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NFL releases salary cap, franchise/transition tags, RFA tender salaries

Here’s what it all means for the 49ers.

The NFL free agency tampering period gets started next Monday, and free agency formally opens a week from tomorrow. In the meantime, the league released information on the 2019 salary cap late last week. That included the total cap, and the tender salaries for franchise players, transition players, and restricted free agents. We’ve discussed these separately, but here’s a rundown of all that went down with the finalization of the 2019 salary cap.

Salary cap

The cap was announced at $188.2 million, leaving the San Francisco 49ers with roughly $67.4 million in space. That number is guaranteed to change because it does not reflect the eventual releases of Earl Mitchell and Pierre Garçon (they’ll become free agents at the start of the new league year) and Sunday’s news of Mike Person signing a new contract. The 49ers will save $3,931,250 with the two releases, and we’ll have to wait and see what Person’s deal looks like.

Restricted free agent tenders

Once the cap is settled, each of the tenders is finalized. There are five levels of restricted free agent tender, ranging from right of first refusal only to a first round comp pick and no need to match a clause promising not to franchise a player. The one-year tender salaries range from $2,025,000 to $4,907,000 (or 110 percent of 2018 salary, whichever is greater).

Running back Raheem Mostert is the 49ers only RFA, and he presents an interesting question. He is a standout special teams player, but he also showed potential as a running back when he got playing time after Matt Breida got hurt. If they got right of first refusal to keep his salary lower, they risk another team making him an offer and forcing the 49ers to decide if they want to pay up. What level the 49ers use will tell us a bit about how they feel regarding Mostert. My guess is they place a second round tender on him, with a one-year salary of $3,095,000. This is assuming the two sides do not work out a contract extension.

Franchise/transition tag

Here is a full rundown of franchise tags (see transition tags here).

QB: $24,865,000
RB: $11,214,000
WR: $16,787,000
TE: $10,387,000
OL: $14,067,000
DE: $17,128,000
DT: $15,209,000
LB: $15,443,000
CB: $16,022,000
S: $11,150,000
K/P: $4,971,000

The 49ers have used their franchise tag on Robbie Gould. They have until July 15th to work on a contract extension. If a deal is not done by then, he will play the 2019 season on a one-year salary of $4,971,000.

NFL teams have until 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday to place their franchise tags. Thus far, Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford, and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark ahve all received the tag.