, and what it means for him as a potential cap casualty candidate.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers will have some decisions to make this offseason, and one will revolve around outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks. He has a sizable salary, and the team could clear some serious cap space if they elect to release him. However, it appears Brooks' 2015 salary is not as big as we once thought.

According to a source, Ahmad Brooks will see his base salary has de-escalated by $2.5 million. He was due to make $6 million in 2015, but now is slated to make $3.5 million. This follows de-escalations in 2013 and 2014 due to a variety of playing time and performance requirements.

This makes his salary cap number more manageable. His cap number will drop to $7.055 milliion, but odds are still strong he will be a cap casualty in the coming months.

If the 49ers decide to move on from Brooks, they have a couple options. They can cut him when the league year starts as a pre-June 1st cut, or they can designate him as a June 1st cut. If he is a pre-June 1st cut, the 49ers would save $1,508,750, and take on $5,546,250 in dead money. Additionally, they would save $7.35 million in 2016, and $8,648,750 in 2017.

If the 49ers designated him a June 1st cut, they would save $4,706,250. They would have $2,348,750 in dead money for 2015, and $3,197,500 in dead money for 2016. They would save $6,501,250 in 2016 cap space, and the same $8,648,750 in 2017.

With this de-escalation taken into account, the 49ers are now roughly $2 million under the projected $140 million 2015 salary cap. The NFLPA believes the NFL has underestimated the expected salary cap, so this number is certainly not final.