When free agency hit this past March, the idea of playing for head coach Kyle Shanahan, who is one of the best young offensive minds in football, and general manager John Lynch, a former player and potential future Hall of Famer, was seen as a significant draw to free agents. It's the reason fullback Kyle Juszczyk turned down more money to play for the 49ers.

Now, San Francisco could be an even more attractive destination for available players looking to change teams. Not only do the 49ers have one of the most substantial salary cap surpluses in the league, but they also have a highly regarded quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo and players who will become free agents in 2018 are taking notice.

On Monday, former 49ers beat writer for KNBR and current podcaster, Kevin Jones, shared that he received a text from a wide receiver scheduled to hit free agency. That player asked him about San Francisco and praised Garoppolo.


It is important to note that Jones spent time with both the Cleveland Browns (2014-2015) as a team reporter and the Washington Redskins (2011) within their digital media group. It is likely that the player in question was a member of one of those two teams at the time.

It's also important to note that the Browns have no wide receivers scheduled to become free agents. However, Taylor Gabriel was on the Cleveland roster when Jones was there and played for then-offensive coordinator Shanahan that season (2014) and then last year in Atlanta. Terrelle Pryor, who was in Cleveland in 2015, is also scheduled to become a free agent. He joined Washington this season on a one-year contract.

Of course, all of that is just speculation. Another receiver scheduled to become a free agent who spent time with Jones' former employer is Charles Johnson. Or it could be a player from another team that Jones met while on the job.

The point is, with Garoppolo and Shanahan in place, players are taking notice of the 49ers. The team appears to be on track in its rebuild and will likely be a big draw in 2018. If you throw in the transformation of the 49ers offense with Garoppolo as the signal caller, it could make San Francisco an even more popular destination in March.

What did Jones tell the wide receiver, who called the city "San Fran" in the text? It was all good things. Lynch probably owes Jones a "thank you" for his early recruiting efforts.