Analyst Gives Telling Breakdown of 49ers’ 3-Year Salary Cap Production

Deebo Samuel

Getty Deebo Samuel carries the football versus the Vikings on November 28, 2021.

Regardless if its the NFL Draft or free agency, every team including the San Francisco 49ers will witness a wave of new players, altering their financial standing in the process.

And over the course of three years, the 49ers have had some telling numbers in the salary cap department.

Is this an indicator that the 49ers have been aggressive money spenders in March and April? Or have they played it safe and not overspend? Additionally, could the 49ers still be in a position where their money situation changes between now and opening kickoff versus the Chicago Bears on September 11?

One Pro Football Focus analyst on Tuesday, June 21 gave a telling and in-depth breakdown of each team’s salary cap status during a three-year period and where each team ranks. Here’s where the 49ers rank: 20th overall.

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Reason for 49ers Ranking Per 5 Categories

In examining the model constructed by PFF and analyst Brad Spielberger, the national analytics website breaks off the cap model into five categories: Active draft capital, effective cap space for 2022-24, total prorated money, top 51 veteran valuation and 2023 unrestricted free agent valuation.

Again, the ‘Niners sit at No. 20 overall — making them the second lowest among NFC West teams (the Los Angeles Rams ranked lower at 27th overall). But in the five aforementioned categories, the 49ers ranked as high as 11th to as low as 32nd, helping give them their 20th overall ranking. Here’s the complete five rankings:

Active draft capital: The 49ers have $22,265 here, placing them at 11th.

Effective cap space: With $107,952,491 there, the 49ers earn the 17th spot.

Total prorated money: The 49ers’ value increases to $204,783,172 here, giving them No. 19 overall among NFL teams.

Top 51 veteran valuation: This is the second No. 11 ranking for S.F. — with the ‘Niners having $348,041,134 totaled here.

2023 UFA valuation: Here’s where the 49ers come in last among NFL teams — with their $184,163,890 representing the highest total for this category in the league.


PFF Writer Points Out How Things Could Change for 49ers

Even at No. 20, Spielberger writes how things could switch for the 49ers. Especially involving names like Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel, Trey Lance and Nick Bosa. Here’s one excerpt Spielberger wrote:

“The 49ers are the team on this list that could change their situation the most dramatically between now and Week 1. First, they could clear a bunch of money off the books and add some future draft capital by trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Second, they could drastically reduce their league-leading 2023 UFA valuation ranking via the Garoppolo trade and by extending wide receiver Deebo Samuel to a big-time extension.”

Both offensive starters remain the primary money-related topics on S.F. Garoppolo’s name continues to surface among late trade rumors — particularly the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers — and is set to make $24,200,000 in his base salary this season. Samuel and the 49ers had some offseason tensions over reports of usage and wanting a new extension. Samuel, however, was in attendance for 49ers mandatory minicamp earlier in June.

Spielberger includes two more 49ers who could “help offset” what the franchise is already facing financially.

“The benefit of quarterback Trey Lance’s rookie contract will help offset what will likely be two contracts that average at least $25 million per year in Samuel and edge defender Nick Bosa, but they won’t have a ton of room to add many more external free agents after accounting for in-house extensions. This core has made two out of the last three NFC championships with Garoppolo under center, and if Lance can be the upgrade they envisioned when they traded up to draft him in 2021, they won’t need much more help.”

To reiterate, what PFF calculated was over a short-term three year period. This includes past draft finds and the signing of cornerback Charvarius Ward during the 2022 free agency period being added to this equation. Six of the teams ranked lower than the 49ers were playoff teams last season.

In conclusion, the 49ers may not be considered the most aggressive spenders on roster construction. But they’ve shown they’re not hesitant to alter their own cap space if it meant pursuing a playoff and Super Bowl run.

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