What are the 49ers Biggest Needs as Free Agency Ramps Up?
Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
We learned many things this week as free agency started. The 49ers were not going after Tom Brady, despite the fact a lot of “talking heads” wanted to make you think they were. The 49ers were able to keep Arik Armstead and sign him to a long-term deal. However, the signing was not without its casualties as offensive line disrupter DeForest Buckner was traded to the Colts.
But who is left for the 49ers over the next week or two? They cut right guard Mike Person and signed former Jets guard Tom Compton. They tendered Kendrick Bourne and Matt Breida and restructured Jerick McKinnon’s contract, keeping him on the roster for at least 2020. Along with Armstead, Jimmie Ward was given a new contract. They currently have 19 of the starting 22 from last year’s Super Bowl on roster as we speak.
We heard the 49ers were going after free agent Austin Hooper before he ultimately signed with the Cleveland Browns. Hooper spent his rookie season under then-Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan during his rookie season. The 49ers are looking for someone to run alongside George Kittle and Hooper was their first choice. With him off the table, will the 49ers bring in Tyler Eifert or former 49ers legend Delaine Walker?
Probably the biggest name yet to fall from last year’s Super Bowl team is Emmanuel Sanders. There has not been any word yet on if the 49ers are bringing Sanders back. He has expressed interest in coming back to the Bay Area but is also leaving his options open.
The 49ers have freed up some cap space with restructured contracts, back-loading Armstead’s deal, and their trades and cuts. And even though they are not in cap hell, they do not have a ton of room to spend so I would not expect a major deal from the Red and Gold this offseason. And with the fact you can make the argument they were less than 10 minutes and a botched third-and-15 away from a Super Bowl victory, there isn’t too much that the 49ers need.
The Buckner trade gave them 13th overall pick in the upcoming draft. Add that to the 31st they originally had and the 49ers have the capability to do some damage next month.
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