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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

49ers GM John Lynch on Jalen Ramsey: ‘He’s one heck of a football player’

Sep 20, 2019 at 9:11 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers have nearly $21 million in cap space right now, according to OverTheCap.com. So, obviously, when the news broke that the Jacksonville Jaguars might be willing to trade their frustrated All-Pro cornerback, Jalen Ramsey, fans started clamoring for the 49ers to make a move.

That is always the case, and not just with the Niner Faithful. Thirty other fanbases were likely pleading for their teams to make a move for the game-changing defender.

Now, the 49ers aren't in as bad of shape at cornerback as once believed. Richard Sherman looks healthy and is playing like Richard Sherman. On top of that, Ahkello Witherspoon might be the defense's best cornerback right now. Through the first two weeks of the season, he was tied for the NFL's fourth-highest graded cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus.

Sure, it's a small sample size, but it's a nice start for the third-year cornerback who had an up and down season in 2018.

There is also no doubt that, despite the play of Sherman and Witherspoon, the addition of Ramsey would improve the No. 14 ranked defense against the pass. Of course, a report from NBC Sports Bay Area stated that San Francisco is not interested. Or more precisely, it may be interested, but it isn't in play for Ramsey. Much of that probably has to do with the asking price. The Jaguars are believed to want a first-round pick and then some in exchange for Ramsey.

Another part of that is probably money. Right now, you're probably saying, "But you said the 49ers are nearly $21 million under the cap."

More on that in a minute.

General manager John Lynch joined KNBR on Thursday and was asked why the 49ers are reportedly uninterested in Ramsey. Lynch had to be careful, though. Ramsey is still on another NFL roster, and he doesn't want to get fined for discussing the 49ers' potential interest or the lack thereof. At the time, the disgruntled cornerback was suited up and getting ready to play against the Tennessee Titans.

"By rules, we're not supposed to be talking about other players (on other NFL rosters)," Lynch said on the "Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks" show. "I can tell you though, he's one heck of a football player. Any time you look into these situations, and a guy like that becomes available, of course you're interested. It's how does it fit in on your team, and you're also doing a lot of planning, looking forward. There's a bunch of things that go [into it]."

The "how does it fit in your team" part could mean scheme-wise or even personality-wise. The current 49ers regime will always look to upgrade the roster if the move makes sense but will avoid a player if it thinks he will become a disruption (also referred to as the Antonio Brown rule).

The "you're also doing a lot of planning" part comes back to the earlier-discussed salary cap space. Although $21 million may seem like a lot of money, and the 49ers can certainly fit a big contract extension for Ramsey within their budget, they also have money earmarked for key players currently on the roster.

DeForest Buckner is likely to soon become one of the highest-paid defensive linemen in the game. The 49ers have some time before George Kittle's representatives try to break the bank and make him the highest-paid tight end in the game, but that has to be on their minds, too.

Plus, the team would like to be able to have money available for future upgrades.

Added Lynch: "Of course you would love to add a guy like [Ramsey] to your team, but we'll see where that goes."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.


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