The 49ers currently have approximately $25 million in salary-cap space with free agency set to begin at 9:01 p.m. (PT) tomorrow night.
Don’t expect anything memorable like a year ago when this blog posted a report about the first free agent to switch teams. The post was time-stamped at 9:27 p.m. Teams — and players speaking to the media — will probably be a little more discreet this year.
Here is a rundown of the 49ers’ scheduled free agents:
Unrestricted free agents
The 49ers have exclusive negotiating rights to these players up to the opening of free agency. Then, these players would be free to sign with any team.
LB Takeo Spikes: The 49ers are having “positive” talks with Spikes. There appears to be a strong chance he will return.
WR Bryant Johnson: The sides are not negotiating. GM Scot McCloughan said he feels good about the depth in the draft. The club wants to add speed on the outside through free agency or the draft. If Johnson lingers and lingers and lingers and the 49ers have not found anyone, they could revisit the situation.
RB DeShaun Foster: See above. Foster finds himself in the same situation as Johnson. The 49res figure to add someone in the draft to fill this role. McCloughan said there are a lot of good running backs available to help share the load with Frank Gore.
KR/PR Allen Rossum: He is 33 years old, but he remains an option for the 49ers after putting together a solid season.
DT Ronald Fields: He did not make much of an impact, but nose tackles are hard to find. He will probably get more money than you’d expect on the open market.
QB J.T. O’Sullivan: The 49ers are moving forward with Shaun Hill and, presumably, Alex Smith. Not surprisingly, coach Mike Singletary said O’Sullivan does not fit in the team’s plans right now.
CB Donald Strickland: The 49ers really like Strickland, and he there seems to be no good reason why he would not return.
DE Roderick Green: He had a disappointing season, and then got into hot water recently in his hometown. This is a spot the 49ers will look to upgrade.
TE Billy Bajema: It’s getting to the point Bajema is getting a little too expensive for his role. He made $927,000 this season as a blocking specialist.
OT Damane Duckett: They’ve invested a lot of time after conversion from defensive line to offense. They might as well give him one final shot.
TE Sean Ryan: He did a pretty good job as an H-back/fullback type late in the season, but there is no rush to re-sign him.
QB Jamie Martin: He will not be back.
Restricted free agents
The 49ers do not have any restricted free agents because in 2006, the team began doing four-year contracts on draft picks. So the 49ers won’t have another restricted free agent from an original draft pick.
Exclusive rights free agents
This player has fewer than three years of accrued NFL service and the 49ers own exclusive negotiating rights.
FB Zak Keasey: He’ll likely be kept around to compete for a job, though the new power-running-game offense does not exactly play to his strengths.
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Under contract, but issues looming . . .
QB Alex Smith: He is scheduled to earn $9.625 million in base salary with a scheduled cap figure on the books of $12.291M. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye has already sent him pages from the playbook. The difference of Smith’s scheduled base salary and his new base salary will be the cap savings realized. (If released, he would account for a $5.333 million cap hit, thus creating nearly $7M in cap space.)
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