49ers release cornerback Isaiah Oliver, create $2.4M in salary cap space – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

The 49ers began their financial maneuverings on Friday, just hours after the NFL announced a more than $30 million salary cap increase for the 2024 season.

San Francisco released veteran linebacker Isaiah Oliver, resulting in $2.4 million in immediate savings.

Oliver signed a two-year, $6.75 million contract with the 49ers as an unrestricted free agent last offseason to replace Jimmie Ward as San Francisco's top nickel back.

However, Oliver struggled in that role and was eventually used exclusively on special teams.

Starting linebacker Deommodore Lenoir took over the nickel for Oliver midway through the season with Ambry Thomas entering games in the nickel situations to take over for Lenoir on the outside.

After Thomas struggled mightily late in the season, the 49ers ended up going with veteran Logan Ryan, a midseason pickup, to play nickel again in the team's Super Bowl LVIII loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

One of the 49ers' top offseason priorities is finding a player to bolster the team's ability to cover the opposing slot receiver.

A six-year veteran, Oliver played his first five NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He appeared in all 17 regular season games and started six for the 49ers.

The 27-year-old was traded to nickel back after the 49ers went on a three-game losing streak heading into Week 9.

While in pass coverage, Oliver gave up 46 pass completions on the 51 passes he targeted, according to Pro Football Focus. He gave up 320 receiving yards and three touchdowns while intercepting just one pass.

Oliver's contract with the 49ers included $2.91 million in fully guaranteed money. While their decision to release him frees them up with salary cap space, it will still count $1.46 million in dead money against San Francisco's 2024 salary cap.

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The NFL on Friday set the salary cap at $255.4 million per team, an increase of $30.6 million from last season.

The 49ers have 56 players under contract and are now expected to make $2.3 million under the salary cap, according to OverTheCap.com. During the offseason, only the top 51 players count toward the salary cap.

Oliver is now a free agent and able to sign with any team at any time. Since he was released by the 49ers, Oliver will not count toward the 49ers' compensatory formula.

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