The San Francisco 49ers have been in the NFC Championship three consecutive years in a row, and have not been able to win the Super Bowl. Their time could be running out…
In 2015, the San Francisco 49ers have 20 plus players including stars such as Colin Kaepernick, Aldon Smith, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, Mike Iupati, Chris Culliver, Chris Cook, Glenn Dorsey, Adam Snyder, and Eric Wright that have contracts that expire.
If Colin Kaepernick is truly seeking 18 million a year which is par with some of the elite quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, the team could be in a world of hurt. Most of those players are coming off of their rookie contracts which will demand higher salaries.
The 49ers currently have $4,171,950 in cap space, which means the team will not be able to re-sign all their big time free agents, as the Philadelphia Eagles did this year.
I believe the 49ers have been so successful in the past because of their amazing drafting skills, but it could come back to bite them. Over the past several years the Niners should have tried to reach long term agreements with their stars. Guys like Crabtree and Aldon Smith should have been “Locked Up” like Akon a few years ago.
While the team will likely move on from seasoned veteran Frank Gore, they could have his replacement on the roster if Marcus Lattimore could stay healthy. I think Lattimore will shine in the Niners system, but the bigger question is how can the team keep Iupati, Crabtree, Kaepernick and Aldon Smith. Those guys are core players which have assisted with the three straight NFC Championship performances.
If the team signs Kaepernick to a huge deal they are going to have to let a few of the guys on the list go, which could ruin their chemistry. Right now the Carolina Panthers are going through the same issues this year. They came into free agency with 21 free agents, they released Steve Smith, and 4 of their starting offensive lineman retired. This could be a comparison that the Niners might want to look at, because I believe the Panthers are about to go on a downward spiral after a very successful season last year.