The San Francisco 49ers will have a busy offseason this spring. Regardless of whether they win the Super Bowl this year, they will be a team with a big target on its back. Add to that the resurgent Seattle Seahawks and a young, up-and-coming St. Louis squad with plenty of draft picks at their disposal after trading the second pick in last year's draft, and the 49ers look to be facing very stiff competition within their division for years to come.
They also currently trail only the Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs in terms of overall payroll. So the moves they make this offseason are going to have to be cost-effective ones if they don't want to run into salary-cap hell like they did toward the end of the glory days and Eddie Debartolo's tenure with the team at the turn of the century.
There are a few cuts they could make, a few signings in free agency they could make and of course they could nail some of their draft picks. All of these possibilities could be cost-effective moves, but let's look strictly at the current roster first.
Once free agency starts after the Super Bowl, we will look at some potential cost-effective signings the 49ers could make. But for now, let's examine some options on the current roster that could go a long way toward clearing some salary cap space for the 49ers.
Author's note: The following players' salary figures are for the current year (2012) and reflect the players' salary cap figure, not their overall salary. For instance, Alex Smith has a base salary of 5.5 million in 2012, 7.5 million in 2013 and a cap figure of 9.5 million. All figures are from altiusdirectory.com