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49ers Could Rework Patrick Willis & Frank Gore’s Contracts To Free Up Cap Space

 

According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, the San Francisco 49ers will have just $592,000 in available cap space once the acquisition of WR Stevie Johnson is officially factored into the cap figures.

Earlier today, we posted updated cap figures for each team, but they have yet to reflect the Stevie Johnson-trade.

Maiocco mentions that veterans Patrick Willis and Frank Gore could both be approached about reworking their contracts to free up some much needed cap space that could be used to lock up QB Colin Kaepernick to a long-term extension.

Gore, 31, has one-year remaining on his four-year, $25.9 million contract. He stands to make base salary of $3.3 million for the 2014 season. According to OverTheCap.com, Gore currently counts $6.45 million against the team’s salary cap, so a short-term extension could reduce that figure quite a bit.

There is always a chance that they could take a hard-line stance with Gore given that they have so many running backs on their roster and came away from the draft with Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde, who was considered by a number of evaluators to be the No. 1 running back in this year’s draft class.

Willis, 29, is entering the fifth year of his seven-year, $53.51 million contract that included $29 million guaranteed. He has base salaries of $5.285 million, $7.065 million and $7.935 million coming his way in each of the next three years.

As things stand right now, Willis counts $6.863 million against the team’s salary cap, according to OverTheCap.com. It seems likely that they could restructure his contract so that a portion of his remaining salary is converted to a signing bonus and prorated over the remainder of his contract.

These moves could really go a long way towards giving the 49ers some much needed cap flexibility as they begin to work on long-term deals for core players.