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Which Players Will the 49ers Seek to Restructure Their Contracts?

Restructuring the contracts of a couple players will be needed from the 49ers in order to redeem critical salary cap space.

The start of NFL free agency is rapidly approaching, which starts on Mar. 11. That means the San Francisco 49ers will need to free up some salary cap space as soon as possible if they want to utilize that avenue.

As of now, the 49ers are $3.5 million above the cap. That aren’t really many players that they can cut to give them a lot of space, so they will have to look at restructuring the contracts of at least a few players. Doing so will bring a player’s salary cap number in 2024 and will free up needed cap space for the 49ers.

But it also means that the 49ers will be stuck with that player for the foreseeable future as restructures typically turn into heavy dead cap money. So, the 49ers cannot recklessly restructure just any player’s contract. It ideally has to be someone they believe is pivotal for the next few seasons and someone they haven’t already conducted it with.

Here are the three players that I envision the 49ers will seek to restructure their contracts.

Javon Hargrave

Now, Javon Hargrave isn’t necessarily a “pivotal” player for the 49ers. While he did have an impactful season, he is a bit of an underwhelming player. Still, the reason the 49ers will end up restructuring his deal is because he has a $33.3 million cap hit and with how thin and obscure the defensive tackle position is on the team. Javon Kinlaw and Kevin Givens, two key role players, are free agents. Arik Armstead is an aging player who’s body is clearly breaking down.

The 49ers need at least one player at the interior that they can pencil in for the next few years. Hargrave is that guy who is worth being locked into for that. He’s a solid player with little to no worry with injuries and hasn’t shown any signs of a drop off yet. I think he’s got a good couple years before he starts to fall off, so he is a good bet for the 49ers to restructure and be attached to for a while.

Deebo Samuel

Plenty of hypothetical trade scenarios have already been linked to Deebo Samuel, but the reality is that he isn’t getting traded. The 49ers will have to suffer $26 million of dead cap just to move him, so it makes zero sense to do so. Samuel can only be traded after the 2024 season when his numbers are more flexible. However, I don’t think that chance will arrive as I believe the 49ers will want to restructure Samuel’s deal this offseason as he carries a $28.6 million cap hit.

Kyle Shanahan loves Samuel. That alone is enough to want him on the 49ers for years to come. I don’t think it would be a good idea for them to do so because he is a player they should want to stomach this year and then move off of next year. But the relationship with him is too strong, and he does impact the offense fairly heavily despite not being a significant producer.

Kyle Juszczyk

There are no more guarantees on the remaining two years of Kyle Juszczyk’s deal, so the 49ers could cut him and save a decent amount of cap space. But I doubt the 49ers want to be without him anytime soon. In fact, I could see the 49ers offering him an extension for an extra year or two that is also part of a restructure. That way they can lower his $7.5 million cap hit to something more manageable and lock him in for the foreseeable future.

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