3 ways 49ers can clear over $33 million in cap space

Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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The 49ers have very little cap space with which to operate in 2022, and they’ll need to make room. Here are three ways they do so this offseason.

The San Francisco 49ers stood idly by and watched a division rival, the Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams, make yet another splash move in the weeks following the beginning of the 2022 league new year by signing perennial All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner to a lucrative five-year deal worth up to $50 million.

Granted, Wagner isn’t quite the player he was earlier in his career when he was terrorizing the rest of the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks. But he’s still a high-quality player.

In truth, the Niners stood little chance of signing Wagner this offseason, at least not by their current 49ers salary cap means, which will nevertheless require some serious adjustments.

Right now, at least according to Over the Cap, San Francisco boasts a mere $1,751,252 in available cap space with its top-51 contracts (the ones that count right now). That’s the third least in the NFL and only above the New York Giants ($811,607) and the Buffalo Bills (-$201,620).

Granted, good teams are typically comprised of good players, and good players want to be paid as such. The 49ers are a good team, merely minutes away from beating the Rams in last season’s NFC Championship game, and they haven’t been shy about inking their top talent to large-scale deals.

But, with the Niners’ 2022 NFL Draft class requiring roughly $7 million to sign at some point between now and training camp, general manager John Lynch and Co. will be forced to make some additional cap room.

That’ll mean more notable cap-saving moves in the not-too-distant future. And here are three Lynch can engineer this offseason to save some cap.