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Revisiting the 49ers 2020 Salary Cap Situation

NFL: Preseason-Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The other day I went over the 49ers 2020 cap situation, but what I forgot to factor in that article is that the team must payback numerous per-game roster bonuses that don’t count against the cap, which total up to around $2.9 million.

Another thing is Richard Sherman’s $4 million in incentives, broken down as $1 million for making the pro bowl, $1 million for playing 90% of the defensive snaps, and $2 million for making the all-pro team.

Now, the 49ers are currently $18,537,391 under the 2019 salary cap, but if we factor in the above numbers, it would leave the 49ers with just $11.7 million in cap room, barring any in season roster moves, which is very unlikely that the 49ers don’t make more moves.

In this article, I’ll outline, again, how we can retain our bigger name free agents in 2020, while still being able to extend several key players that I described in the last article.

First off, the 49ers must restructure Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract in 2020, he’s scheduled to make $23.8 million in base salary, by reducing it down to the league minimum of $820,000, and adding 2 years to the deal, to maximize savings, the 49ers would save $19.204 million in salary-cap space.

Some other candidates for restructuring’s are Weston Richburg, Joe Staley, Kwon Alexander, and Dee Ford. But hopefully the 49ers don’t have to restructure any of those deals.

But if the 49ers were to restructure these deals, the max savings are below.

Restructuring Richburg’s deal would save the team $4,606,666 in cap space, and this is assuming they don’t extend Richburg’s deal if they did the max savings would be $5.364 million, this assumes the 49ers add two years onto Richburg’s deal.

If the 49ers didn’t extend Richburg, it would add $1,893,333 to his cap numbers in 2021-2022, while extending Richburg through 2024 would add $1.136 million to his cap numbers.

Restructuring Staley’s deal would save the team $ 5,797,500, but it would add $4,752,500 to his 2021 cap number. I don’t see Staley playing beyond 2021 since he’s currently 35 years old.

Restructuring Alexander’s deal would save the team $7,773,333 in cap space but would add $3,476,666 to his cap numbers in 2021-2022.

Restructuring Ford’s deal would save the team $10,442,500 in cap space but would add $3,207,500 to his salary cap numbers in 2021-2023.

We all know Paraag Marathe is a genius when it comes to the cap, so I’m 110% confident that he will maneuver the cap without any issues.

Now, as I outlined in the last article, the 49ers have several restricted free agents, and exclusive rights free agents that they must tender, namely Matt Breida at the 2nd-round tender, which should come in at $3.278 million, Nick Mullens, Jeff Wilson Jr., Ross Dwelley, and Emmanuel Moseley, all of which are exclusive rights free agents, and would cost $660,000 for Mullens, Wilson, and Dwelley, while $585,000 for Moseley. Another exclusive right free agent is Daniel Brunskill; he would also cost only $585,000.

Now let’s revisit those players worthy of extensions/new contracts.

FB Kyle Juszczyk, who will likely get a deal averaging between $5 million and $5.5 million a year. I expect a new deal to be for an additional four years through 2024

TE George Kittle, who will likely get a deal averaging between $10 million and $12 million a year. I expect a new deal to be for an additional five years through 2025

DT DeForest Buckner, who will likely get a deal averaging around $20 million a year. I expect a new deal to be for an additional six years through 2026

CB Richard Sherman, who will likely get a deal averaging around $9 million to $10 million a year. I expect a new deal to be for an additional three years through 2023

CB Ahkello Witherspoon, who will likely get a deal averaging around $5 million to $7 million a year. I expect the new deal to be for an additional four years through 2024.

The only players who will cost cap space are Kittle, and Witherspoon, while they can convert most of Juszyczk, Buckner, and Sherman’s base salaries into the bonus structure.

Now it’s tough to determine what their cap hits would be, so I’ve left them at what they are, expect Sherman, I’ve added the $4 million incentives that are NLTBE, to LTBE, but the 49ers could save some money with any of these three deals.

I’ve also included salary escalations for Kittle, and Witherspoon in my current 2020 salary cap numbers for the PPE(Proven Performance Escalator), as they’ve played 35% of snaps in the first 2 seasons of their career.

As for overall structure, I’d expect them to somewhat front load Buckner, Witherspoon, and Kittle’s deals, while backloading the other deals.

Besides those players, there are the following pending unrestricted free agents.

DE Arik Armstead, who will likely get a deal averaging $9 million to $12 million a year. I expect him to get a 4-year deal, through 2023.

DE Ronald Blair III, who will likely get a deal averaging around $5 million a year. I expect him to be a 3-year deal through 2022.

