49ers

49ers projected $60M in salary cap space with free agency a month away

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AP

49ers projected $60M in salary cap space with free agency a month away

The 49ers are projected to have the seventh-most salary-cap space in the NFL at the beginning of the free-agent signing period on March 13.

The contract and salary-cap crunching website, OverTheCap.com, lists the 49ers with $60 million in space after the NFL Players Association reported the club rolled over $35 million in unspent cap money from 2018.

The 49ers last month informed veteran nose tackle Earl Mitchell they will not pick up the option on his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent next month. That move will create another $2.95 million in cap savings this year.

The 49ers can create additional space if they choose not to pick up the 2019 contracts for such players as wide receiver Pierre Garçon ($1.075 million savings) and linebacker Malcolm Smith ($1.25 million).

“All of these scenarios, we’re always looking forward and doing a lot of planning,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said last month at the Senior Bowl.

Backup offensive tackle Garry Gilliam and edge rusher Cassius Marsh also are on the books for $5 million and $4.2 million, respectively.

The Indianapolis Colts are projected to have $105 million at the start of free agency, according to OverTheCap.com, followed by the New York Jets ($95 million), Cleveland Browns ($80 million), Buffalo Bills ($79 million), Oakland Raiders ($71 million), Houston Texans ($64 million), the 49ers ($60 million), Seattle Seahawks ($51 million), Cincinnati Bengals ($50 million) and Arizona Cardinals ($47 million).

The following are the 2019 salary-cap figures for the 49ers’ top-paid players, via OverTheCap.com and the NFL Players Association:

Quarterback
Jimmy Garoppolo $19.35 million
C.J. Beathard $962,358
Nick Mullens $570,000

Running back
Jerick McKinnon $6 million
Kyle Juszczyk $5.95 million
Matt Breida $646,668
Matt Dayes $645,000

Wide receiver
Pierre Garçon $8.275 million
Marquise Goodwin $4.125 million
Dante Pettis $1.45 million
Trent Taylor $695,487
Kendrick Bourne $646,668
Richie James $589,143

Tight end
Garrett Celek $2.725
George Kittle $719,574

Offensive line
Joe Staley $10.95 million
Weston Richburg $7.86 million
Garry Gilliam $5.05 million
Mike McGlinchey $4.17 million
Laken Tomlinson $3.75 million
Joshua Garnett $2.96 million
Shon Coleman $2 million
Erik Magnuson $646,334

Defensive line
Arik Armstead $9.05 million*
Solomon Thomas $7.68 million
DeForest Buckner $5.79 million
Cassius Marsh $4.2 million
(Earl Mitchell $1.5 million)
Ronald Blair $787,601
Sheldon Day $720,000
D.J. Jones $681,967
Kentavius Street $647,500
Julian Taylor $594,511
Ryan Delaire $645,000
*Fifth-year option becomes fully guaranteed on March 13

Linebacker
Malcolm Smith $5.45 million
Brock Coyle $3.2 million
Dekoda Watson $1.88 million
Fred Warner $915,684
Pita Taumoepenu $645,000
James Onwualu $645,000

Defensive back
Richard Sherman $9.8 million
Jaquiski Tartt $4.85 million
K’Waun Williams $2.6 million
Ahkello Witherspoon $1.06 million
Tarvarius Moore $799,093
Adrian Colbert $666,200
D.J. Reed $647,843
Marcell Harris $611,575

Specialist
Colin Holba $645,000
(All others under contract but not listed have cap figures of 2019 for $570,000 or less.)

Free agents
K Robbie Gould
DB Jimmie Ward
OG Mike Person
P Bradley Pinion
LB Mark Nzeocha
RB Alfred Morris
DB Antone Exum
RB Raheem Mostert (restricted)
LB Elijah Lee (exclusive rights)

Jed York compares 49ers' journey through muck to 'Shawshank Redemption'

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AP

Jed York compares 49ers' journey through muck to 'Shawshank Redemption'

SANTA CLARA -- 49ers CEO Jed York was in a good mood Friday afternoon. He was sarcastic, funny and a bit self-deprecating during a 20-minute surprise interview session with reporters on hand for the final 49ers access period before the team leaves to play Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

It’s easy to find a smile with the 49ers doing so well. They dominated the regular season, rolled through the NFC playoffs and are now set to play the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 2 for the NFL title.

Just because the sun is now shining, it doesn't mean York has forgotten recent days with rainclouds overhead.

“I try to think every day about banners flying over the stadium asking for me to step down from the team,” York said with tongue firmly planted in cheek. “That’s always my favorite experience. No, I’m just focused on what we have to do. ... I am happy for our fans. Being in the Super Bowl seven years ago doesn't feel that long, except for the deep valley we went into in between.”

