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49ers have fifth highest rookie pool for 2019

The second overall pick has something to do with that.

The San Francisco 49ers have a projected $65 million in cap space, and while they can be aggressive in free agency, they will save a decent chunk of that money for future needs. The team will usually save at least $5 million for in-season issues since injuries can always be a problem. Additionally, they will need to set aside some money for their 2019 draft class.

The folks at Over The Cap keep track of rookie salary pools for each team, and right now, the 49ers have a rookie pool of $10,107,303. That number covers the 2019 cap hit for each player. I say “right now” because that is based on their current allotment of draft picks, and it will change if they make any trades.

The 49ers hold the No. 2 overall pick, but are fifth in rookie pool money. They have high picks in the first three rounds, but the number is limited by only having six draft picks. The Oakland Raiders have the highest pool thanks primarily to holding three first round picks. The Arizona Cardinals are second thanks to the top pick in the first six rounds and three extra picks in the final two rounds. The New York Giants are third with a host of fourth and fifth round picks. The Green Bay Packers are fourth thanks to an extra first round pick.

It is worth noting that the $10,107,303 is best considered in the context of the in-season salary cap, not the offseason salary cap. During the offseason, a team only needs its top 51 contracts to fall under the $190 million cap. When the team makes final roster cuts, then their entire roster (53 players, practice squad, IR, PUP) must fall under the cap. For the time being, $570,000 is the cut-off on the 49ers top 51. That will change with free agency signings, but as is, both of the 49ers projected sixth round pick cap hits would fall outside the top 51 salaries.