San Francisco 49ers: 5 Steps for a Successful 2016 Offseason

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Dec 14, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Use Cap Space Liberally but Wisely

According to, the 49ers are projected to have just under $41 million in cap space for the 2016 season. And this doesn’t include the roughly $13 million unused cap space San Francisco will be able to carry over from 2015.

Add quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s $8.49 million in savings, should the 49ers part ways with him prior to April 1, San Francisco will have about $60 million in cap space for the upcoming season.

That’s a lot. Quite a lot, to put things bluntly.

This number is a luxury general manager Trent Baalke hasn’t had much of in recent seasons. And it certainly helps given San Francisco has a number of needs across the board.

Re-signing some of the 49ers’ contract-year players is among Baalke’s top priorities here.

Left guard Alex Boone ($3.05 million), kicker Phil Dawson ($3.07 million), wide receiver Anquan Boldin ($6.91 million) and nose tackle Ian Williams ($1.6 million) are just some of the notable free-agents to be this offseason.

Of that group, Boone seems to be the biggest re-sign priority given all of the 49ers’ issues along the offensive line. But he could also command a hefty contract on the free-agent market as well.

Should he leave, offensive guard Brandon Brooks — currently with the Houston Texans — may be a nice target. And, maybe, the 49ers leave the door open for current right guard Andrew Tiller to cement a long-term starting role. He’s also a free-agent to be this offseason, but would command a significantly smaller dollar amount (currently $510,000).

San Francisco will also need a solid right tackle to replace Erik Pears, who has been a major disappointment this season. Cleveland Browns RT Mitchell Schwartz would be an excellent upgrade.

On top of that, the 49ers would love to get their hands on a pass-rusher or two to complement linebacker Aaron Lynch. But Baalke shouldn’t be thinking the type of money Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller is making ($9.75 million).

A mid-range target say, around the $4 million mark, would be a smart expenditure without overdoing it.

Next: Round 1 of 2016 NFL Draft