The 49ers now have a chance to do something great. They can add a sixth Lombardi Trophy to their collection with one more win this season.

They can do so right after emerging from a dark era that included two disappointing seasons to start the Kyle Shanahan-John Lynch regime. York expected that when he gave his head coach and general manager six-year contracts. Looking back, York is glad he decided to offer such long-term deals. He wanted stability after several seasons of turmoil.

“I think I’m still paying, like, three coaches,” York said with a smile. “I thought, 'If we’re going to pay them, we might as well pay the same one for six years. Seems like a good idea to me.' It was clear that [Shanahan and I] had the vision and sync. I know that it was a six-year deal but, to me, it was two years of fixing what we needed to fix and then this was Year One of a four-year deal. It was important knowing that Kyle is someone that I can work with and John is someone I can work with to get through the tough stuff.”

The tough stuff. 49ers fans know all about that after suffering through some terrible seasons after the Jim Harbaugh era ended. York evoked “Shawshank Redemption” when describing the journey through bad times to reach this good one. The description was both apt and dead-on accurate.

“I made an Andy Dufresne reference earlier. Everybody wants to get to the beach at the end [of "Shawshank Redemption"], but no one wants to go through what he went through to get to the beach,” York said. “We had to get through that. Kyle and John were guys I knew could help us get through that. I wanted to send a message to our fans and our team that these guys are here. Not that we knew we weren’t going to win games, but it was unlikely that we were going to win from Day One and win the Super Bowl right away.

“I didn’t want people to wonder in Year Three if they were on the hot seat. No. It’s a six-year deal. We’ve walked into this thing together and we’re going to build this thing the right way. We didn’t make every right trade or draft pick. We didn’t sign the right free agents all the time, but it’s the culmination of everything we do. We want to build the right team. You have to have a long-term vision and, when you can make those long-term decisions the right way without worrying and trying to shortcut it, then you give yourself a chance.”

[RELATED: York hopes 49ers in position to receive White House invite]

York kept working through mistakes in both personnel and executive/coaching decisions, but didn’t lose sight of his goals trying to dig the 49ers out of a hole. He used more movies to describe how he was mentally able to get through it without shaken confidence.

“My philosophies are pretty simple. "The Godfather," "Bull Durham" and "Major League" make up my philosophy on life. And maybe Shawshank a little bit. But it goes back to Crash Davis talking to Nuke LaLoosh. You’re going to get lit up when you’re in the pros. You have to remain cocky. You have to remain confident. You can’t let them get you down. It’s hard to not let outside noise affect you, but you have to block it out. I think our team has done a great job blocking out the noise and I hope I’ve done the small [things] to help them focus on the task at hand.”

Richard Sherman believes chemistry will help 49ers in Super Bowl LIV

Richard Sherman believes chemistry will help 49ers in Super Bowl LIV

SANTA CLARA — All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman has taken part in 14 playoff games and two Super Bowls, but he believes that those experiences are overrated as an asset, whereas team chemistry is not. 

Many 49ers players have been influenced by Sherman’s leadership and character. Watching him interact in the locker room is akin to mayor working the room but without the negative connotations. He talks to everyone, offense, defense and special teams alike. 

While Sherman’s play on the field speaks for itself, coach Kyle Shanahan believes that what he represents in the locker that might be just as important. 

“I think he's meant a ton,” Shanahan said. “You can probably ask each guy and probably get a different answer. He's helped us the most by how he's played, but also having a guy that's been there and done that, especially having a young team.

“When you have a guy who guys have grown up watching a little bit, and being in big games like this and even starting out the year 8-0, going through that, and having guys who have kind of been at the top of the league halfway through, echo how tough it's going to be to keep that going. 

“Any time you have guys with experience who have been through it who are also one of your better players, it helps a ton.”

Someone who appreciates Sherman’s open door attitude is fellow All-Pro George Kittle.  

“Sherm's the best. He's such a leader," Kittle said. "He talks to every single person in the locker room. He's not one of those guys that sits in his locker space and just talks to guys around him. He's always around. 

“He wants to talk to everybody and he doesn't really force knowledge on you. He's definitely an open book. If you have questions for him, he'll sit and talk football with you all day. That's one thing that's incredible about him.” 

[RELATED: Jimmy G, Sherman using criticism as fuel]

The elements that Sherman believes are evident in most championship teams are what he sees in the 49ers' locker room. While it’s likely unintentional, his influence on the team's chemistry is part of what makes it so special. 

“Great players, great execution, great coaching and poise,” Sherman said. “There’s a sense of brotherhood for sure in the building. There's a trust in one another. There's a bit of adversity, you know, overcoming adversity throughout the season, and we've had all those ingredients. Then it's just guys that play hard for one another. They won't take no for an answer.”