By far the biggest news out of the the NFL Combine in Indianapolis is the reported $7 million increase in the 2014 salary cap. The cap’s increase from $123 million up to $130 million is good news for both ownership and the players. Both roster flexibility and free agent contracts should rise in conjunction with this news. So what does this additional cap space mean for the San Francisco 49ers, who’re already in a great position financially?
It simply means that they’re in an even stronger position, and it ups the likelihood that they’ll be able to come to terms with free agents Anquan Boldin, Donte Whitner and Phil Dawson.
While four 49ers, including Mike Iupati and Alex Boone, are set to earn pay raises in 2014, the Niners have already restructured wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin‘s contract and they’re likely to do the same with cornerback Carlos Rogers. Not only are they in great shape to re-sign their most valuable free agents, but they can also look to add depth in the secondary and offensive line in free agency. I raised the idea of poaching Walter Thurmond III from the Seattle Seahawks, and the potential for this move only rises with the cap increase.
The Niners possess one of the league’s deepest rosters, and because they’ve managed to avoid carrying “dead money” on their books they should get even better this offseason. The larger cap gives general manager Trent Baalke even more room to work with, and with at least 11 picks in April’s NFL Draft they’ll have plenty of opportunities to address the few holes that they do have.
Eventually, we’ll see how the Niners’ offseason moves translate to the field as they continue to chase that elusive Vince Lombardi Trophy.