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49ers salary cap: Offensive line undergoing transition

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The San Francisco 49ers cleared some cap space on their offensive line, but give it right back in 2015 due to an increase for Joe Staley, and Erik Pears deal. The next questions relate to Alex Boone and Daniel Kilgore. Previous positions: QB | RB | WR | TE

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are a little over three weeks away from the start of training camp. We just wrapped up a look at the 49ers bubble watch, position-by-position. Now, I thought we would take a look at the salary cap information for each position. Jason Hurley put together the tables with cap information for each position, and I have added some thoughts as well.

Before we get into the details, a brief explanation of the table. The first number is the player's cap number for 2015. The second is remaining fully guaranteed money on their deal. The third and fourth are dead money and cap savings this year if a player is released before the end of the season. The final two columns are for players released next offseason, but not as a June 1 cut.

I will also occasionally reference positional spending since that can sometimes provide a little bit of context for a given position. I am getting that information from the positional spending page at Over The Cap. This references the amount of cap space devoted to a given position. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.

Player 2015 Cap Number Gtd Money 2015 Dead $$ 2015 Cap Savings 2016 Dead $ (Pre-6/1) 2016 Cap Savings (Pre-6/1)
Daniel Kilgore $1,875,000 $1,612,500 $937,500 $937,500 $675,000 $762,500
Marcus Martin $712,813 $503,439 $167,813 $545,000 $335,626 $487,187
Dillon Farrell $511,666 $3,332 $1,666 $510,000 $1,668 $600,000
Alex Boone $3,740,000 $340,000 $340,000 $3,400,000 N/A N/A
Joe Looney $766,301 $106,301 $106,301 $660,000 N/A N/A
Brandon Thomas $637,504 $379,512 $126,504 $510,000 $253,008 $473,496
Andrew Tiller $510,000 $0 $0 $510,000 N/A N/A
Ian Silberman $465,419 $121,676 $30,419 $435,000 $91,257 $464,162
Ben Gottschalk $435,000 $0 $0 $435,000 $0 $525,000
Joe Staley $7,600,000 $11,200,000 $2,400,000 $5,200,000 $8,800,000 ($500,000)
Erik Pears $3,350,000 $1,000,000 $750,000 $2,600,000 $250,000 $2,100,000
Trenton Brown $448,973 $55,892 $13,973 $435,000 $41,919 $497,054
Patrick Miller $436,666 $5,000 $1,666 $435,000 $3,334 $523,332
Justin Renfrow $435,000 $0 $0 $435,000 $0 $525,000
Sean Hooey $435,000 $0 $0 $435,000 N/A N/A

The 49ers are undergoing transition on their offensive line, and they will have at least two new starters in 2015. The departure of Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis clear cap space, but the 49ers cap space is similar to 2014. A year ago the 49ers were spending $23,025,605, and this year they are spending $22,359,342. Although Davis and Iupati departed, Joe Staley's cap hit rose from $3.4 million to $7.6 million. The team also signed Erik Pears to a two-year deal with cap hits of $3.35 million and $2.35 million.

Looking ahead, the 49ers face another contract question next offseason when Alex Boone hits free agency. His value potentially climbed with Anthony Davis's retirement. He has focused on guard, but if Erik Pears struggles at right tackle, Boone very well could swing out there. Whatever the case, his performance the last few years will net him a sizable contract in free agency.

The only other contract with a cap hit of more than $1 million is Daniel Kilgore. He is signed through the 2017 season, and this year marks his highest cap figure. He is rehabbing his leg injury, with hopes of being back at the start of training camp. If he gets back at the start, or soon thereafter, he will be competing with Marcus Martin at the center position. Those two in turn could also compete for one of the guard positions. If Kilgore can work his way into a starting role once again, it will be interesting to see if he gets a re-worked deal with the 49ers, or if they just play it out and let him eventually walk as they have often done with interior offensive linemen. I could see some kind of salary bump if he is back in the starting lineup, but we'll see.

League spending

The 49ers rank 21st in the NFL in offensive line spending this year. The New York Jets top the list at just over $36.2 million, thanks to big contracts to D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. Those two are signed through 2017, and combine for a 2015 cap hit of just north of $22 million. We'll see if they can keep Geno Smith on his feet.

The Oakland Raiders are second on this list, spending just over $33.3 million. Their top cap hit this season belongs to center Rodney Hudson, at $13 million. Tackles Austin Howard and Donald Penn combine for a hit of $11.8 million. If it keeps Derek Carr on his feet, it will be worth it.

The Detroit Lions are at the bottom of the list at $12.5 million, with the Seattle Seahawks just ahead of them at $14.3 million. The Seahawks traded center Max Unger this offseason to acquire Jimmy Graham, giving Russell Wilson a huge weapon. The question now is if he can survive the continued turnover of this offensive line. Russell Okung missed two games last year and six the year before. He has never played a full 16-game season, so the team will be looking for that from him this year. They will also look for second year tackle Justin Britt to take a step forward. He showed some things at times last season, but needs to show improvement in year two.