The 49ers added some more cap space on Saturday morning, as the team restructured center Weston Richburg’s contract and opened up nearly $7 million in space, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported.
Freeing up $6.875 million should leave the 49ers with around $30-31 million to spend when free agency opens, as Overthecap.com estimated the 49ers to have $23.86 million as of Saturday morning.
Richburg hasn’t suited up for the 49ers since Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season, when he tore his patellar tendon in a win over the New Orleans Saints. It was reported in early March that Richburg recently had hip surgery, and Rapoport reiterated Saturday that the 29-year-old center is “likely” to retire.
That $30 million number does not include the two-year, $10 million extension agreed to by cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and the 49ers on Friday, keeping the defensive back from hitting restricted free agency.
Richburg initially signed a five-year, $47.5 contract with the 49ers in 2018 on the first day of free agency.
It’s disappointing both for Richburg and the organization that injuries have taken his career off track, as he was playing at a very high level right up until his 2019 knee injury.
Clearly he doesn’t hold any ill will toward the 49ers if he was willing to restructure his deal in order to help the franchise in free agency.
We could now see the 49ers pursue an interior offensive lineman once free agency opens up next week, if Richburg indeed plans to retire from the NFL.