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How the 49ers benefit from the salary cap’s June 1 rule

San Francisco will save just over $1 million

Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Once June 2 hits, any player that’s traded or released prorated money plus any future guarantees stays on the team's ‘21 salary cap, and all future money gets pushed into the ‘22 salary cap.

That’s why there has been so much discussion about a trade for Julio Jones. We will see more trades and signings once we’re officially in that window, which technically starts on Wednesday. We will also see notable names get released, and likely even some surprises.

We could see trades for other players outside of Jones, like Aaron Rodgers, Danielle Hunter, Zach Ertz, Stephon, Gilmore, Jaylon Smith, and other high-profile players.

The Eagles have mentioned they want to part with Ertz for nothing. He’s a potential cap casualty, though. There are still notable names available like K.J. Wright, Richard Sherman, and Steven Nelson. We could see them signed over the next month before training camp gets started, too.

Over the Cap wrote an article detailing the teams that are set to benefit the most from the June 1 rule, and the San Francisco 49ers made the cut:

49ers- $1.1 million

This was essentially the same situation as Brees with Weston Richburg being the retired player in this case. Richburg reworked his deal early in the offseason to provide the 49ers with the most operating room in free agency. He will count for $3.5 million on the cap in 2021 once the retirement is made official.

As a side note technically none of these will impact the cap until June 2 but I decided to process the releases early to save some time. The retirements will not be reflected until they are made official with the NFL.

Heading into this week, Over the Cap had San Francisco with $17.6 million in cap space. That doesn’t count the remaining rookies the team must sign, including their No. 3 overall pick.

After the rookie class has signed, the 49ers should be somewhere between $10-$12 million, but that should go back to $13 million once Weston Richburg’s portion of his contract is officially off the books.

Assuming the Niners are operating under the assumption that they have around $13 million in cap space, it’s difficult to imagine a Julio Jones trade unless the team wants to get into the restructuring multiple contracts and “kicking the can down the road.”

Here’s a question that we haven’t asked in a long time. Would you rather trade for Julio and his contract at his age, or Stephon Gilmore, who would cost nearly half of what Jones would?