The only other UFA I’d want back is TE Levine Toilolo, who would likely sign a 1-year veteran minimum deal, costing $750,000 against the cap.

I also mentioned some cap cut candidates, I included both starting guards, but I highly doubt the 49ers move on from either player, same goes for K’Waun Williams. Jerick McKinnon makes the most sense for a cap cut, but I could see the 49ers redoing McKinnon’s deal, as they did with Malcolm Smith, and hope he recovers, the only issue might be his $2.6 million injury guarantee.

If McKinnon is healthy, the 49ers would save around $3.89 million in cap space, if not healthy, they’d only save $1.29 million.

The last player was Jaquiski Tartt, and after thinking it over, I’d rather hold onto Tartt, as long as his good play continues, and he stays healthy.

Now let’s get back to the salary cap in 2020. I expect the 49ers to get between $5 million and $8 million in adjustments/credits, which is extra cap space?

If the 49ers were to keep everyone I mentioned, including McKinnon, even on his current deal, hoping he gets healthy, it would leave the 49ers with $7.38 million in cap room during the 2020 offseason. That’s before draft picks being signed, but only their 1st-round and the 3rd-round pick would count against the top 51 rule.

This would lock up Buckner, Armstead, Kittle, Sherman, Juszyczk, Witherspoon, and Blair on multi-year deals while keeping their flexibility to add some veterans in free agency.

I don’t see them adding many, if any, big named free agents, but rather continue to build through the draft, this is also why any trade this season makes no sense, as it would deplete their cap room, and leave no carryover for 2020, making it impossible to keep their core together.

Below is the chart I have currently in my workbook for a mock 2020 offseason.

# Name Pos. Signed 2020 Cap Number
55 Ford, Dee LEO 2023 $16,100,000
25 Sherman, Richard CB 2024 $14,050,000
56 Alexander, Kwon WLB 2022 $13,100,000
99 Buckner, DeForest DT 2026 $12,378,000
74 Staley, Joe LT 2021 $11,750,000
85 Kittle, George TE 2025 $10,000,000
91 Armstead, Arik DE/DT 2023 $9,000,000
94 Thomas, Solomon DE/DT 2020 $8,958,213
58 Richburg, Weston C 2022 $8,860,000
28 McKinnon, Jerick RB 2021 $8,550,000
10 Garoppolo, Jimmy QB 2024 $8,360,000
97 Bosa, Nick DE/LEO 2022 $7,625,424
44 Juszczyk, Kyle FB 2024 $6,800,000
29 Tartt, Jaquiski SS 2020 $6,400,000
75 Tomlinson, Laken LG 2021 $5,250,000
11 Goodwin, Marquise WR 2021 $5,125,000
9 Gould, Robbie PK 2022 $5,100,000
69 McGlinchey, Mike RT 2021 $5,002,330
98 Blair III, Ronald LEO/DT 2022 $5,000,000
23 Witherspoon, Ahkello CB 2024 $5,000,000
26 Coleman, Tevin RB 2020 $4,900,000
22 Breida, Matt RB 2020 $3,278,000
31 Mostert, Raheem RB 2021 $3,208,333
24 Williams, K’Waun CB 2020 $3,200,000
68 Person, Mike RG 2021 $2,500,000
19 Samuel, Deebo WR 2022 $1,749,399
18 Pettis, Dante WR 2021 $1,745,608
53 Nzeocha, Mark SLB 2021 $1,500,000
3 Beathard, C.J. QB 2020 $1,122,751
54 Warner, Fred MLB 2021 $1,096,547
86 Nelson, Kyle LS/TE 2022 $975,000
17 Hurd, Jalen WR/TE 2022 $972,655
33 Moore, Tarvarius FS/CB 2021 $896,093
95 Street, Kentavius DE/NT 2021 $812,550
15 Taylor, Trent WR 2020 $785,487
6 Wishnowsky, Mitch P 2022 $776,018
93 Jones, D.J. NT 2020 $771,967
83 Toilolo, Levine TE 2020 $750,000
32 Reed Jr., D.J. CB/FS 2021 $737,843
77 Taylor, Jullian DT 2021 $684,511
13 James Jr., Richie WR 2021 $679,143
57 Greenlaw, Dre SLB 2022 $665,429
4 Mullens, Nick QB 2020 $660,000
30 Wilson Jr., Jeff RB 2020 $660,000
40 Tabor, Teez CB 2020 $660,000
47 Lee, Elijah SLB 2020 $660,000
82 Dwelley, Ross TE 2020 $660,000
36 Harris, Marcell SS 2020 $660,000
67 Skule, Justin RT/LT 2022 $629,887
51 Al-Shaair, Azeez MLB 2021 $590,000
41 Moseley, Emmanuel CB 2020 $585,000
60 Brunskill, Daniel LG 2020 $585,000
35 Harris Jr., Tim CB 2022 $549,577
1 Poindexter, Shawn WR 2021 $511,666
90 Givens, Kevin DT 2021 $510,000
45 Flannigan-Fowles, Demetrius SLB 2021 $510,000
76 Reynolds, Ross LG 2021 $510,000
43 Helm, Daniel TE 2021 $510,000
92 Valoaga, Jeremiah LEO 2021 $510,000
7 Henry, Malik WR 2021 $510,000
71 Jones-Smith, Jaryd LT 2021 $510,000

