General manager Trent Baalke has stated the 49ers’ emphasis in free agency is to “take care of our own.”
And that much was apparent with the 49ers’ decision last week to tender backup defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs, a restricted free agent, at nearly triple his salary of a year ago. Dobbs was tendered at $1.431 million, which gives the 49ers the right of first refusal if he signs an offer sheet with another team.
The 49ers are set to enter free agency with slightly over $10 million in cap room, according to a league source. Safety Donte Whitner, cornerback Tarell Brown and kicker Phil Dawson are among the team’s top free-agent targets.
With a scheduled 12 draft picks, the 49ers would have to set aside approximately $7 million to account for their rookie contracts. The 49ers are not expected to spend big money on outside free agents.
The team’s decision to tender Dobbs could have been cap space devoted to a mid-level free agent on a multi-year deal. For instance, Dan Skuta’s two-year deal counted $1.35 million on last year’s cap.
With cornerback Carlos Rogers scheduled to make $6.6 million in salary and bonuses, the 49ers can create cap room by addressing his contract this offseason.