We mentioned in Tuesday’s Golden Nuggets that the San Francisco 49ers are sitting at roughly $14.2 million in cap space—which doesn’t count the signings of Tom Compton or Travis Benjamin. The 49ers can create more space if the releases of a few players. Jason Hurley pointed out that nine 49ers’ salaries become fully guaranteed on April 1 if they are on the roster. The team released guard Mike Person, but there are still a few names on the roster that some have suggested to be cut to save money or because the player likely won’t play in 2020.
Here is the list of names:
Jimmy Garoppolo— $15.7M
You’re not going to release your quarterback, as much as the media wanted that to happen for a 43-year-old quarterback. 2020 will be a big season for Garoppolo. I’m just as interested to see how fans change their opinion on Jimmy G, whether it’s good or bad. Garoppolo is easily the most sensitive subject on the roster. One crowd was ready to move on from him before the trade deadline, while another crowd believes Jimmy can do no wrong. There is nothing wrong with having fluid opinions in football. If he plays well, say it. If there are boneheaded decisions, admit it.
Tevin Coleman — ($2M)
This is the biggest surprise. Two million doesn’t seem like much. That may have been the difference in bringing back Emmanuel Sanders, though. Coleman looked his best when there were no other options. That was the theme for every back this season. When Kyle Shanahan gave them consistent touches, they thrived the most. If Coleman is going to be relegated to backup duties and not be the third-down running back—assuming Raheem Mostert starts and Jerick McKinnon gets a crack on passing downs first—I have a difficult time seeing Coleman’s value. This is a $2 million injury guarantee for Coleman.
Raheem Mostert — $600K
Another injury guarantee for Mostert, who has two years left on his contract. I still recall at one training camp practice sitting next to Rob Lowder and Rob, saying, “this guy could start for a lot of NFL teams.” Lo and behold, Mostert turned into the best running back on the best team in the conference. Another season like 2019, and Mostert’s may demand a new contract—which you can’t fault him for.
The 49ers saved $4.5 million by restructuring Richburg’s contract. I believe the $910k figure comes from a combination of workout and per-game bonuses.
Laken Tomlinson —$3M
Joey Staley —$10.55M
Both of these figures are Tomlinson and Staley’s base salaries for 2020. Is there any chance that Staley hangs it up before the season starts? Would that shock you? I doubt it happens, but I also wouldn’t rule anything out. Staley has two years left on his contract, where he’ll be 37 by the time his deal is over. It was comical whenever Staley would make one bad play to see fans want to bench him. Staley did miss nine games, but once he returned from injury, he got better and better. Staley looked like a star in the games that mattered the most. I can’t see him retiring after the way he played and the way the season ended.
Dee Ford —$13.65M
This is the base salary for Ford as well. You can’t call 2020 a bounceback year for Ford on the field, but the 49ers are relying on the healthy version of Ford. He transformed this defense when he was on the field in 2019. Even as his cap number rises over the next few seasons, Ford’s deal will look a lot better if he’s on the field—especially as the salary cap continues to rise.
Mark Nzeocha —$900K
The 49ers can save $1.5 million if Nzeocha is released. With the addition of Joe Walker, who can take Nzeocha’s spot on special teams, this move feels inevitable. There is no rush to release Nzeocha. The 49ers can draft a linebacker or sign one as a UDFA and go into camp with Nzeocha. If he cannot beat out the rookie, San Francisco can move on from him.
Richard Sherman —$8M
Sherm’s birthday was on Monday. The 32-year-old’s base salary of $8 million becomes fully guaranteed as of Wednesday. Nice little birthday present.