There still are many questions to be answered, but the 49ers might be in a better position ahead of NFL free agency than many previously thought.
Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer projects the 49ers to have $28 million in salary-cap space going into free agency, which would be the ninth-highest in the NFL. Now, this is far from a guarantee. Breer's projections are based on a $183 million salary cap, which hasn't been finalized by the league. It also is unknown if Breer's projections include the 49ers re-signing tight end Ross Dwelley and safety Marcell Harris.
The figure also is before any roster cuts or cost-saving moves. For instance, Jimmy Garoppolo currently has a $26.9 million salary-cap hit next season, but it only would cost $2.8 million to cut him. Nonetheless, this is good news for the 49ers.
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While the 49ers look to be Super Bowl contenders again this year after an injury-ravaged season saw them go just 6-10 in 2020, San Francisco could see a number of key free agents find new homes. The 49ers' offseason will start with trying to keep star offensive tackle Trent Williams, but they also could lose Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, K'Waun Williams, Kyle Juszczyk and a handful of others.
None of this truly matters until the league finalizes the salary cap for next season. That won't happen until after new media deals are complete, and there still are uncertainties about fans in the stands this year, which could have a real impact on salary-cap implications. While these are just projections, things seem to be looking up for the 49ers this offseason.