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49ers gain about $17 million in cap space

Jun 1, 2024 at 7:34 AM


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The San Francisco 49ers owned about $8.24 million in salary cap space yesterday, per OverTheCap.com. Today, that number jumped to an initial estimate of $25.25 million. This substantial increase is due to the team gaining roughly $17 million in salary-cap savings by designating Arik Armstead as a June 1 cut.

Update: Armstead's release was designated a post-June 1 move, which means the salary cap impact occurs on June 2. However, it seems OverTheCap.com has simply already made the adjustment to their figures.

Armstead's release was officially announced on March 13, and the defensive lineman was able to immediately sign with another team. Armstead's departure results in about $10.3 million in dead money for 2024 and approximately $15.5 million in 2025, per OverTheCap.com. However, his release provided the 49ers with much-needed salary cap flexibility.

San Francisco initially attempted to restructure Armstead's contract to reduce his salary, but an agreement couldn't be reached, leading to the decision to part ways with the defensive lineman.

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Armstead later signed a three-year, $43.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars and shared insights into his negotiations with the 49ers, stating that the team initially indicated it wanted to sign him to an extension.

"And so they extended an offer to me of $6 million for a one-year deal with incentives to go up to, like, eight," Armstead revealed. "And when they sent that over, I did feel extremely disrespected. I don't feel that level of compensation is nowhere near the type of player that I am. And not even just the type of player that I am, what I have committed to the game, what I've committed to my team, what I've committed to the organization in my community."

Armstead expressed disappointment with the 49ers' offer, stating, "So I didn't feel like that offer was anywhere near the level of compensation for a player like me. And so, in that moment, it was definitely tough. I had to make some decisions."

Parting ways with Armstead was a difficult decision for the 49ers, especially given his status as the longest-tenured player on the roster.

"It was real tough," head coach Kyle Shanahan said in March. "I mean, we've been with Arik since we've been here, and I know he was here a couple of years before us, so it wasn't something we really wanted to happen. It's one of the tough things when trying to keep a team together, and just where it goes with the salary cap and stuff."

The 49ers could gain even more cap space by signing wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk to a contract extension. Currently set to earn $14.124 million this season on a team-exercised fifth-year option, restructuring his contract could move some of that money into future years. Paying a significant portion of a new deal upfront through a signing bonus, which can be spread throughout the length of the contract, and even further using void years, if necessary.

San Francisco will likely try to hold onto as much cap space as possible, as any surplus from 2024 can be carried over into 2025.
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