Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Salary cap uncertainty: 49ers expenses by position group through 2022

Jun 30, 2020 at 5:13 PM--

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of the NFL salary cap. That's due to the unpredictability of the upcoming season, and the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on it.

Earlier this year, the expectation was that the salary cap might see a record increase next year, thanks to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and the potential revenue from new television contracts.

No one expects that now.

In fact, teams are bracing for the potential of a salary cap decrease. That could be why players like tight end George Kittle haven't been signed to a long-term contract yet. The prudent San Francisco 49ers can't lock him up without knowing how it will impact future salary caps.

Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston recently warned that, in a worst-case scenario, the cap could drop from $198 million this year to as low as $130 million. Of course, that would be under the absolutely worst possible situation, which would likely involve canceled games this season.

That, obviously, would send the league into a frenzy as teams scramble to figure out how to manage their rosters under a massive decrease. The more likely scenario would be the NFL borrowing money from future salary caps to lessen the impact moving forward.

To give you a picture of where the 49ers stand, salary cap-wise, David Lombardi of The Athletic recently broke down the team's roster expenses by position group. He did so using data publicly available from salary cap sites Over The Cap and Spotrac.

2020 2021 2022
QB $27.7M $27.7M $27.9M
RB/FB $17.6M $5.9M $2.7M
WR/TE $14.8M $13.1M $9.6M
OL $35.0M $27.7M $14.2M
DL $47.9M $48.0M $54.4M
LB $7.4M $22.7M $18.6M
DB $33.8M $17.9M $14.3M
ST $7.0M $7.4M $7.0M
Total $194.7M $170.4M $148.7M

Below are the 49ers players who are slated to count the most against the salary cap in 2021, according to Spotrac.

  1. Jimmy Garoppolo, $26.9M
  2. Dee Ford, $17.6M
  3. Kwon Alexander, $16.52M
  4. Arik Armstead, $12.5M
  5. Weston Richburg, $11.4M
  6. Jimmie Ward, $11.0M

Lombardi went on to break down the 49ers roster by position group and looked at how the current player contracts will impact future salary caps. Click here to read his entire feature over at The Athletic.

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