The 49ers face some tough choices with their roster this offseason, but these five players are all but guaranteed not to return.
The San Francisco 49ers are facing the challenges of being a perennial contender with plenty of top-paid players at their respective positions.
Oh, and there's a salary cap, too.
The Niners' cap situation heading into 2024 isn't entirely awful, especially considering quarterback Brock Purdy is in the third year of the cheapest possible rookie contract for a drafted player. According to Over the Cap, San Francisco is in the red by a shade over $2.9 million.
However considering the New Orleans Saints are $83.68 million over the cap, things could be much, much worse. And all it should take for the 49ers is a handful of contract restructures, extensions and a cap-casualty cut or two to make it all work.
It also means some on the roster won't be back next season.
Here are five such players.
No. 5: 49ers defensive end Chase Young
When it happened, it seemed as if the Niners made an absolute steal of a trade by landing edge Chase Young from the Washington Commanders for mid-round picks. He and his former Ohio State teammate, edge Nick Bosa, were going to combine to make a lethal one-two pass-rushing punch for San Francisco.
Well, it didn't quite deliver.
Young had just 2.5 regular-season sacks during nine games with the 49ers, and his efforts into the postseason didn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence in his long-term staying power.
A free agent this offseason, Young should still command in the ballpark of $15 million per year, which is a rough going rate for a B-level pass-rusher.
The Niners will calmly pass here.
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