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49ers salary cap: Retirements raise questions at inside linebacker

The San Francisco 49ers have cleared space at the inside linebacker position following a couple notable retirements. Will they work out an extension with Michael Wilhoite? Previous positions: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | OLB

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 am not referencing league-wide spending because most outside analysis combines both inside and outside linebackers together.

Player 2015 Cap Number Gtd Money 2015 Dead $$ 2015 Cap Savings 2016 Dead $ (Pre-6/1) 2016 Cap Savings (Pre-6/1)
NaVorro Bowman $7,654,000 $12,716,000 $7,654,000 $0 $3,754,000 $5,800,000
Nick Bellore $1,170,000 $30,000 $15,000 $114,000 $15,000 $1,115,000
Phillip Wheeler $1,000,000 $0 $0 $1,000,000 N/A N/A
Michael Wilhoite $660,000 $0 $0 $660,000 N/A N/A
Nick Moody $611,918 $53,836 $26,918 $585,000 $26,918 $675,000
Desmond Bishop $585,000 $0 $0 $585,000 N/A N/A
Shayne Skov $435,000 $0 $0 $435,000 $0 $525,000

The 49ers cleared out two slightly notable names with the retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland. The 49ers are expected to get Borland's remaining $463,077 in prorated signing bonus money returned. I am not sure if has happened yet, but it is expected at some point. As for Willis, his remaining signing bonus money was $843,500. The team loaded up his deal in 2012, which meant less dead money later. The team could request that money back, but it would not surprise me if they did not do that.

The big salary cap question at inside linebacker is Michael Wilhoite. He has signed his exclusive rights free agent tender, which means he is signed through the 2015 season. Next offseason he will be a restricted free agent, and if he signs a tender, he would then be an unrestricted free agent in 2017. Trent Baalke suggested the team was working with Wilhoite's agent to get an extension done, but there has been nothing overly concrete.

The 49ers have a track record of signing young players to long-term deals sooner rather than later. There are some players they have not extended, but when they want to get a deal done, they seem inclined to work something out. Wilhoite's value skyrocketed this offseason following the retirements of Willis and Borland. The 49ers signed Philip Wheeler and have Nick Moody, Desmond Bishop and Shayne Skov competing in training camp. Wheeler is likely not a long-term option, but Moody has gotten some praise from the coaches. I think we see the 49ers and Wilhoite agree to a deal, but if they are particularly high on Moody, maybe they hold off an extension.