The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos have been engaged in a trade tango for some time now, and things have hit some kind of wall. Adam Schefter has reported the two sides have agreed to draft pick compensation, while several others said it is not quite to that point yet. All media are reporting restructuring Colin Kaepernick's contract is a big hurdle at the moment.
The debate is endless about who is in the right when it comes to restructuring Kaepernick's contract. The 49ers could be in the right because why should they pay for anything on it? Kaepernick is in the right because the money is fully guaranteed now, so why should he give anything up? The Broncos are in the right because they are likely correct in realizing the 49ers want to get rid of Kaepernick, so why pay his entire deal if they are doing everybody a favor?
I've seen arguments for all three, but one thing that is particularly pertinent is Denver's cap space. The NFLPA lists the Broncos with $3.3 million in cap space, while Over The Cap has them listed with $1.65 million in cap space. Either way, Kaepernick's current cap hit does not fit. For 2016, Kaepernick is due $11.9 million in base salary, $2 million in roster bonuses, and $400,000 in a workout bonus. If he is dealt under his current deal, his cap number in Denver would be $14.3 million.
There has been chatter about trading or releasing offensive tackle Ryan Clady prior to all this trade chatter. It started with the Broncos signing Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson.. If the Broncos trade or release Clady before June 1, they would clear $8.9 million in cap space. If they designated him a June 1 release, they would clear $9.5 million in cap space.
One question people have brought up is if the 49ers would want Clady in a deal back from the Broncos. The answer to that seems like a pretty firm no. Well, if he too renegotiated his contract, then maybe it could happen, but I don't see it happening. A straight trade would result in Clady having the highest cap figure on the 49ers roster. There's zero chance that happens. And while a restructuring on that end is certainly one option, I think the 49ers are more inclined to give Trenton Brown the opportunity at right tackle, and build through the draft (I'll continue to not factor Anthony Davis into the mix until something actually happens).
The 49ers won't be adding Clady anytime soon, but he will be going somewhere this offseason. In reality, he's probably gone no matter what happens with the Colin Kaepernick situation.