NFL Free Agency: 2016 Primer for San Francisco 49ers
By Jerod Brown
49ers Cap Space Breakdown
According to OverTheCap.com, the 49ers have roughly $52 million in salary cap space. The salary cap is essentially the amount that a team can commit to pay its players. There are restrictions and different options that teams have to consider when balancing the salaries of their team.
OverTheCap has a detailed piece that explains the nuances in much finer detail. For the purposes of our work, let’s keep it simple and say it’s the amount that teams can pay their players in any given year. Every team in the NFL is subjected to the same salary cap number.
Currently, the 49ers have the third-most cap space in the entire NFL. Niner Noise has addressed the 49ers’ salary cap situation recently. Take a look to get caught up on where the 49ers stand. The salary cap is one of the most confusing and number-driven aspects in building a team. Nicholas McGee has done an exceptional job clarifying how the 49ers can be prepared moving forward.
Ultimately, it is similar to balancing a checkbook in our personal lives. We’ve got a certain amount of money to spend and we have to prioritize where that money is allocated. Do we pay more for rent? Maybe we like to shop? The NFL salary cap, in its most basic form, is no different.
Each player at any position represents a given value to the team and they must pay for his services accordingly. The market is set by the league as a whole and the amounts that other teams are willing to pay comparable players.
Typically, the highest-paid players on any team are the star quarterbacks. And rightfully so. However, drafting young players is the perfect antidote to a bloated cap number. Acquiring cheap players that sign as rookies for four years can be increasingly beneficial as teams are forced to pay big elsewhere for established veterans.
Nonetheless, the 49ers enter 2016 with more flexibility than most teams when it comes to addressing their roster relative to the restrictions of the salary cap. That flexibility is an invaluable tool for a general manager looking to rebuild.
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