Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


Two ex-49ers in ESPN’s top 20 list of available free agents

Mar 23, 2017 at 9:33 AM--


ESPN senior writer John Clayton went through the site's original list of the top 150 free agent ranking and listed the top 20 players who are still available. Two players within the updated list were with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. They are quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sits at the number 8 spot, and Gerald Hodges, who sits at the number 13 spot.

"Whether it's politics or his mechanics as a quarterback, Kaepernick is finding a cold reception in free agency. Like [Jay] Cutler, he could have to wait for a call until after the draft."

According to 49ers general manager John Lynch, an NFL team came close to signing Kaepernick in the opening days of free agency. "He was, in everyone's mind in the league, close to signing a deal with a team at a really good number and it fell through, apparently," Lynch said during an interview on KNBR last week.

Many within the media have opinions on why there has been a "cold reception" for Kaepernick. Some place the blame on his diminished play over the past few seasons while others feel that his protest of the national anthem during the 2016 season hurt his market value.

Although, Kaepernick's numbers last season were not terrible despite only starting 11 games. In 2016, he completed 59.2-percent of his passes for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four interceptions through 11 games.

"Hodges did well in the 49ers' 3-4 defense -- 80 tackles last season -- but they are shifting to a 4-3. Hodges has expressed interest in returning to the Vikings, the team that drafted him in the fourth round in 2013."

In 2016, Hodges played in 15 games, starting 12, and set career highs in tackles (83), sacks (3), and interceptions (2) despite playing on a 49ers defense that ranked last in the league in multiple categories.

There have been no reports of the 49ers attempting to re-sign either player and the team seemed perfectly content with allowing them to hit free agency.



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