5 moves SF 49ers should plan on making for 2021 offseason
By Peter Panacy
With a 4-5 record halfway through 2020, the SF 49ers have to start thinking for the future and can plan on making these five moves.
The SF 49ers are still in the thick of the playoff hunt just beyond the halfway point of 2020 and are by no means eliminated.
But with a 4-5 record and dealing with a last-place ranking in the oh-so-tough NFC West, it might be smart for general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan to start shifting their collective focus to 2021 and the offseason.
A banged-up roster has revealed a lot of truths about the current squad, and a not-so-ideal salary cap situation next year could ultimately force Lynch and Shanahan to alter what many would view as a legitimate Super Bowl window. With a number of high-profile free agents likely needing to be re-signed, freeing up some more cap space should be a top offseason priority.
There are also on-roster moves needing to be done, which will further cut into San Francisco’s cap space. That’ll put even more focus on the Niners’ efforts in the 2021 NFL Draft, where Lynch and Co. hope to land some impact talent that’ll be able to play the next few years on affordable rookie contracts.
Navigating this upcoming offseason might be the trickiest venture the current regime has yet faced, particularly with the 2021 salary cap expected to drop as low as $175 million.
But there are some moves that can be made, both in terms of freeing up cap space while also bringing aboard cheaper talent, the combination of which would allow the team to re-sign or extend key players.
To get there, the SF 49ers will have to engage in some cap casualties, starting off with an overpaid specialist, kicker Robbie Gould.
Note: All contractual figures courtesy of Over the Cap.