San Francisco 49ers’ free-agent success nonetheless leaves holes to fill


SANTA CLARA, Calif. — After nearly profitable Tremendous Bowl LIV, the San Francisco 49ers vowed to do all they might to maintain as a lot of that workforce collectively as attainable. They spent a lot of the 2020 offseason making the required strikes to just do that.

On the heels of a disappointing 6-10 end, the Niners have once more used this offseason to attempt to maintain their roster intact and show that 2019 was the usual and 2020 was an aberration. Which a type of is true stays to be seen, however perception inside the partitions of Levi’s Stadium stays.

“I do really feel like we’re able to win,” fullback Kyle Juszczyk stated. “I really feel like we’re wholesome, we have now added gamers, we have now saved gamers, we’ve gained expertise over the past couple years, and I believe all arrows are trending up for us. The distinction from this 12 months and two years in the past, is 2 years in the past we hadn’t proved it. All of us believed it, we had proven glimpses of it, however we hadn’t actually put all of it collectively. And now, I really feel like we have completed it, we have been by way of it, we have gained 13 video games in a daily season, so we all know how that feels, we all know it is attainable. The vast majority of these guys are going to be right here to try to do it once more.”

In fact, the hunt to return to NFC contender standing has include an eye-popping price ticket. Within the opening days of free company, the Niners re-signed Juszczyk, left deal with Trent Williams, cornerbacks Jason Verrett, Okay’Waun Williams and Dontae Johnson, defensive deal with D.J. Jones and powerful security Jaquiski Tartt and added middle Alex Mack, edge rusher Samson Ebukam, security Tavon Wilson and receiver/particular teamer Trent Sherfield from the skin.

The overall absolutely assured cash for Trent Williams, Juszczyk, Verrett, Mack and Ebukam alone comes out to $64.25 million, in line with OverTheCap.com. However these strikes, particularly the deal for Trent Williams, had been of the utmost significance. As many as six of these gamers might begin in 2021 and a seventh, Ebukam, figures to have a outstanding position.

Regardless of all of that work, the 49ers nonetheless have their share of wants as we head towards April’s NFL draft. This is what nonetheless must be addressed.


Free-agent bargains

After re-doing defensive finish Dee Ford’s contract, the Niners nonetheless have sufficient cap area to make strikes in free company. Among the many wants they nonetheless have are at slot receiver, extra depth on the offensive and defensive position and extra viable choices at cornerback. With the market slowing significantly, there are nonetheless some good offers available.

Vast receiver may stand out because the sneakiest huge want nonetheless on the roster following the departure of Kendrick Bourne to the New England Patriots. Whereas Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk are the projected starters, confirmed, wholesome depth isn’t plentiful. Samuel’s current harm historical past solely bolsters the concept the Niners ought to contemplate including a authentic receiver to the group. Free-agent choices have principally been picked over however the draft appears to have numerous Day 1 and a couple of choices who might turn out to be contributors early.

Even with Okay’Waun Williams and Verrett again, cornerback is probably going going to be an emphasis for the Niners. It is attainable a veteran corresponding to A.J. Bouye or Casey Hayward might match the invoice whereas including a veteran presence.

Or the 49ers might flip to the draft.

The 49ers are well-positioned with the No. 12 decide to draft one of many high three corners: Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley, Alabama’s Patrick Surtain or South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn. Nevertheless it’s price noting they have not used a first-round selection on a nook since 2002, so it would not be a shock if Day 2 and three introduced the wanted secondary assist.

The excellent news is, the Niners are free to do absolutely anything they need within the draft due to the strikes they’ve made in free company, which implies they are not pigeonholed into anybody place and will commerce up or down the board to get the participant they need.


What’s subsequent at QB?

Whereas Jimmy Garoppolo stays the odds-on favourite to open subsequent season at quarterback, the Niners had been anticipated to make a transfer or two to bolster the depth behind him, one thing that hasn’t occurred but.

The marketplace for veteran backups went quick and although the Niners had been reportedly in on Andy Dalton, he opted to go to the Chicago Bears the place he is anticipated to start out. Others, corresponding to Tyrod Taylor, Mitchell Trubisky, Jacoby Brissett and Ryan Fitzpatrick additionally signed elsewhere. Joe Flacco got here to San Francisco for a go to however left with no contract and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The alternatives are restricted, although a commerce for somebody corresponding to Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew stays an intriguing risk if the value is affordable.

A comparatively early transfer for a quarterback might nonetheless occur within the draft — whether or not that is sitting tight and choosing one within the first few rounds or transferring up within the first spherical for one of many high prospects. The Niners haven’t got a urgent sufficient want elsewhere that they must draft one other place first. If there’s a transfer to be made that might solidify the quarterback spot for the long run, it’s one thing they’ve to contemplate.

FRIDAY UPDATE: The 49ers have acquired the No. 3 decide in NFL draft from the Miami Dolphins.

Wagoner response: Daring swing at discovering a quarterback.


Extension for Warner

Whereas the 49ers nonetheless have a good quantity of cap area — a few of which will likely be directed towards their draft class — their subsequent huge piece of contract enterprise nonetheless looms.

Center linebacker Fred Warner is due an enormous contract extension that may make him among the many highest-paid inside linebackers within the recreation. Warner is a foundational piece for the Niners and protecting him is undoubtedly a precedence.

There is not any rush for such a deal to get completed now however a timeline much like final 12 months with tight finish George Kittle (who agreed to phrases the day earlier than pads got here on for coaching camp) is an affordable blueprint to comply with.

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