Many high-priced veteran players have been cut over the past week as teams clear cap space for the start of the new league year.
The 49ers have yet to make any such moves, but at some point they will have to address cornerback Carlos Rogers’ contract.
[RELATED: 49ers' CB Brown closing in on open market]
A year ago, the 49ers asked Rogers to take a pay cut. He declined. Rogers ended up playing on his scheduled contract. Chris Culliver sustained a season-ending knee injury and the 49ers had no choice but to pay Rogers his scheduled salary.
Sources indicate the 49ers do not intend to have Rogers take the field at his scheduled $6.6 million salary in 2014. The options are to, again, ask him to take a dramatic pay cut or release him.
If the 49ers chose to release Rogers with a post-June 1 designation, the 49ers would save $6.6 million on the salary cap but he would count about $1.5 million in dead money on the 2015 cap. If the 49ers took the entire cap hit this year, the immediate cap savings would be $5.1 million and he would be completely off their books in future years.
With a scheduled 12 draft picks and a draft that is regarded as deep at the cornerback position, the 49ers figure to have a lot of options to bolster their secondary without devoting much cap space to any veteran player.
Running back Frank Gore is another established player whose contract is drawing some attention.
Former NFL agent Joel Corry pointed out on Twitter that with the reported impending release of New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles, Gore is scheduled to make double the amount of the next highest-paid running back in his 30s. Gore’s salary is $6.45 million, while Atlanta’s Steven Jackson is scheduled to make $3 million.
Two weeks ago at the NFL Scouting Combine, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh both graded Gore’s performance last season as “A-plus-plus.” Baalke said that the 49ers do not need Gore to take a pay cut.
And all that’s happened since then is the NFL’s salary cap came in at $133 million per team – higher than it was originally projected.