5 contracts holding the 49ers back right now

The 49ers' top contracts aren't all bad deals, per se. But they're certainly limiting what John Lynch will be able to do this offseason.

San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams (L) and wide receiver Deebo Samuel (R)
San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams (L) and wide receiver Deebo Samuel (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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The 49ers are currently paying top dollar for a number of their key players, which means their contractual situation is pretty tough entering 2024.

The San Francisco 49ers are one of the best teams in the NFL right now.

Coming off an overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58, the Niners nevertheless possess a very strong core comprised of star players who are household names across the league. And almost all of those players are under contract into 2024.

Coupled with the fact that Pro Bowl quarterback Brock Purdy is still on his extremely cheap rookie contract, general manager John Lynch is still afforded the opportunity to spend elsewhere in order to keep his team's Super Bowl window open.

But the NFL regularly looks to punish talented teams to level the playing field, and one of these ways is by having a salary cap. Understandably, bad teams typically have tons of cap space, while good teams comprised of good players are usually pressed up against the cap.

In San Francisco's case, Lynch is already $12.38 million above the 2024 salary cap, according to Over the Cap.

Most of the 49ers' top contracts aren't bad deals, and they were certainly necessary at the time when such players needed to be re-signed or extended.

However, these five deals are ultimately hindering Lynch's complex efforts to keep the team in working order entering 2024.

All salary cap figures and contracts, courtesy of Over the Cap.

No. 5: Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave

2024 salary cap hit: $15,430,882

The Niners made former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave a free-agent priority an offseason ago, and he certainly made his impact felt during his first season with San Francisco.

While not as prolific as his 2022 campaign in Philly, Hargrave still notched 44 tackles and seven sacks in another Pro Bowl campaign, helping solidify what was still a strong defensive line that arguably had a down year in 2023.

Hargrave's cap hit of $15.43 million this season isn't awful for a star interior defensive lineman. But it's the numbers in 2025 and 2026 that'll sting.

In 2025, Hargrave is set to count for $26.59 million against the cap, and that number jumps to $28.34 million in 2026.

That's an awful lot for an interior defender.

Considering the 49ers' cap situation won't get much better after Purdy's own lucrative extension, it's hard to see Hargrave's deal playing out in full.

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