First, linebacker Kwon Alexander helped transform the 49ers defense in 2019. Then, he rushed back from an injury to get back on the field for the team’s postseason run to the Super Bowl. Now, Alexander has given his team a boost for its offseason.
The 49ers, who have a large number of players who could leave in free agency this spring – including defensive lineman Arik Armstead, safety Jimmie Ward and wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Kendrick Bourne – went into this offseason ranked 26th in the NFL in salary-cap space, with just an estimated $13 million available.
But that was before Alexander and the 49ers agreed to restructure his deal (back in November, but just reported recently) to change the rest of his 2019 pay to a signing bonus rather than salary, giving the Niners about $8 million more under the salary cap, reported the website Over the Cap, noted Kyle Posey of SB Nation. Posey reports center Weston Richburg also restructured his contract to give the 49ers another $4.5 million in financial flexibility.
There could be more restructured deals ahead, too, to give general manager John Lynch some more room to keep and sign veterans this offseason. The website Sportrac.com now estimates San Francisco has about $20 million available under the cap (with still some contract changes not yet calculated).
As Posey wrote recently, the 49ers could rapidly get more room to maneuver by cutting ties with the likes of wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, running back Tevin Coleman and linebacker Mark Nzeocha to get about $10 million more off the books.
It should be a busy season for the 49ers front office.