It’s been assumed here and everywhere that following the Alex Smith trade which saw the Chiefs get fleeced and the 49ers acquire their 15th draft pick for April’s football auction, San Francisco will pursue Darrelle Revis. That’s an assumption based largely on the sheer girth of draft picks the Niners possess now, and the flexibility and leverage they have. And on a more fundamental level, 15 rookies being on the roster next fall and playing for a team that nearly won the Super Bowl is highly unlikely.
But amid the excitement of the Smith trade one small matter was overlooked: the salary cap. The soul crushing salary cap.
That’s why this is reportedly happening…
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said a source told him the 49ers are not inclined to pursue Darrelle Revis at this time. So there’s that.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 28, 2013
As ESPN’s Rich Cimini notes, the 49ers’ cap concerns can be alleviated, just like all cap concerns can be alleviated if the proper creativity is applied. That means a Revis trade is still possible before the draft, but it’s not imminent, and a deal most likely won’t happen prior to the beginning of the new league year on March 12.
That’s when teams have to be below the salary cap, and the money freed up by the Smith deal ($9.75 million) won’t be reflected in the Niners’ pursuit of said cap because the trade can’t be completed until March 12. So there are some decisions that need to be made over the next 13 days to overcome what’s currently a slight gap. Niners Nation has the 49ers’ cap number, and some possible solutions:
The 49ers entered yesterday looking at being over the projected $123 million cap by just $657,000. The 49ers need to get under the cap by March 12, without factoring in the Alex Smith trade. A figure of less than a million dollars is fairly easy to get to over the next two weeks. They could easily re-do one or two contracts, or release a player. Some potential candidates could include Parys Haralson, David Akers, and Jonathan Goodwin. Respectively, these three would save $2.87 million, $3.05 million and $4.35 million if the 49ers decided to release any of them.
But there’s also the matter of San Francisco’s own free agents, most notably Dashon Goldson, who reportedly won’t be given the franchise tag. That could be instead slapped on Delanie Walker at a cost of just over $5 million, while it’s been widely projected that retaining Goldson will cost about $8 million. That leaves so very little room for Revis.