The 49ers had some work to do to get under the salary cap by today’s 1 PM PT deadline, and they have apparently done that work.
The 49ers restructured the contracts of TE George Kittle and DT Arik Armstead, creating $18.756M in 2022 cap space, per source.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 16, 2022
Kittle’s contract was restructured to convert $10.415 million of salary into a signing bonus, add one void year in the end, and free up $8.33 million.
Kittle’s cap hits moving forward:
2026: $2.08M (void)
Armstead’s deal was reworked to convert $13.03 million of salary into a signing bonus, add one more void year, and free up $10.424 million.
Armstead’s cap hits moving forward:
2025 (void): $6.7M
The final year of Armstead’s deal will become dead money unless the Niners extend him.
Those two moves accomplish two things for the 49ers. First, they now make them compliant with the salary cap before today’s deadline. Second, they also allow the team to hold on to Jimmy Garoppolo while they work out a trade, rather than being forced to cut him before 1 PM PT today.
We likely will never know whether the team’s plan was to restructure Kittle and Armstead all along or whether they were forced to do it as a fail-safe after not agreeing to trade Garoppolo earlier this offseason. Even if Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch were asked about it at a press conference, they have no reason to say either way.
Regardless, thanks to these restructures, the 49ers are now in a position to be able to wait until the rest of the Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield quarterback dominoes fall before executing a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo.