The business side of the NFL is something that has zero loyalty to anything except for the salary cap. Every year we see teams make salary cap cuts that include veteran players and some fan favorites. The 49ers have to make a few decisions with some of their veteran players this year. The salary cap has increased and that may make it easier Let’s take a look at some potential cap casualties:
1) Frank Gore
As much as 49er fans don’t want to admit it, Gore is a strong possibility to show up on the cap casualty list. Gore has done nothing but good for the 49ers. He is one of the ones that played for the team in the dark days of Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary. Gore is set to earn $6.4 million next year. It’s likely that they try to renegotiate a more cap friendly deal but if Gore refuses, they will probably release him.
2) Carlos Rogers
Rogers is the polar opposite of Frank Gore. There are plenty of 49er fans that want to see him gone. His play has continued to decline over the last few years. This year he will hold a cap number of $8 million. Rest assured the 49ers will not pay him that. Add in the fact that they have some pretty solid options at nickel corner via the draft and what you have is a recipe for a separation from Rogers.
3) C.J. Spillman
Spillman has been a special teams ace. That has been the role that he has played along with a backup at the safety position. The 49ers could save around $1.2 million if they release him. His value may be diminished especially if the 49ers draft a safety such as Deone Bucannon that has played special teams.
4) McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Bethel-Thompson is set to earn $1.6 million. That’s a pretty hefty sum to pay a guy that won’t dress for most of the games. He has zero dead money so the 49ers could save the full $1.6 million by releasing him. The 49ers can draft a player such as Logan Thomas, Tajh Boyd or Connor Shaw and develop them.
The 49ers will have some difficult decisions to make in the coming phase of the season. Free agency starts soon and they will need to figure out how to keep Donte Whitner along with Anquan Boldin. It will be a hard thing to do and if there needs to be a choice between the two, Boldin is the guy that holds more priority. Nevertheless, they can save money by releasing the above mentioned players. Gore is likely to redo his deal and return with the 49ers. Bringing him back is a win/win because he will be an excellent mentor for Marcus Lattimore.