Niners $30 million below cap ... but not really
The 49ers are a little less than $30 million below the salary cap, according to information from the NFL Players Association. However, that cap number - about $91 million - takes into account recently released players like Nate Clements but not new contracts to free agents like Alex Smith, Ray McDonald and David Akers.
Those contracts will go into effect Thursday with the start of the new league year. The 49ers still promise to be well below the cap limit on Thursday, but the discrepancy between the listed and actual cap numbers are partly the reason for a lull in free agency.
Some of the teams around the league are scrambling this week to restructure contracts so that they are under the cap by Thursday. Agents, meanwhile, are hesitant to commit to deals until they see what actual market looks like. Adding to that landscape is the fact that newly-signed free agents can't practice with their teams until Thursday at the earliest anyway. That is, there is no real impetus to complete deals until later in the week.
A number of 49ers free agents are finding the market softer than anticipated. There was a flurry of activity and big signings early in free agency. But due to the 2010 free-agency rules that required players to have six years of service instead of the normal four before becoming unrestricted free agents, there is a glut of free agents this year. That, combined with the return of a salary cap, has weakened the market.
Three of the 49ers' own free agents, Manny Lawson, Dashon Goldson and Aubrayo Franklin, all expected to be hot commodities this season. Lawson only was able to get a one-year deal in Cincinnati. Goldson and Franklin are still available, and both of them could return to the 49ers.
Read more: http://blogs.sacbee.com/49ers/archives/2011/08/niners-30-million-below-cap-but-not-really.html#ixzz1TtEgameg