Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
Free agency has pretty much come and gone. There are still some players out there that are misplaced, and we will continue to get some news as long as we have football to watch this season. The 49ers, for the most part, seem to be done with free agency and are looking forward to the draft later this month.
The biggest move the 49ers made this offseason was signing defensive end Arik Armstead to a five-year contract extension. However, it was not without a sacrifice as John Lynch and company traded defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Colts for the 13th overall pick in the upcoming draft. As painful as it was seeing Buckner leave, the 49ers are in a prime situation right now to draft either CeeDee Lamb from Oklahoma or Jerry Jeudy from Alabama. With the offense stalling a few times last season and the fact the 49ers do not have two top solid wide receivers, taking a hit on a stellar defense to boost the offense is a win.
Buckner wasn’t the only starter the 49ers lost as Emmanuel Sanders signed with the Saints on a two-year deal worth $16 million dollars. The 49ers had limited cap space, which likely led to Sanders leaving. They also released offensive guard Mike Person, which freed up almost $3 million more in cap space. The 49ers also said their goodbyes to defensive tackle Sheldon Day and linebacker Elijah Lee.
Jimmie Ward has been the brunt of a lot of jokes and a lot of frustration for the Faithful since joining the 49ers back in 2014. But Ward played lights-out last season and they awarded a three-year contract instead of letting him walk. If we continue to get the Ward of 2019 instead of the Ward the five years previous, then this will prove to be a good deal. Time will tell and it all depends on which Ward shows up.
The 49ers also signed Ben Garland, who filled in for injured center Weston Richburg, to a one-year deal. They gave second-round tender contracts to both Kendrick Bourne and Matt Breida. Since no one is likely to give up their second-round pick to either it’s safe to say they will be in Red and Gold uniforms heading into training camp.
The 49ers also brought back offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill on a one-year deal. Brunskill filled in for the 49ers all over the line and proved his worth time and time again. Brunskill was signed from the now defuncted Alliance of American Football league. Maybe there is a place for a minor league football, (come on, XFL). Tight end Ross Dwelley, cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, quarterback Nick Mullens, and running back Jeff Wilson all were signed to one-year deals.
The Faithful may still get a shot at seeing Jerick McKinnon in uniform as he restructured his deal to stay with the Red and Gold. They’ve paid him a lot so far, so they might as well see if the investment can still pay off.
The 49ers did sign former Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin to a one-year deal, but I doubt he makes it to September in a 49ers’ uniform.
The 49ers will have the majority of their starters back from last year’s Super Bowl team, and anytime you can do that is a win. They are also set up nicely to grab one of the top wide receivers in the upcoming draft. Kyle Shanahan loves his weapons and is probably licking his chops.
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