Before I start examining 49ers' Salary Cap situation, I'd like to congratulate the 49ers' players, coaching staff, and loyal fans on a great season. There is no easy way to transition into the off-season after such a close and poorly officiated game, so I will just jump right in.

First, I'll cover SF's salary cap situation as it stands today.

Next, I will project how a few likely events will help our current financial situation.

Then I will go into SF's Free Agents.

SF 49ers Salary Cap Situation Today

As it stands today, the San Francisco 49ers are set to accrue ~$123.3 Million in the 2013 season against a predicted salary cap of ~121 Million. The approximated $123.3M includes committed money and dead money in addition to all 49er player's salary for 2013.


I'm defining "committed money" as the amount of money the 49ers owe to players as a result of incentives or contract stipulations (e.g. Alex Smith's contract from last year requires SF to pay him a minimum of $1.25M regardless of whether he is still on the team in 2013).

"Dead money" is a term used to represent money that is paid to players as a result of SF signing and then releasing these players. Yes, the money SF uses to sign and release football players during the preseason and for practice squad purposes DO count against the 49er's Salary Cap. This amount can vary, but in 49er's case is minute (~400k) compared to the salary cap.

Highly Likely Events to Take Place

1) SF is likely to trade or release Alex Smith, which will open 8.5M in salary cap money in 2013.

2) SF is likely to release David Akers, which will open up 3.5M in salary cap money in 2014.

Events That Should Take Place

1) Carlos Rogers should either be released, traded, or have contract reduced.

If Carlos is released or traded, SF will open up ~2.9M in salary cap money in 2013

2) Vernon Davis should have contract restructured.

Since Vernon is one of the individuals taking up the most cap space in 2013 and with plenty of cap space in 2014. It is likely SF will restructure his contract to open as much as 5M in cap space for the 2013 season.

3) Justin Smith should have contract extended.

Justin, who will turn 34 this year, is on his way to earning 8M in the final year of his contract. Considering his age and the competitiveness of this team in the next few years, Justin will likely restructure his contract, assuming that SF will extend his contract so he can play out his career in San Francisco. This should allow up to 4M in cap space for the 2013 season.

In summary, SF will have ~22M of cap space in 2013.

SF Free Agents

OG Leonard Davis
WR/PR Ted Ginn Jr
FS Dashon Goldson
LB Tavares Gooden
LB Larry Grant
DL Ricky Jean Francois
WR Randy Moss
NT Isaac Sopoaga
TE Delanie Walker

Without analyzing every player, the 2 players that are MUST signs are Dashon Goldson and Delanie Walker.

I assume Dashon Goldson will want a 5-year contract worth no less than 35M, with 20M in guaranteed (This is comparable to the Eric Weddle deal in 2011). This year, I think SF will come to terms with Dashon. This deal will take a 6.5M hit to the salary cap.

Delanie played on a 2M salary last year and should command a 4 year 15M with 8M guaranteed. Delanie has been one of the most underrated players on the team. This deal will take a 3M hit to the salary cap.

In Conclusion

SF can have as much as 22M in Cap Space, enough to resign Dashon Goldson and Delanie Walker and be active in the offseason. An important note is that SF also has 27 players retained through 2014 that accounts for half of a predicted 128M salary cap in 2014, so SF can pour costs over to 2014, if needed. With a stacked roster, plenty of cash and 14 draft picks, look for SF to go after big names in the off season.