Niners Going to Be Players in Free Agency

Despite the bad economy, the 49ers are looking to be major players once the NFL free agency period begins tonight at 9:01 p.m. (Pacific). According to the “San Francisco Chronicle,” the 49ers are about 25-million dollars under the expected 2009 salary cap of 123-million dollars.

“We will be in the top six in the league in cap space,” general manager Scot McCloughan said. “But we’re not going to blow it on two or three players.” Meanwhile, team officials have other priorities, such as restructuring the contract of quarterback and former number-one draft pick Alex Smith.

Under his current 2005 deal, the University of Utah product will earn 9.625-million dollars this season while the team will take a 12.3-million-dollar hit against the salary cap. Smith, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last year, said he is open to restructuring his contract.

Cornerback Shawntae Spencer is another player the team would like get under a cap-friendly contract. Spencer, who had injury issues last season, carries a 2009 cap-figure of 3.47-million dollars.

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