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49ers salary cap: Wide receiver position brings maneuverability

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The San Francisco 49ers have a good cap situation at wide receiver, with nothing too outlandish, and plenty of smaller numbers on the books. We break it down. Previous positions: QB | RB

Ed Szczepanski-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)
Anquan Boldin $6,909,000 $6,636,000 $3,909,000 $3,000,000 N/A N/A
Torrey Smith $3,600,000 $8,750,000 $2,350,000 $1,250,000 $6,400,000 $1,200,000
Jerome Simpson $795,000 $0 $0 $795,000 $0 $935,000
Quinton Patton $682,875 $195,750 $97,875 $585,000 $97,875 $675,000
Bruce Ellington $628,607 $355,821 $118,607 $510,000 $237,214 $600,000
DeAndre Smelter $521,422 $345,688 $86,422 $435,000 $259,266 $352,156
Isaac Blakeney $438,333 $17,500 $10,833 $427,500 $6,667 $521,666
DeAndrew White $473,333 $32,000 $27,333 $410,000 $4,667 $522,666
Dres Anderson $437,000 $50,000 $46,000 $391,000 $4,000 $523,000
DiAndre Campbell $435,833 $2,500 $833 $435,000 $1,667 $524,166
Chuck Jacobs $435,000 $0 $0 $435,000 N/A N/A
Mario Hull $435,000 $0 $0 $435,000 $0 $525,000

The 49ers are in good shape cap-wise at the wide receiver position. Anquan Boldin is their highest cap hit, but is entering the final year of his deal. He has indicated he wants to continue with the 49ers, but there is no rush to get a deal done. If the 49ers are competitive this year, I suspect we see Boldin sign another two-year deal with the team. If the 49ers struggle this year, all bets are off.

Torrey Smith is signed for five years, but his deal is fairly team-friendly in the coming years. His cap figures moving forward are $3.6 million this year, then $7.6 million in 2016, and finally $9.6 million in each of the remaining three years. Additionally, after this first year, post-June 1 cuts open the door for significant cap savings. I don't expect the team to release him anytime soon, but the opportunity is there if needed.

After that, the 49ers are dealing with all sub-million dollar cap hits. Aside from DeAndre Smelter (likely starting the season on the NFI list), the 49ers have two draft picks on their rookie contracts. Bruce Ellington is entering year two of his deal, while Quinton Patton is entering year three. Although Patton has one year left on his deal, this year is a big one for him. Even with the addition of Torrey Smith, he is reaching a point where he needs to prove something of significance pretty soon. If he struggles to get on the field again in his third year, I think he moves into serious trouble of not making the roster in year four.

Jerome Simpson is a flier following a lost season. He is facing potentially a last chance, both for a career and to earn some bucks before it's all over. He is signed through 2016, so if he can stay out of trouble these next two years and put up some decent production, he could potentially get a nice little payday in 2017, or even a re-negotiated contract with the 49ers.

League spending

The 49ers have $15,791,403 in 2015 cap money invested in the wide receiver position. That ranks 15th in the NFL in wide receiver cap spending this year. A year ago, the 49ers ranked 11th with a shade over $14 million devoted to the position. They saw Michael Crabtree and Stevie Johnson both depart, but added Torrey Smith, and saw Anquan Boldin's cap figure go up in year two of his contract.

The Detroit Lions lead the league in wide receiver cap spending this season thanks to a sizable bump in Calvin Johnson's cap figure. He had a 2014 cap hit of $13,058,000, and a 2015 cap hit of $20,558,000. Washington is right behind Detroit with Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson boosting that number.

The Kansas City Chiefs bring up the bottom of the league, with just under $9 million in cap space devoted to the position. That number will take a big boost up in 2016. Jeremy Maclin signed a five-year, $55 million contract this offseason. His 2015 cap figure is $3.4 million, and it increases to $12.4 million for each of 2016 and 2017.