Updated San Francisco 49ers cap space ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

Remember, only the top 51 contracts matter at this time of year.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The 49ers appear to have freed up enough money to sign their entire 2024 NFL Draft class while staying under the offseason NFL salary cap.

The San Francisco 49ers entered the 2024 offseason well above the NFL salary cap despite the fact it increased significantly up to $255.4 million.

This is a byproduct of having an elite roster. You've heard this before, but good teams are comprised of good players, and good players want to be paid accordingly.

The Niners were able to get under the salary cap by engineering a number of extensions, restructures and even parting ways with some cap casualties, most notably veteran defensive tackle Arik Armstead, which freed up $18 million with a post-June 1 designation.

San Francisco was even able to add a number of starting-caliber players and reserves via free agency, too, after processing these cap-saving transactions.

Now, with the 2024 NFL Draft just around the corner, how much cap space will the 49ers have?

49ers salary cap space ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

The Niners definitely aren't swimming in salary cap space this offseason, which is actually a good problem to have. Typically, teams with loads of cap space aren't very good because they lack star power or are going through a major rebuild.

Teams also reserve roughly $6 million to $9 million to sign their respective NFL Draft classes.

According to the NFL contracts site, Over the Cap, San Francisco boasts $6,777,744 in salary cap space with the days counting down until the start of the draft on April 25. Of that, $3,676,814 is the effective cap space, which accounts for the top 51 contracts and the signing of the 49ers' rookie draft class.

Currently, the New England Patriots boast the most total cap space at nearly $47 million, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the least at $488,099.

It's important to note that only the top 51 contracts count against the salary cap this time of year. The "top 51 rule" is vital because teams will carry up to 90 players on their offseason rosters, but making an in-year adjustment of the salary cap to account for this is much more complicated than just having the top 51 contracts matter.

Additionally, it's possible the 49ers execute more transactions between now and the draft, potentially impacting their cap space, but only their 51 biggest contracts would apply.

Read more from Niner Noise