49ers see nearly $8 million in cap space disappear

49ers see nearly $8 million in cap space disappear
September 4, 2014, 7:45 am
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The 49ers had a $2.175 million carryover from last season to this year’s $133 million salary cap. (USATSI)

When the clock struck midnight, the 49ers officially lost nearly $8 million in salary-cap room.

It’s OK, though. They knew it was coming and planned accordingly.

According to figures obtained from the NFL Players Association, the 49ers are $4.19 million under the salary cap. Prior to last night, the 49ers were listed at $12.056 million under the cap.

Throughout the entire offseason when the rosters are expanded, the salary cap for each team is figured by tabulating only the cap costs of the Top 51 paid players. But last night, four days after teams were required to cut to 53 players, every player began to count against the cap.

In the 49ers’ case, that means all 53 active players, as well as players on injured reserve, physically unable to perform, non-football injury and the practice squad.

The 49ers have 77 players under contract, including Aldon Smith on the suspended list and Alex Boone, who’s roster spot is exempt after reporting following a lengthy holdout.

The new cap figure, however, does not include a credit of $1.236 million the 49ers will save on the cap due to Smith’s nine-game suspension without pay.

The 49ers have approximately $4.5 million tied up in “dead money” -- players who are no longer on the roster. Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, traded last season to the Kansas City Chiefs, accounts for $1.746 million. Cornerback Carlos Rogers, who was released after the season and signed by the Raiders, takes up $1.494 million in cap space.

Teams generally like to carry $4 million to $5 million in cap space into the regular season to account for injuries. Teams are allowed to carry over cap space from one season to the next. The 49ers had a $2.175 million carryover from last season to this year’s $133 million cap.

The 49ers made some cost-cutting moves late in the week. The club restructured Ray McDonald's contract to replace base salary with signing bonus, which is prorated over the course of a contract for cap purposes, to create $2.11 million in cap space.

[RELATED: 49ers restructured McDonald before arrest]

Also, the club released veterans C.J. Spillman ($1.225 million) and Adam Snyder ($1 million), which saved cap space, too.