With one week left before the start of Free Agency, the 49ers have yet to re-sign any of their soon to be unrestricted players. All of these fellows are more likely to get better offers from other teams than what the Niners are willing to pony up.
The Niners haven’t been big players in FA since signing Nate Clements in 2007, making him the highest paid defensive player in NFL history with an eight-year, $80 million deal. And the following year, signing Justin Smith to a $45 million deal. Since then, the team has mainly shopped in the second tier bargain bin.
Those were pretty crappy teams back then, though, and the Niners had to pay big to get any decent players to come here. And they were not up against the cap limit, like they are now, with less than $2 million of space. Releasing Ahmad Brooks and his $7+ million salary should free up enough room for now. So long, Ahmad.
Big name veterans around the league are already getting dumped for salary cap purposes — Reggie Bush, Ricky Jean Francois, Jacoby Jones, AJ Hawk, DeAngelo Williams, Mathias Kiwanuka — and there will be more as the week plays out.
Unlike previous years, this one could be more interesting for the players who leave the team than the ones who join up. Besides Brooks, Mike Iupati and Michael Crabtree are leaving. As most likely are Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox. That’s five starters from last year. Frank Gore might also leave, making it six, and Justin could retire and run the total to seven starters waving bye-bye.
But not to worry, sports fans, we have Jim Tomsula to remake the roster during his inaugural year of practicing the fine art of being an NFL Head Coach. In just a little over a month, Tomsula has already made the great leap from bumbler to partially competent in the difficult area of holding a fifteen minutes press conference.