4 players costing 49ers more than $17 million in dead money

Virtually every NFL team carries around some amount of dead salary cap space. That’s money counted against the cap for players who are no longer on the team.

How teams accumulate their dead cap varies. Sometimes a player retires with money left on their deal. Other times a player gets cut with money remaining on their contract. Restructured contracts tend to push money into the future by limiting a cap hit now, but sending money down the road where a player will have a cap hit even after they leave the team. This is the case with most of the players who hold dead cap space for the 49ers.

San Francisco will have $17,085,988 in dead money this year. While that sounds like a lot, it’s not close to the most in the NFL. That spot belongs to the Buccaneers and their $75,323,702 in dead money. The 49ers rank 20th in the NFL. The Bengals sit at the bottom of the list with just under $600,000 in dead cap.

So, who exactly is costing the 49ers more than $17 million in cap space without suiting up for them this year? Here’s the list:

DE Dee Ford

Dead cap hit: $8,589,999

Ford arrived in San Francisco during the 2019 offseason via trade with the Chiefs. The 49ers gave him a five-year deal worth up to $85 million. A couple of restructures pushed more than $14 million in cap charges into 2022 and 2023 despite the fact Ford played his last snap for the club in 2021. The cap hit this year will be the final one on a contract that turned into a nightmare for San Francisco.

DB Jimmie Ward

Dead cap hit: $6,395,000

Ward left the 49ers in free agency this year, but he’ll still carry a cap hit north of $6 million thanks to a contract restructure early in the 2021 season. He signed a three-year, $28.5 million in 2020. His 2021 restructure dropped his cap hit in that season and spread it into 2022 and 2023. This will be the only year Ward counts toward the 49ers’ dead money.

C Alex Mack

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Dead cap hit: $1,475,000

Mack in 2021 signed a three-year deal with the 49ers worth up to $14.85 million. He played just one season before retiring ahead of the 2022 campaign. A contract restructure in June of last year eased his cap hit in 2022 to push money into 2023 and 2024. He’ll have the $1,475,000 dead cap charge for the next two seasons.

RB Trey Sermon

AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Dead cap hit: $451,976

Sermon followed up a disappointing rookie season with a training camp that didn’t entice the team to keep him on the roster. The 2021 third-round pick was let go a couple days after making the initial 53-man roster. Cutting a third-round pick after one year can’t be done for free, so Sermon cost the 49ers $677,964 between the 2022 and 2023 seasons despite the fact he was claimed off waivers by the Eagles. He held a $225,998 cap charge last year. This year the $451,976 will be his final cap hit for the team.

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire