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49ers went from spending the least on offense to the most

The 49ers went from worst to first! Kind of.

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams

The San Francisco 49ers did not spend a lot of money on the offensive side of the ball last season. Or at least, they didn’t relative to the rest of the NFL. They had the lowest salary cap dollars allocated to the offensive side of the ball of any team, but that’s changing in a big way for 2018. They now have ... the highest.

As pointed out by Football Perspective’s Chase Stuart, referencing cap figures from Over The Cap, the 49ers had $47.419 million allocated to the offensive side of the ball in 2017. This year, they’ll have $111.833 million, or thereabouts. A massive increase.

Of course, a big reason for this is the heavily front-loaded contract of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s carrying a $37 million cap hit in 2018 thanks to a massive $28 million roster bonus. It’s a shocking cap hit initially, but it gives them some maneuverability going forward.

Running backs, though, is where the 49ers start to get really out there.

The 49ers have $13.0M allocated to running backs, which trails only the Le’Veon Bell-led Steelers and Bills (not only LeSean McCoy, but also backup Chris Ivory and FB Patrick DiMarco have large contracts for their roles). Fullback Kyle Juszczyk ($4,45M cap hit in 2018) is by far the highest paid player at his position, after signing an off-market contract last year. But the team matched the insanity in 2018, signing Jerick McKinnon to a huge contract that carries a $10.5M cap hit in 2018, the second highest (Bell) in the league. That came a year after the 49ers traded the 143rd and 161st picks in the draft to move up to select Joe Williams, a RB that Kyle Shanahan claimed he would “be sick” if the 49ers didn’t grab.

It’s hard to look at what the 49ers have done and how much they have going to the position and call it anything other than incredibly risky. Kyle Shanahan has his “offensive weapons,” but if they don’t pan out, the contracts will start to look worse and worse, regardless of how many team-friendly provisions they managed to include on the deal.

The 49ers also are a little above-average in regards to paying their receivers, but I’ll let you click through Chase’s piece rather than just serve it all up here for you. The point is simple: the 49ers are spending big. Some of it doesn’t look great on paper, but for now, it’s not looking like the team has lost out on anybody significant due to a shortage in cap, so that’s where the concern stops for me personally.