The San Francisco 49ers have to finish up their coaching search at some point in the near future, but upon that resolution, the process can pick up steam with free agents. Whether it be current 49ers hitting the market, or the many names out there, free agency is going to be big for the 49ers in 2016.
The NFLPA recently updated the salary cap figures for the coming 2016 league year, and they list the 49ers with $12,206,686 in roll over. That is money the 49ers did not spend on players in 2015, and thus can be used in the coming offseason. The new league year starts in mid-March.
The NFLPA salary database lists the 49ers with $101,730,482 in contract obligations. The salary cap is estimated in the range of $150 million to $153 million. Our man Jason Hurley has the 49ers currently looking at $54 million and change in cap space for 2016, but that is a fluid figure as the new league year approaches. That being said, the 49ers are going to have a lot of cap space to play with in March.
The next question is how much the 49ers will be willing to spend in free agency. In his press conference last Monday, Jed York talked about needing to figure out the right balance for spending money outside, and building from within:
"[W]e haven't been the most active in free agency in years past. We need to figure out what the right talent is outside of this building, what the right talent is inside of this building and make sure that we knock it out of the park this year in the draft."
Later that day, Trent Baalke had his own insight into the 49ers cap situation. He was asked if the team would be more aggressive than normal in free agency:
"Well, the one thing that I'm convinced of is you can't buy championships. You earn championships and there's a process to it. You build through the draft. You supplement your roster with free agency. You take care of your own guys because that creates ownership on their part. So, to say we're going to go out and because we have X number of dollars to spend, how are we going to spend that? Are you going to spend that on two players or are you going to spend that on 12 players? I don't know. I don't have that answer right now nor would I from a competitive standpoint share that. But, there's different ways to use that money. We just have to make sure we use it correctly."