Niners’ salary cap no longer a concern

Remember the not-too-long-ago days when the 49ers were in a yearly battle to create salary-cap space? Those days are over.

The 49ers picked up some veteran free agents this offseason (Brandon Jones, Demetric Evans, Dre’ Bly, Moran Norris, Marques Harris, Marvel Smith and Damon Huard).

 

They signed some of their own players to contract extensions (Joe Staley, Parys Haralson, Brian Jennings, Tony Wragge and Joe Nedney).

 

And the 49ers still have $15.061 million in salary-cap space.

 

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Question: Would you mind spending a day of writing going into the structure of the Niners salary cap for this year in terms of numbers, and which guys are locked up long term vs. short term? (Marty M.)

 

Answer: I don’t see salary being a huge issue when it comes to the 49ers’ final cuts this year. For the most part, everyone is making about what they should make – considering time of service and projected role on the team.

 

One player whose salary might be an issue is receiver Arnaz Battle.

 

There is no doubt Battle is one of the top 53 players on the 49ers, and deserves a roster spot. However, if he does not win a job among the top four receivers on the team, his scheduled $1.47 million salary might become a consideration when it’s time to decide who stays and who goes.

 

One player already took measures to correct his contract. Linebacker Jeff Ulbrich said he knew he was overpaid at $2.23 million for what he’d be asked to do this season. So Ulbrich agreed this offseason to a pay reduction down to $950,000 to increase his chance of playing a 10th season with the 49ers.

 

A couple weeks ago, the 49ers signed tackle Joe Staley to a contract extension through 2017. Ordinarily, a contract such as this would not guarantee the player remains with the club through the duration of the deal. But it could happen with Staley because the base salaries never reach outrageous levels.

 

The 49ers used their surplus in cap space to bump Staley’s 2009 cap figure from $1.42 million to $11.6 million. He’ll get two roster bonuses, and the money will be deferred to Staley will get his $16 million guaranteed spread out for several years.

 

Staley’s base salaries remain reasonable throughout his contract. In his final two years of the contract, Staley is scheduled to make $4.9 million in 2016 and $5.75 million in 2017.

 

Likewise, the extension that Parys Haralson signed this offseason appears reasonable. In 2013, his final year, he is scheduled to earn just $2.57 million. That could be a bargain for a player expected to hover around the 10-sack mark.

 

Receiver Brandon Jones, who is signed through 2013, is scheduled to make $3.375 million in his final season. Again, that is not a big number if he asserts himself as a steady contributor.

 

In recent years, the 49ers signed Nate Clements and Justin Smith as free agents. As early as 2010, the 49ers will have a decision to make on Clements. His scheduled salary jumps from $3.5 million this year to $6 million in 2010, $7.25 in ’11, $9 million in ’12, and $10.77 in ’13.

 

Justin Smith, meanwhile, sees his schedule salary jump to $5 million in 2011, $5.875 million in ’12, and $7.5 million in ’13.

 

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Here is a quick look at the 49ers’ contract situation:

 

Signed through 2009

G David Baas

CB Dre’ Bly

WR Isaac Bruce

WR Arnaz Battle

LB Jeff Ulbrich

LB Ahmad Brooks

QB Damon Huard

RS Allen Rossum

NT Aubrayo Franklin

S Mark Roman

T Barry Sims

DB Marcus Hudson

LB Marques Harris

 

Signed through 2010

TE Vernon Davis

LB Manny Lawson

RB Frank Gore

QB Alex Smith

QB Shaun Hill

S Dashon Goldson

CB Tarell Brown

WR Jason Hill

DL Ray McDonald

LB Jay Moore

LB Takeo Spikes

G Tony Wragge

DE Demetric Evans

OT Marvel Smith

 

Signed through 2011

LB Patrick Willis

G Chilo Rachal

WR Josh Morgan

C Eric Heitmann

DB Regge Smith

C Cody Wallace

FB Moran Norris

K Joe Nedney

OL Adam Snyder

 

Signed through 2012

DL Kentwan Balmer

S Michael Lewis

CB Shawntae Spencer

DL Isaac Sopoaga

TE Delanie Walker

P Andy Lee

RB Michael Robinson

LB Scott McKillop

TE Bear Pascoe

S Curtis Taylor

DL Ricky Jean-Francois

*QB Nate Davis

*RB Glen Coffee

 

Signed through 2013

OLB Parys Haralson

CB Nate Clements

DE Justin Smith

WR Brandon Jones

*WR Michael Crabtree

 

Signed through 2014

LS Brian Jennings

 

Signed through 2017

T Joe Staley

 

* — these rookies are unsigned, but Coffee and Davis are likely to get four-year contracts, while Crabtree is expected to get a five-year pact.

 

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