The San Francisco 49ers have a lot of cap room heading into the 2016 offseason, and they will have plenty of decisions to make. Free agents will be the most pressing matters, but the team can also start to take care of some of their own ahead of free agency. The end of the 2015 season will officially open the window for working out extensions with 2013 draft picks and 2014 undrafted free agents.
The current collective bargaining agreement cut back on a lot of the power young players previously had. The 2011 CBA instituted a rookie wage scale, and also cut back on the power of young players to renegotiate their existing contracts. Under the current CBA, draft picks have to play three full seasons before renegotiating their contract, and undrafted free agents have to wait two full seasons. The reason UDFAs get less time is because while draft picks all sign four-year contracts (first round picks have a fifth year team option), UDFAs can only sign three year contracts.
For the 49ers, that means the following players are going to be eligible to sign contract extensions starting at the conclusion of their January 3 season finale.
Eric Reid will likely not sign an extension this offseason. He is signed through the 2016 season, and the 49ers can exercise the fifth-year option on his contract between the close of the regular season and May 3, 2016. The option immediately becomes guaranteed for injury, but is not guaranteed for skill or cap reasons until the start of the 2017 league year.
Quinton Dial and L.J. McCray are the two most logical candidates for contract extensions. Dial has taken over a starting role, and is developing into a very capable defensive end. If the 49ers view him as a long-term option on the line, I would not be at all surprised to see the two sides get an extension done before training camp. McCray is coming off a season-ending injury, but has established himself as a key member of the special teams units. Given that he is coming off injury, I could see the two sides working something out before training camp.