Nick Bosa megadeal could turn these 49ers into cap casualties

San Francisco 49ers captains George Kittle (85), Nick Bosa (97) and Arik Armstead (91)
San Francisco 49ers captains George Kittle (85), Nick Bosa (97) and Arik Armstead (91) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
5 of 5

No. 1: 49ers tight end George Kittle

2024 cap hit: $19.84 million

Deebo Samuel will be next year where All-Pro tight end George Kittle is now: at the point in a contract where the money gets awfully big.

After earning just $7.4 million in 2022, Kittle's cap hit this year skyrockets all the way up to $18.03 million and then $19.84 million in 2024, which is a significant amount of cash for an oft-injured tight end who'll turn 30 years old this season.

Sure, it'd be tough turning the page on a fan-favorite player like Kittle, and few would buy the notion that San Francisco is making a smart move by creating cap space for Nick Bosa at the expense of a team captain and pillar of the locker room.

Want your voice heard? Niner Noise is looking for paid contributors to help with content over the 2023 season. Submit your profile here.

However, Kittle has nothing in guarantees in 2024 and 2025. And while a pre-June 1 cut next offseason would cost $10.45 million in dead money, it'd save almost $9.4 million. Or, if the 49ers waited until 2025 to make Kittle a cap casualty, it would save nearly $13 million against $4.6 million in dead money.

Judging by those numbers alone, it seems highly unlikely an aging Kittle sees the final year of his contract with the Niners.

But that might be what it takes to have paid Bosa.

Read more from Niner Noise