49ers Release Veteran Corner Ahead of Free Agency Window - Sport News

49ers Release Veteran Corner Ahead of Free Agency Window

As the new league year approaches, the San Francisco 49ers are already making changes to the roster with a recent release. The free agency window will open at 4 p.m. ET on March 13, and Isaiah Oliver will be looking for a new team.

Former San Francisco 49ers corner Isaiah Oliver

On February 23, the 49ers announced that they were releasing Oliver after his one season with the team. Media and fans have speculated how San Francisco would address its issues in the secondary, and it appears one of the first moves is releasing the 26-year-old.

Bay Area Sports Digest writer Akash Anavarathan spoke on Oliver recently, giving some context to his release. Oliver was potentially a favorite of former defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, but he did not pan out as planned.

“Also, it was rumored that Steve Wilks was a proponent of signing Isaiah Oliver, who the #49ers dished out a lot of guaranteed money to. By the end of the season, Logan Ryan took his spot — who was on a Disney cruise 2 months before that,” Anavarathan wrote on February 14.

While it’s unfortunate for Oliver, there is now a spot to fill on the roster. The 49ers have many directions they can go to fill it.

Oliver Struggles in San Francisco

It’s not quite clear why Oliver found it hard in San Francisco, but he was a turnstile for opposing WRs. According to Pro Football Reference, the Colorado alum allowed an 84% completion rate and opposing QB rating of 101.

He also gave up three touchdowns and 272 total yards in coverage. While he did register an interception in Week 2, he only clocked one other pass defended in his other 501 snaps. Essentially, Oliver failed to make an impact in coverage.

And although his tackle numbers (67 combined, 48 solo) were near the best of his career, they don’t tell the full story. Oliver missed 8 tackles in his 17 games, finishing with a missed tackle percentage of 10.7%.

How Oliver’s Release Impacts 49ers’ Cap Space

With the release of Oliver, the 49ers will be able to save a decent bit of change. For a team that’s in “win now” mode, every bit of salary cap space counts.

Anavarathan broke down what San Francisco will save after his release on the 23rd.

“I don’t think the Isaiah Oliver release is a post-June 1 cut, because they’d have to wait till the official start of the league year to make it a post-June 1 cut. The team already announcing it, makes me think it’s a pre-June 1 cut, saving $2.4M against the 2024 cap,” Anavarathan wrote on X.

Spotrac’s current estimation for the 49ers salary cap after Oliver’s release is $6.1 million. That’s not a lot of space, but Oliver’s contract being nixed certainly helps. That being said, the corner’s $6.75 million deal was still a mistake.

In fact, San Francisco will still be paying for it despite cutting Oliver. His release saves money that was going toward his salary and bonuses. But his initial signing bonus will count toward a $1.46 in dead cap money in 2024.

That’s a drop in the pond for NFL teams, but as mentioned earlier, every bit of salary cap space matters when trying for a Lombardi Trophy.

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