Jennings slated to earn more than other OL starters — combined

After posting this, the NFL waiver wire came across and the 49ers made a couple moves. Scroll to the bottom or click on the link to see which players the 49ers waived today.

 

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Monday was the first day NFL teams could release players under contract. The 49ers did not make any moves, but they are expected to part ways with at least one veteran player before the start of the free-agent signing period on Feb. 27.

According to sources close to the situation, the 49ers plan to release offensive tackle Jonas Jennings, who started 23 games in four seasons after signing a seven-year, $36 million contract with the 49ers in 2005. He started just two games last season before sustaining a season-ending dislocated right shoulder. Jennings is still rehabbing the injury.

 

A representative for Jennings‘ agent, Todd France, said, “We have no news to report at this time.” That comment came as a blanket statement when I asked about any developments concerning free-agent linebacker Takeo Spikes and Jennings.

 

When the 49ers officially release Jennings, it will come as no surprise. Jennings said in training camp he did not know if he would be back with the 49ers for the 2008 season after playing in just five games in 2007. When he returned last season, he was moved from left tackle to right tackle.

 

The 49ers have made it known that they plan to address a need at offensive tackle this offseason. Joe Staley showed good development throughout the season in his first year at left tackle.

 

Jennings is scheduled to earn $4.2 million in base salary in 2009. To place that in perspective, the five projected starters on the offensive line, at this time – Staley, David Baas, Eric Heitmann, Chilo Rachal and Adam Snyder – are scheduled to earn a combined $3.8 million in base salary.

 

The move will save the 49ers $3.108 million in salary cap space. He is currently scheduled to count $6.592 million against the salary cap. If he’s released, the only charge on the cap will be the remaining $3.484 million in prorated bonus money.

 

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Feel free to ask any other salary-related 49ers questions in the comments section.

 

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UPDATE: The 49ers have released outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain and safety Keith Lewis. These moves create an immediate salary-cap savings of $2.125 million. Banta-Cain was scheduled to earn a base salary of $1.275 million, while Lewis’ scheduled salary was $850,000. Both players had just one season remaining on their deals.

 

The club also failed in its attempt to claim quarterback Bruce Gradkowski off waivers. The Browns waived Gradkowski on Monday. Gradkowski was assigned to the Raiders.

 

The 49ers will look to add a quarterback to take part in the team’s pre-draft minicamp. Right now, Shaun Hill is the only QB assured of being on the roster next season. The 49ers are still trying to work out a reduced contract with Alex Smith.

 

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