nfl salary cap set and what this means for the 49ers

It’s official, the NFL salary cap has officially been set at $182.5 million, according to Ian Rapoport.

With this number in mind, it all but confirms what everyone has been expecting: the NFL salary cap is down significantly from the previous total of $198.2 million. For the 49ers, this doesn’t change the fact that they’re still in a bind, although their current available salary cap is not terrible. Among the 32 NFL teams, the 49ers are 9th in salary cap space (although this number can vary).

According to the MMQB’s Albert Breer, the 49ers have over $27 million available in cap space, a rough estimate. Given what the 49ers have to deal with in terms of losing FAs and having to handle current “bad” contracts such as Jimmy Garoppolo, Weston Richburg, and Dee Ford, their positioning gives them some room to work with.

$27 million is enough room to resign star LT Trent Williams as it is, although that move could come with some scrutiny, as the team has other glaring needs that could be addressed with the salary space they have. The 49ers only have three CBs on the roster: Emmanuel Moseley (RFA), Mark Fields, and Ken Webster. They’ll be losing key CBs Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams, and Jason Verrett to FA. Needless to say, the 49ers could allocate funds to the CB position if Trent Williams is not resigned, OR, if cuts/restructures happen. Would the 49ers want to resign a solid-but-aging LT when the team is arguably in a rebuild? The OL is a huge position to address, does the team want to risk losing their best piece on the OL?

Another move that has been wildly debated is to either cut or trade oft-injured QB Jimmy Garoppolo. A move of this stature will free up over $24 million in cap space, which would put the 49ers at whopping $50 million in cap space (roughly). This move could make resigning key role players like Trent Williams, Kyle Jusczcyk, and Jason Verrett. A move like this would naturally only mean one thing: Draft a QB in the 1st round. The team is in prime position to trade up for QBs such as Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, and either Trey Lance or Mac Jones if need be.

I feel that people know that the team can win with Garoppolo as the starter, but not only does his health put the team at risk of falling out, his salary cap hit also cripples the team in terms of signing/resigning FAs. This is where the idea of drafting a QB comes into play.

Drafting a QB gives the 49ers controllable talent for 5 seasons, a lowered salary cap number towards an expensive position, and gives the team a breath of life at a position that could use a spark.

Offseason madness is just getting under way, as the announcement of the salary cap has led to a flurry of roster moves all across the league. While the 49ers have not been active as of late, many can only wonder just who will be the first domino to fall behind the scenes on the team’s roster.

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