No. 2: 49ers Linebacker Kwon Alexander
The Niners have a serviceable backup for Weston Richburg in Ben Garland. They have a proven replacement for the next possible cap casualty on this list, linebacker Kwon Alexander.
Second-year linebacker Dre Greenlaw.
Greenlaw’s ascent, thanks to Alexander’s torn pectoral suffered on Oct. 31 last year, makes Alexander something of an excess commodity in the long run, especially on the fiscal front. True, boasting an elite-level crop of starting-caliber linebackers, including Greenlaw, Alexander and Fred Warner, is a luxury few other teams have.
Yet it’s simply unsustainable.
Alexander is due to make up to $16,521,440 in 2021. But like Gould, there’s nothing by the way of guaranteed money on the contract after this year. Cutting Alexander before June 1, 2021 would save just over $6.1 million, albeit against $10.4 million in dead money. So you could potentially look at a post-June 1 cut date.
But if San Francisco has to wiggle underneath the cap, putting yet another player on the cut list after this date might be a bit too difficult.
As such, the 49ers may have to eat a sizable portion of Alexander’s contract to free up that much-needed space.