49ers Free Agency Fight
San Francisco 49ers General Manager, John Lynch made the trip to Indianapolis to scout the players at the combine. The Niners first pick in the 2022 NFL draft doesn't come until the end of round two with the 61st overall selection. This is due to the Niners trading 3 first round picks to the Miami Dolphins which ultimately landed what the 49ers hope to be their starting QB for the next 10 - 15 years in Trey Lance. So unless Lynch wants to mortgage more of the future for the here and now, San Fran won't be getting a top notch prospect. But that doesn't mean they won't draft well and get the players Lynch and company desire! Let's not forget that Deebo Samuel was a 2nd round pick in 2018 and he's turned into one of the best players in football. Not just a wide receiver, but overall football player.
courtesy of Niner Noise
John Lynch is an interesting fellow and when it comes to his draft process, it gets even more interesting. Lynch spoke at the combine and stated he gets more out of the interview process than watching someone run or lift weights. Lynch enjoys talking to these prospects and getting the feel of their passion toward the game and how far they are willing to go to get the ultimate prize. And I understand that because a player can be big, fast and strong but if they don't give it their all on every single snap then that great player may cease from ever becoming a Hall of Fame type player. That's what Lynch looks for and with the players he's drafted like Deebo and Bosa, the proof is in the uniform.
courtesy of ClutchPoints
While Lynch is scouting, he's also looking for ways to improve his team in free agency and/or trades. It's no secret the 49ers biggest weakness is their secondary. The defensive backs in San Fran have been covered up by great pass rushing by the Niners defensive line. In my opinion, that has to be the focus this off-season. The 49ers best cover corner is Jason Verrett who was injured in 2021 and is now and unrestricted free agent. The Niners would love to keep him provided he can stay healthy.
They have a quarterback, well two right now. They got play makers at WR and TE. A very solid offensive line anchored by Trent Williams who is probably the best LT in the game. Provided they can keep Laken Tomlinson and Tom Compton then the O-Line will be fully intact, especially if Mike McGlinchey comes back to the team healthy. We all know how dominant the defensive line is with Bosa and Armstead. One guy they need to sign back is one of the Niners unsung heroes on that D-Line, D.J. Jones. The Gold Rush has great linebackers with Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, two young studs.
The San Francisco 49ers are one of a handful of teams that are a player or two away as they have been a play or two away from winning multiple Super Bowls in the last 4 seasons. The big play we remember when the Niners played the Chiefs for the championship in 2019, is Patrick Mahomes taking a 15 step drop to launch the football down field that hung up in the air for an eternity on a 3rd and very long! What happens? Tyreek Hill catches the game changing play with no Niners jerseys in sight. This past season Jaquiski Tartt dropped the potential game winning interception thrown by Matthew Stafford right in between the numbers. Had he intercepted that ball the 49ers would likely have gone to 2 Super Bowls in just 4 seasons. Just like the Chiefs in 2019, the Rams escaped defeat from the 49ers and won the Super Bowl.
This team is too good and too well coached to allow these things to happen again. I only gave you two examples but when you watch the Niners secondary you can see it time and time again. The Niners have 7 unrestricted free agents at CB and Safety. The bigger names you know are Jason Verrett, K'Waun Williams, Dontae Johnson, Josh Norman and Jaquiski Tartt. You can bet San Fran will be looking for the best corners and safeties in the draft but also free agents.
courtesy of CBS Boston
The San Francisco 49ers are a team players want to go to because they're Super Bowl contenders. With that in mind, I believe there's a few free agents out there that would be happy to sign a contract in San Francisco. The first two names that come to mind are former New England Patriots. J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore was the 2019 defensive player of the year. Just like J.C. Jackson right now, Gilmore wanted more money from the Patriots and they weren't willing to give it to him. So Gilmore was traded to the Carolina Panthers and unfortunatley got injured early in the season. If he comes back 100% then the Niners would be blessed to get him or Jackson.
I also think about another excellent young cover corner in Carlton Davis who is now a free agent out of Tampa Bay. If the Bucs don't franchise Davis then the 49ers will be calling his agent. There are some other good cornerbacks out there like Darious Williams and Casey Hayward Jr. that could help out this team.
It's not just cornerbacks that the Niners are looking for. The team also needs to solidify the safety position. Right off the bat I'd say the 49ers should go and get Marcus Williams from the Saints. Williams has quietly been one of the best safties in the NFL for the past few seasons. He'd be number one on the list and if that doesn't work the Niners should pursue the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu. Will Kansas City let him walk? If they do he should run towards San Francisco! I also like Jessie Bates III and it doesn't look like he'll be back with the AFC champion Bengals as they have money tied up with other players on the roster.
courtesy of Who Dat Dish
I will personally consider this off season a failure if John Lynch can't sign at least one of these players to help the 49ers make another title run. The 49ers have a lot of avergae players in the secondary. It's been this way for quite some time. In a passing league, in a division with Stafford, Murray and Russell Wilson and receivers like Cooper Kupp, DeAndre Hopkins and D.K. Metcalf, the 49ers absolutely MUST make improvements to their secondary as priority number one other than getting Trey Lance ready to roll.