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49ers salary cap space heading into free agency tampering period

One report suggests they will be a market-setter in free agency. Consider me a little skeptical for now.

The NFL’s free agency tampering period officially begins Tuesday afternoon, at which point rumors will be flying fast and furious. We are already hearing about potential landing spots for free agents, but it will kick up a notch on Tuesday once it is actually legal for agents to begin speaking with teams.

As the 49ers get ready for free agency, they will have a ton of cap space. The NFLPA updated their public salary cap report following the news of Colin Kaepernick opting out. The 49ers are listed with $90,635,889 in cap space as of Monday morning. That does not reflect Jeremy Kerley’s contract extension. The only team with more cap space is Cleveland, currently sitting on $103,624,922.

49ers GM John Lynch told the media last week that fans should plan on staying awake when free agency gets going. The team has a lot of needs, and Lynch’s comments suggested the team will be aggressive in filling those needs. It does not mean the 49ers will be signing every big name they can. I would not be surprised by one or two big names, but I think the team will add mostly complementary and under-the-radar type guys.

Of course, NFL agents want to make sure teams think the 49ers are ready to blow a lot of money. Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday that agents he has spoken to said the 49ers and Browns were showing the most interest in their pending free agents, and “seemed primed to spend the most.” La Canfora said to expect the 49ers and Browns to “set the market at multiple positions.”

The 49ers very well could be the team that sets the market at several positions, but I’m just not seeing it right now. They might need to put together a particularly huge offer to land a big fish, but John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan do not strike me as football people who would go that far. Kirk Cousins could prove to be the exception either this year via trade or next year in free agency, but I think that is due to QB being such an important position.

We’ll make some predictions before the tampering period gets started, but any early predictions on how many big fish the 49ers land?