With the 2013 season over, the long process of constructing the 2014 San Francisco 49ers has already begun. There are some tough decisions to be made.
Which free agents should the 49ers re-sign? Which players are potential salary-cap casualties? Which players have earned long-term extensions, and where will the money come from? How will they fit 13 new draft picks onto the roster?
The big issue pressing GM Trent Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh is the sheer number of contracts expiring in the near future. Twenty different players have contracts expiring at the end of the 2014 season, including key contributors like Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and Michael Crabtree.
Deciding which of them to sign to hefty new contracts and which to let walk once their contracts have expired is a difficult process and will require tough decisions—it’s not unthinkable that longtime contributors might find themselves on the streets sooner rather than later.
Still, the team sits in a good position for 2014 before any roster decisions have been made. There are some holes to be filled and some weaknesses to patch up, but the roster is fairly intact from top to bottom. There is every reason to expect the 49ers to be right back where they were at the end of this season, vying for a sixth Super Bowl title.
The following slides will go through the current San Francisco roster position by position, highlighting pending free agents, pointing out possible contract extensions and salary-cap casualties and postulating potential draft choices or free-agent signings. All cap numbers come from ninercaphell.com, an invaluable resource for 49ers fans looking to weed their way through salary-cap minutia.
With no further ado, here are your 2014 San Francisco 49ers.