$100 million. That's how much the San Francisco 49ers could have in available cap space in 2017. That's enough to build a new roster in head coach Chip Kelly's second year with the team. The question is, will they spend it?
According to Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac.com, once quarterback Colin Kaepernick opts out of his remaining contract following this season and becomes a free agent – which he is expected to do – and if the 49ers choose to roll over around $50 million in cap space from 2016, the team will have around $100 million in available cap space.
That will be enough to re-sign any of their own pending free agents and, if they choose to do so, sign anyone they would like. However, some have questioned whether any free agent would want to come to the 49ers. There is also the question of whether or not the 49ers would want to spend the available money. The team has a history of not competing with other teams for free agents and refuses to get into bidding wars even to fill needs.
The strategy has been enough to keep top free agents from seriously considering the 49ers who have a lot of money available but choose not to spend it. Add in the team's current level of talent and yet another disastrous season, and the appeal of San Francisco has dramatically diminished over the years.
"We're willing to spend what it takes to get everything right to get back to a championship culture," team CEO Jed York said in January. "In terms of salary cap, just because you have room doesn't mean that you have to spend the room. You can transfer that room over to this year. We've got a lot of salary cap room. So, you can't just spend money to spend money. You want to make sure that you're spending money wisely. So, we will always continue to manage the cap. Trent and his staff know that if they need to spend the entire room, they can do it. If they need to roll it over, they can do it and we will do what it takes to get back to a championship level."
On a side note, the trade deadline closes today at 1 p.m. Pacific and, while a couple of 49ers players' names have been thrown out via rumors, the team is not expected to make a move.