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49ers salary cap 2016: Where things stand following Aldon Smith departure

The San Francisco 49ers will have a sizable chunk of cap space heading into the 2016 offseason. We break down where things stand with cap space and free agents heading into the 2015 season.

The San Francisco 49ers roster took a big hit last week with the release of Aldon Smith. However, that also removed a 2016 roster decision. The team faces several decisions next offseason with regard to free agents, and also potential long-term deals. And so, now seemed as good a time as any to take a look at the 49ers 2016 salary cap outlook. I recently updated the NN 2016 salary cap page, which I will be referencing throughout this article.

The 49ers having a committed salary total of $124,714,075, with $6.229 million of that being dead money. The team currently has 69 players signed for 2016. As to the top 51 salaries, they count for $115,789,075 against the cap. The salary cap for 2016 is unknown, but for our purposes, I have projected a $153 million salary cap. That number would leave the 49ers at $38,410,925 under the salary cap.

The cap space number includes a scheduled $1.2 million salary cap credit that the 49ers will get for converting Joe Staley's 2015 option bonus into a signing bonus, and doubling up on his proration for 2015. It does not include any potential roll-over of 2015 cap space. The 49ers currently have $12,980,672 in cap space for the current season. It is important to note that number is based on the top 51 salaries. It will change once the team factors in the 53-man roster, practice squad, and injury lists. We'll have more on that later this week.

The 49ers are also expected to receive more credits for the 2016 season. These include credits for Anthony Davis and Chris Borland. Anthony Davis suggested he will come back in 2016, so that would impact a potential credit.

Before Aldon Smith's most recent incident, I thought a release of Ahmad Brooks would have made sense at some point this year. However, Smith's release removes that from the equation this year. It is possible next year, but the team would need to wait and see what they add at the position in free agency and the 2016 NFL Draft.

The 49ers still have quite a few free agents heading into next year's offseason. The number of "must-sign" guys is fairly limited, but there are still some notable free agents.

Unrestricted free agents

RB Reggie Bush
RB Kendall Hunter
WR Anquan Boldin
TE Vernon Davis
TE Garrett Celek
LG Alex Boone (Note: he can't be franchised as part of his restructured deal last September)
RG Joe Looney
NT Ian Williams
ILB Desmond Bishop
ILB Philip Wheeler
CB Shareece Wright
FS Craig Dahl
PK Phil Dawson

Restricted free agents

DE Tony Jerod-Eddie
ILB Michael Wilhoite

Exclusive rights free agents

WR Chuck Jacobs
OG Andrew Tiller
CB Marcus Cromartie
CB Leon McFadden

As always you can follow me on Twitter, @Jay_AB81, and check out more salary cap articles, and thoughts throughout the 2015 season, right here on Niners Nation.