I will be doing a series of articles that will be taking a methodical team by team approach to next year’s possible free agents. I will be starting with the team that has the least amount of salary cap space and ending with the team with the most. I will try to give a brief description of as many of the possible free agents as I can. I will also be looking for players that might be salary cap cuts in order for their teams to make room to sign some of these possible free agents. Any information anyone else can contribute on these players would be very much appreciated.
The San Francisco 49ers are projected to be $81,046,264 UNDER the cap (all salary info via Over The Cap) for 2017 with 51 players under contract. As of January 1, 2017, OTC has combined the leftover cap space from 2016 with each team’s projected cap space for 2017.
Dollar figures listed are player’s 2016 cap hits.
K Phil Dawson - $3,134,000
Phil Dawson is 42 years old and was originally picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Raiders in 1998. He has 18 accredited seasons in the NFL. Should we make it an even 20?
34DT Glenn Dorsey - $2,766,668
Glenn Dorsey is 31 years old and was originally drafted by the Chiefs in the first round of the 2008 draft. The 49ers signed Dorsey in March of 2013. Dorsey started 7 games last season and had 35 tackles and one sack. According to PFF, Dorsey only had a grade of 38 last season. In comparison, they gave him a grade of 80.2 in 2013 before his ACL injury.
QB Blaine Gabbert - $2,300,000
Blaine Gabbert is 27 years old and was originally drafted by the Jaguars in the first round of the 2011 draft. The 49ers signed him in March of 2014. Blaine completed 91 of 160 passes in 2016 for 925 yards and a completion percentage of 56.9 percent. His quarterback rating was 68.4 and his PFF grade was 39. Right down at the bottom just below Jared Goff.
ILB Michael Wilhoite - $1,671,000
Michael Wilhoite is 30 years old and was picked up by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2011. Wilhoite had 55 tackles, 0.5 sacks, two passes defended, and one forced fumble last season. His PFF grade was 38.5. He was not the worst inside linebacker in the NFL last season but he was extremely close.
34DE Tony Jerod-Eddie
Tony Jerod-Eddie is 26 years old and was picked up by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He had three tackles last season. His PFF grade was 47. He only had 85 total snaps.
RB Shaun Draughn - $860,000
Shaun Draughn is 29 years old and was originally picked up by the Redskins as an undrafted free agent in 2011. The 49ers signed Draughn in November of 2015. Draughn had 74 carries for 196 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. He averaged 2.6 yards per carry.
WR Jeremy Kerley - $760,000
Jeremy Kerley is 28 years old and was originally drafted by the Jets in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. The 49ers signed Kerley at the end of August. Kerley had 64 receptions for 667 yards and three touchdowns last season.
ILB Nick Bellore - $1,130,000
Nick Bellore is 27 years old and was originally picked up by the Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2011. The 49ers signed him in April of 2015. Ballore had 83 tackles, five passes defended, one sack, one forced fumble, and one interception in 2016. His PFF grade was 55.3 which is a lot better than Wilhoite but still not very good.
WR Rod Streater - $760,001
Rod Streater is 28 years old and was originally picked up by the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2012. The 49ers signed Streater in early September. Streater had 18 receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns in 2016. He played in only 250 snaps.
QB Christian Ponder - $800,000
Christian Ponder is 28 years old and was originally drafted by the Vikings in the first round of the 2011 draft. The 49ers signed Ponder in August to be their No. 3 quarterback after Thad Lewis tore his ACL. Ponder has not played a single down in a regular season game since 2014 and he only played in two game in 2014 starting only one.
LG Andrew Gardner - $89,412
Andrew Gardner is 30 years old and was originally drafted by the Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. The 49ers signed in the middle of December just so I would have to write about him. He started in one game for an injury riddled 49ers offensive line. Surprisingly, his PFF grade was a respectable 68.1. They weren’t so bad when he played with the Eagles in 2015 either.
TE Jim Dray - $70,588
Jim Dray is 30 years old and was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. The 49ers signed him in December to further aggravate me. He played in two games and didn’t have any receptions.
QB Thaddeus Lewis - $363,000
Thaddeus Lewis is 29 years old and was originally picked up by the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2010. The 49ers signed him is March of 2016 and they placed him on injured reserve in August. Sadly he was our only chance at the Super Bowl. Thadeus has not played in a regular season game since 2013.
34 DE Chris Jones - $317,647
Chris Jones is 26 years old and was originally drafted by the Texans in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. The 49ers claimed Jones off of waiver on November 8th. He had 17 tackles fir the 49ers. PFF gave him a 43.4 grade which makes him the 100th best inside defensive player in the NFL.
ILB Gerald Hodges - $1,671,000
Gerald Hodges is 26 years old and was originally drafted by the Vikings in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. The 49ers traded Nick Easton and a sixth round pick for Hodges on October 6, 2015. Hodges had 83 tackles, three sacks, two passes defended, one forced fumble and two interceptions this season. PFF gave Hodges a grade of 82.4, good enough to be amongst the top 20 inside linebackers in the league.
Fooch’s update: We forgot WR Quinton Patton!