Running back Le’Veon Bell
Deal: 5 years, $53.1 million — $10.6 million/year
Space left: $78.6 million
Could we see a reunion of former Michigan State teammates in San Francisco? Both are playing under the franchise tag this season, and both reportedly rejected contract proposals from their respective teams. And Carlos Hyde, 49ers presumed starting running back for 2017, is in the last year of his contract.
It’s certainly a reach, and it’d definitely be a coup for general manager John Lynch. But it’s not entirely out of the realm of questioning. The team will have cap space upon cap space, and Shanahan’s system has proven to be fruitful for running backs.
And if Cousins does indeed decide to come, the 49ers will become a much more attractive destination. Admittedly, it will be difficult to pry away Bell from the potent offensive situation in Pittsburgh.