While the 49ers were hit by Alex Mack’s retirement, his subsequent contract rework allowed them to sign three players from their 2022 NFL Draft class.
The San Francisco 49ers can’t feel good about losing veteran Pro Bowl center Alex Mack to retirement, but that’s exactly what took place on Thursday.
Whatever happens in light of the 36 year old’s departure from the NFL, particularly how the Niners respond, is anyone’s guess. But another side effect from Mack’s departure is it allows San Francisco some significant wiggle room in terms of cap space.
The 49ers entered the week with less than $1 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap, which was the least amount in the entire league and prevented general manager John Lynch and Co. from signing the bulk of the team’s 2022 NFL Draft class.
Again, only the top 51 contracts apply to the cap at this stage of the offseason, but the top-drafted players would command more than what the Niners then had available.
However, Mack’s retirement was preceded by a reworked contract that freed up $4 million in additional cap space, pushing San Francisco’s workable cap room to just over $4.8 million.
49ers sign 3 rookies — Drake Jackson, Danny Gray and Spencer Womack — to rookie contracts
In the immediate aftermath of Mack’s retirement announcement, news started coming in of 49ers drafted rookies officially getting their four-year rookie contracts finalized.
The first, of course, was EDGE Drake Jackson, the Niners’ top pick from the 2022 draft selected at No. 61 overall. Jackson will receive a four-year, $5.8 million deal with over $3.1 million guaranteed:
Not long after, the speedy wide receiver out of SMU whom San Francisco grabbed in Round 3, Danny Gray, was reported to have inked his own rookie deal, as shared by his agent on social media (h/t 49ers Webzone).
Reportedly, that deal is worth up to $5.25 million.
Also not left out from the post-Mack retirement contract-signing party, the 49ers’ fifth-round rookie selection, cornerback Samuel Womack out of Toledo, also is getting his rookie deal finalized, according to his representative agency:
OTC has that contract valuation just a shade below $4 million.