49ers Mailbag II: Is 30 million in cap space enough?

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49ers Mailbag II: Is 30 million in cap space enough?

The 49ers have already taken the necessary steps to roll over their unused cap money from 2011.The 49ers have 103.737 million devoted to the 2012 salary cap. But the approximate 12.6 million that went unused in 2011 will be applied to their 2012 cap. (Other sources have cited a higher number that does not reflect incentives earned in 2011.)
So, in essence, the 49ers have 91.3 devoted to the to-be-determined salary cap. Last year, the league-wide cap was 120.375 million.

The 49ers should have plenty of cap space to do everything they need to accomplish this offseason. After all, last year the 49ers signed Ray McDonald, Donte Whitner, Jonathan Goodwin and David Akers to multi-year contracts. The combined first-year cap figures of those deals was 8.65 million.Remember, the first-year cap value of multi-year contracts is typically far below the average annual salary.If the 49ers do not reach a long-term agreement with safety Dashon Goldson, there is a strong chance the 49ers will slap the franchise tag on him at 6.2 million. That would be the most cap space the 49ers will have to devote to any player not currently under contract.And that leads us into our first question in 49ers Mailbag II . . . Any talk of Patrick Willis restructuring to lower his 17 million cap figure? (@VincentFrankNFL)
When teams start restructuring contracts, they're pushing those costs into the future. That is what the 49ers did repeatedly from the mid-1990s into the early 2000s, and that's a lesson they learned the hard way with the great salary cap purge of 2004.The 49ers have plenty of salary-cap space to do everything they wish to do this offseason. Also, the 49ers will clear more space when they make a move with veteran cornerback Shawntae Spencer, who will not be back at his 3.3 cap figure. The team puts a dollar figure on every player. They are not going to keep increasing their offer because another team is bidding for the same player.The 49ers have their plan in place for this season. And, clearly, CEO Jed York likes the plan that general manager Trent Baalke has presented him for 2012 and beyond. After all, York last week signed Baalke to a three-year extension through the 2016 season.With all the talent Larry Grant showcased filling in for Willis, it's a shame he's not starting. Do you see SF shuffling the LB corps up at all to get him on the field more often? (@Steve Busichio)
No, I don't.Grant is an inside linebacker. He is not a pass-rushing outside linebacker.He plays the same spots as Willis and NaVorro Bowman. Grant is not going to take away any playing time from Willis or Bowman.And, at the same time, Willis and Bowman are inside linebackers. They are not pass-rushing outside linebackers. The 49ers are not going to experiment with a new position for any of those players.Therefore, if another NFL team wants to sign Grant to be a starter, the 49ers will have no choice but to watch him go somewhere else for an increased role and an increased paycheck.

49ers Mailbag: A Shanahan-Shanahan show?

49ers Mailbag: A Shanahan-Shanahan show?

The outcome of the Atlanta Falcons’ NFC Championship game on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers will determine how quickly the 49ers can move in securing Kyle Shanahan as the team’s next head coach.

If the Falcons lose, the 49ers will have a second meeting with Shanahan early in the week, during which team executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe would be expected to finalize the deal.

But if the Falcons win and advance to the Super Bowl, the early part of Shanahan’s week would be spent game-planning and preparing to face the AFC representative. The second interview with the 49ers would be scheduled for Friday.

Shanahan is also expected to be involved in the 49ers’ hiring of the general manager.

Now, let’s dip into our 49ers Mailbag to answer some questions posted on our Facebook page:

Q: Do you think Mike Shanahan will have any role in the team?‬ (Robert Allen Swenor)
A: Mike Shanahan, of course, is the father of presumptive 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Aside from that, it does not appear as if Mike will have an official role with the club.

A question that must be asked is this: Does Kyle Shanahan benefit from having his father in the building? The answer is, probably not.

Of course, this is not to say the elder Shanahan will not have some level of influence with the 49ers.

If the 49ers close the deal with Kyle Shanahan, as both sides expect right now, Mike Shanahan will undoubtedly be a valuable resource to his son. I’m sure Mike Shanahan will attend some practices in training camp and during the regular season. He will always serve as a mentor to his son.

Q: Do you think that the 49ers are going after particular D-coordinators based on their own desires or are they quietly doing it on behalf of Shanahan's request?‬ (Eddie SF Torres)
A: Whenever someone interviews for a head-coaching position, that individual presents a wish list of the assistants he plans to pursue to join his staff.

The 49ers have gone after Vic Fangio and Gus Bradley to serve as the defensive coordinator on the next staff. The Chicago Bears declined to allow Fangio the opportunity to leave. Bradley decided on joining the Los Angeles Chargers instead of the 49ers or Washington.

The 49ers feel confident Shanahan will become their next coach. It's also safe to assume Shanahan expressed his wishes at defensive coordinator – and, perhaps, other coaching positions on his future staff.

Q: Should the team draft a QB or get a free agent?‬ (Greg Luthy)
A: Both.

One of the interesting things about both of the two serious head-coach candidates is each lined up neatly with a quarterback. In the case of Josh McDaniels, it was easy to connect the dots on a possible trade for New England backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Obviously, Kirk Cousins is the quarterback who could be available for the 49ers to add with Shanahan in charge. Shanahan coached Cousins for two seasons with Washington, during which he made just four starts.

Cousins has emerged in the past two seasons. He made $20 million last year on the franchise tag. And he would make at least $24 million this season under the same tag.

If Washington places the exclusive franchise tag on Cousins at a higher one-year price, he would be completely off the market. But, otherwise, there would be room for the 49ers to sign him at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington.

It seems obvious the 49ers would at least inquire about the chances to acquiring Cousins.

So, back to the original question, expect the 49ers to add a veteran quarterback or two in the weeks after the beginning of the new league year on March 9.

Then, seven weeks later, there’s the NFL Draft. Which veteran quarterback(s) the 49ers acquire will determine their needs in the draft.

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Falcons' outcome to determine 49ers' interview schedule

Falcons' outcome to determine 49ers' interview schedule

The 49ers will hold their second interview with Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as early as Monday, a source told CSNBayArea.com on Sunday morning.

If the Falcons lose Sunday in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers are tentatively scheduled to interview Shanahan on Monday and Tuesday in Atlanta, the source said.

If the Falcons win and advance to the Super Bowl, the 49ers’ second interview with Shanahan would wait until Friday. The early part of the week would be devoted to planning for the Super Bowl.

The 49ers would have until the Sunday the week before the Super Bowl to hold a second interview with Shanahan, who originally met with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe on Jan. 6 in Atlanta.

Shanahan is the only 49ers coaching candidate remaining among the six individuals who interviewed to replace Chip Kelly. All signs point to Shanahan to become the team’s next head coach. Atlanta coach Dan Quinn announced to his staff that Shanahan would be taking the job, the NFL Network reported last week. The 49ers are prohibited from officially hiring Shanahan until the Falcons' season is over.

Shanahan is also expected to have a major influence in the 49ers’ hiring of a general manager to replace Trent Baalke, whose firing was announced shortly after the 49ers finished the season with a 2-14 record.

Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton appears to be the front-runner for the position. Paton, like Shanahan, first interviewed with the 49ers on Jan. 6 in Atlanta.

Of the 49ers’ original candidates for the general manager position, Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is the only other individual who is still in the mix. The 49ers have not ruled out bringing in other GM candidates to interview, a source said.