Total $217,197,431
Dead $298,772
Total and Dead $217,496,203
Top 51 Rule $212,321,203
2020 Cap $200,000,000
Cap Space $7,380,012
Effective Cap Room $2,205,012
Projected Adjustments $8,000,000
2019 Carryover $11,701,215
2019 Carryover(Effective) $11,701,215
Players Signed 61 Players

Dead Money Amount
Kaden Smith $150,086
Marcell Harris $83,150
Adrian Colbert $21,200
Malik Henry $10,000
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles $8,334
Kevin Givens $8,000
Jamell Garcia-Williams $6,667
Tyree Mayfield $6,667
Wilton Speight $3,334
Ross Reynolds $1,334
Total $298,772

Now, as for 2021, I do have the 49ers over the cap, but this has the cap hits for the seven players I mentioned earlier being their APYs, which I doubt that happens, namely Buckner having a $20 million cap hit in 2021.

# Name Pos. Signed 2021 Cap Number
10 Garoppolo, Jimmy QB 2022 $31,460,000
99 Buckner, DeForest DT 2025 $20,000,000
55 Ford, Dee LEO 2023 $17,600,000
56 Alexander, Kwon WLB 2022 $14,400,000
74 Staley, Joe LT 2021 $12,500,000
58 Richburg, Weston C 2022 $10,210,000
85 Kittle, George TE 2025 $10,000,000
28 McKinnon, Jerick RB 2021 $9,200,000
97 Bosa, Nick DE/LEO 2022 $9,150,509
91 Armstead, Arik DE/DT 2023 $9,000,000
25 Sherman, Richard CB 2022 $9,000,000
11 Goodwin, Marquise WR 2021 $6,475,000
75 Tomlinson, Laken LG 2021 $6,250,000
69 McGlinchey, Mike RT 2021 $5,836,052
9 Gould, Robbie PK 2022 $5,250,000
98 Blair III, Ronald LEO/DT 2022 $5,000,000
23 Witherspoon, Ahkello CB 2024 $5,000,000
44 Juszyzck, Kyle FB 2024 $5,000,000
31 Mostert, Raheem RB 2021 $3,508,334
68 Person, Mike RG 2021 $3,000,000
19 Samuel, Deebo WR 2022 $2,099,279
18 Pettis, Dante WR 2021 $2,036,543
53 Nzeocha, Mark SLB 2021 $1,600,000
54 Warner, Fred MLB 2021 $1,234,547
17 Hurd, Jalen WR/TE 2022 $1,167,186
86 Nelson, Kyle LS/TE 2022 $1,045,000
33 Moore, Tarvarius FS/CB 2021 $980,093
95 Street, Kentavius DE/NT 2021 $902,550
6 Wishnowsky, Mitch P 2022 $866,018
32 Reed Jr., D.J. CB/FS 2021 $827,843
77 Taylor, Jullian DT 2021 $774,511
13 James Jr., Richie WR 2021 $769,143
57 Greenlaw, Dre SLB 2022 $755,429
67 Skule, Justin RT/LT 2022 $719,887
35 Harris Jr., Tim CB 2022 $714,577
51 Al-Shaair, Azeez MLB 2021 $680,000
1 Poindexter, Shawn WR 2021 $676,668

Total $215,689,169
Dead $0
Total and Dead $215,689,169
2021 Cap $210,000,000
Cap Space -$5,689,169
Effective Cap Room -$5,689,169
Players under contract 37 Players

So again, in conclusion, don’t expect any deals for big names via trades this trade deadline.

And in 2021, the 49ers have several free agents, namely K’Waun Williams, Matt Breida, Solomon Thomas, D.J. Jones, C.J. Beathard, and Trent Taylor, while Nick Mullens, Jeff WIlson Jr., Ross Dwelley, would be restricted free agents, and Emmanuel Moseley would be an exclusive rights free agent again.

In 2021, the 49ers will likely decline the option on Jerick McKinnon, that’s of course if they don’t release him in 2020, which will save the team $7.2 million in cap room.