John Lynch says 49ers cap space will be used for the future

Sep 19, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2023, 9:18 am

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (R) talks with general manager John Lynch...

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have been the big winners on and off the football field in 2023, in part because of John Lynch.

The 49ers general manager and front office restructured several big contracts prior to the regular season, including George Kittle, Arik Armstead and Trent Williams. By doing so, San Francisco now has the most cap space in the NFL currently at $41.2 million. For comparison, the next team on the list, the Cleveland Browns, have $34 million available.

But while many speculate that the 49ers would use some of that cap room for a big fish this season, Lynch has kaboshed the notion, instead looking to the future of the franchise.

“Really, we always look at the cap for three years out,” John Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Obviously, we have all that room this year. But really it’s to create room for future years because we roll everything over. It helps us in future years because it creates some room we’re going to need.”

Currently, the 49ers are projected to have $280 million worth in contracts for next season. And while the projected salary cap for 2024 is set in the range of $256 million, per, San Francisco will need to do some creative planning to fit their core players under the bill.

The future figures of Williams, Armstead, Kittle, Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel, Javon Hargrave, Christian McCaffrey and Charvarius Ward are just a few players that will need to be accounted for in salary-cap thinking.

Additionally, the 49ers and Lynch plan to work on long-term extensions for Brandon Aiyuk and Talanoa Hufanga, two players in line for massive paydays after the 2024 NFL season.

After that, John Lynch will need to cross the Brock Purdy bridge, with their starting quarterback making less than one million annually the next two seasons. For perspective, that deal ranks 81st in the league, and is behind other QBs on the roster (Sam Darnold and Brandon Allen).

Point being: Lynch and Co. created the cap space this year to be used down the road.

But that doesn’t mean stations won’t arise, especially with the 49ers primed for a deep playoff run after the first tow weeks of the 2023 regular season. San Francisco has until Oct. 31st, the trade deadline, to make a decision on adding veteran picks that can bolster the roster now.

And the GM hasn’t ruled that out fully yet.

“We’ve pretty much done what we’re going to do this year,” John Lynch added. “But you never know with the trade deadline and all that.”

Upcoming San Francisco 49ers Schedule

  • Thursday, September 21st vs. New York Giants – 5:15 PM PST
  • Sunday, October 1st vs. Arizona Cardinals – 1:25 PM PST
  • Sunday, October 8th vs. Dallas Cowboys – 5:20 PM PST
  • Sunday, October 15th @ Cleveland Browns – 10:00 AM PST

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