The San Francisco 49ers will face several tough decisions this offseason. As the franchise prepares to hand over the reins to quarterback Trey Lance, the Niners will be looking to build a roster around their exciting young signalman. However, they will have limited resources to do so. Pro Football Focus has released a new metric to gauge which NFL teams have the best opportunities to add impact talent this offseason. The formula delivers a composite score between 0 and 100, with a higher score for teams better prepared for the offseason. Unfortunately, the 49ers received a 3.2 score, which was the second-worst in the league.
It’s no surprise to see San Francisco down in the rankings. After trading several future picks to advance in last year’s draft to add Lance, the 49ers currently have no first-round picks in this year’s draft. Additionally, the Niners have been spending heavily in free agency and via contract extensions in recent years, leaving them with minimal cap space.
The PFF metric used three different inputs to calculate its composite score: Effective Cap Space, Capital Project, Prorated Money (the total amount of cap space that could be created by restructuring contracts already on the books). The 49ers ranked 31st overall but were 25th in available cap space, 30th in draft capital and 15th in prorated money.
One thing that PFF’s analysis did not take into account was the maximum number of victims. After all, it seems clear that the 49ers have been preparing to leave veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason for quite some time. San Francisco will create about $25 million in cap space by trading or releasing Jimmy G this offseason. According to Over the Cap, passing from Garoppolo would single-handedly make the Niners jump 24-14 in effective cap space. While other franchises will also leave veterans for cap reasons, few will earn as much relief as Garoppolo’s 49ers.
The good news for the 49ers is that the NFC West is easily the worst division by PFF metric. In fact, no team in the division ranks in the top 20. The Seahawks rank 21st. The Cardinals rank 25th. The Rams are the only team that ranks below the Niners, ranking 32nd with a composite score of 0.0.