5 easy cuts that would save 49ers over $40 million in cap space

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Cut No. 1: Linebacker Dre Greenlaw

Cap Space Saved: $2.54 million ($80,429 in dead money)

The Niners currently have three linebackers capable of starting: Fred Warner, Azeez Al-Shaair and their fifth-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, Dre Greenlaw.

On the surface, cutting Greenlaw doesn’t seem to make much sense, as he’s only entering the final year of his rookie deal and is scheduled to make only $2.6 million in 2022, a cheap amount for a starting-caliber linebacker.

However, with a shade over $40 million already saved by the other roster moves, San Francisco might be willing to accept the fact having three starters at linebacker is a luxury it can’t retain for very long.

Especially with Al-Shaair emerging as a quality long-term replacement over Greenlaw, who missed all but three regular-season games with a serious groin injury.

Al-Shaair, a restricted free agent in 2022, might command a second-round tender that would cost $3.99 million.

If the 49ers prefer to keep Al-Shaair over Greenlaw, it does make sense for them to part ways with the latter, freeing up more than $2.5 million in cap space with negligible dead money.

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