The San Francisco 49ers endured a disastrous offseason with the loss of multiple starters to free agency and retirement. But as a result of all those departures, the 49ers will have a significant amount of financial flexibility in 2016.
The retirements of Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Chris Borland, and Anthony Davis alone have freed up $US25 million of cap space next year and $US40 million in 2017, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In total, SB Nation reports the 49ers are on track to have $US38 million to spend next year, and $US61 million in 2017.
This is particularly important because 2016’s free agency class is expected to be one of the strongest in years.
Players that are currently slated to become free agents next year, and who the 49ers may attempt to target, include:
- Demaryius Thomas, wide receiver
- A.J. Green, wide receiver
- Julio Jones, wide receiver
- Dez Bryant, wide receiver
- T.Y. Hilton, wide receiver
- Alshon Jefferey, wide receiver
- Justin Houston, outside linebacker
- Von Miller, outside linebacker
- Muhammad Wilkerson, defensive tackle
- Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle
- Eric Weddle, safety
- Trent Williams, left tackle
- Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive end
- Bobby Wagner, middle linebacker
- Phillip Rivers, quarterback
- Eli Manning, quarterback
While some of these players will get the franchise tag and others will re-sign with their current teams, many will still hit the open market. Having $US38 million of wiggle room will allow the 49ers to not only re-sign their own players, but also go after other high-level players who are set to hit the open market.
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