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49ers salary cap: How long does Antoine Bethea stick around?

The San Francisco 49ers have their safeties set for 2015. How much longer will this duo be together? Previous positions: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | OLB | ILB | CB

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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)
Eric Reid $2,312,933 $5,011,355 $3,874,400 ($1,561,467) $2,698,422 $0
Craig Dahl $1,533,334 $883,334 $883,334 $650,000 N/A N/A
Antoine Bethea $4,750,000 $6,750,000 $4,250,000 $500,000 $2,500,000 $3,750,000
Jimmie Ward $1,616,484 $4,429,450 $2,683,076 ($1,066,592) $2,812,968 ($873,187)
Jaquiski Tartt $915,821 $2,972,239 $1,529,775 ($613,955) $2,056,418 ($911,642)
L.J. McCray $512,000 $4,000 $2,000 $510,000 $2,000 $600,000
Jermaine Whithead $437,500 $15,000 $10,000 $427,500 $5,000 $522,500

The most intriguing salary cap question in the 49ers safety depth chart is Antoine Bethea. He's not going anywhere in 2015, but next year it gets a little more interesting. If Bethea is released next spring, the 49ers save $3.75 million in cap space. If he is given the June 1 designation, the 49ers would save $5 million in cap space.

This is not to say the 49ers are going to release him next year, but if they decide they are ready to make a transition, the financial savings are there. Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward are the two potential replacements, with L.J. McCray looking more like a strictly special teams option for now. My guess is Bethea plays through the third year of his deal, but it gets at least a little more interesting this offseason.

The other notable salary cap question is Craig Dahl. He restructured his contract this offseason, and the team spent a second round pick on Tartt. He has stuck around in a special teams role, while also serving as the team's primary backup safety. At some point do Jimmie Ward or Jaquiski Tartt move past him in that role? This is about more than just finding another special teams option.

League spending

The 49ers rank No. 11 among teams in safety cap spending. This marks the second straight year they have ranked 11th. This also comes though as their spending increased from $8,261,258 to $12,078,072. It is no surprise the Seattle Seahawks lead the league with just over $16.8 million. Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are among their top ten paid players. The New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings bring up the rear in the league.