The 49ers’ roster virtually is set.
After adding their five-player draft class and the signings of their undrafted rookies, the 49ers are just $5.75 million under the 2020 salary cap, according to the latest figures released by the NFL Players Association.
Although he is not ruling out anything, 49ers general manager John Lynch does not anticipate any more impactful roster additions before the start of the regular season.
“There’s always an opportunity to get better,” Lynch said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “We do like where our roster is at. We’re extremely happy with where it’s at. I don’t anticipate anything big coming -- and we are kind of nudged up against the cap, as well.
“So there’s really not a lot of room to go do things like that. That’s for good reason. We have a lot of really good players and we’re extremely excited about that.”
If the 49ers use any more of their cap space, it would likely be to work out a contract extension to compensate tight end George Kittle fairly while securing his services for the long term.
The 49ers are coming off a 13-3 regular season in which they won the NFC West and gained homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The 49ers held a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter before their defense allowed three touchdowns in the final seven minutes in a 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.
Lynch said he and coach Kyle Shanahan challenged themselves to find a way to give the 49ers a chance to be improved despite the inevitable losses of defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and left tackle Joe Staley.
“You can’t just say, ‘Hey, we’re a better team.’ That’s not how this works,” Lynch said. “You have to put it to work and let a season unfold. But we’ve given ourselves an opportunity to do that.”
The 49ers added South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the first round of the draft to fill holes from the departures. Then, the 49ers worked a trade to acquire seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams from Washington.
“I’m very proud of the job we did in putting together the pieces of the puzzle and working with the challenges and finding a way to give ourselves an opportunity to be an even better roster,” Lynch said. “I think that opportunity is there for us, and now we have to go do it – albeit in different times, unprecedented times.”
The 49ers are conducting position-group meetings through video conferences while NFL facilities and offseason programs are shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
While a handful of teams also are holding virtual workouts, Lynch said he has faith in the character and conscientiousness of the players they have assembled to do all the right things when nobody from the organization is watching. Lynch said the 49ers place a priority on looking for individuals with talent and “spirit” when assembling their roster.
“Whenever the scientists, the league, everyone, tells us it’s time to go, our guys are going to be ready to go both mentally and physically,” Lynch said. “We have great belief in our guys, and that’s a nice feeling.”