Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Why CBS Sports says the 49ers had the fourth-best offseason in the NFL

Jun 26, 2020 at 9:43 AM--

How do you think the San Francisco 49ers offseason has gone from a personnel perspective?

The team lost a few veteran leaders in defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, and offensive tackle Joe Staley. The first was traded away, so it wasn't the player's decision to leave. The second opted to sign with the New Orleans Saints in free agency. The third retired.

For any other team, these losses might have been significant. But the 49ers own a deep roster, an embarrassment of riches at certain positions. That helped the Kyle Shanahan-led squad reach the Super Bowl in year three of a massive roster overhaul.

As for the losses themselves, Shanahan and general manager John Lynch worked diligently to fill the voids. With the first two, they looked to the draft, using first-round picks to select defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The team found a replacement for its retired Pro Bowl offensive tackle by trading for another Pro Bowl offensive tackle in Trent Williams.

So, how do you think the offseason has gone? On paper, at least, the 49ers are in a position to at least be as good as last season. Of course, you never know in the NFL. Games aren't won on paper. Nor are they won in June.

CBS Sports was reasonably impressed with the 49ers' efforts this offseason. Writer Josh Edwards ranked San Francisco as having the fourth-best offseason among the 32 NFL teams. He placed the Niners behind only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (any team landing Tom Brady would have catapulted to No. 1 in the media's opinion), Arizona Cardinals, and Baltimore Ravens.

The Cardinals' position at No. 2 on the list has to do with the 49ers' division rival swindling the Houston Texans in a trade that landed wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and a perceived strong draft.

As for the 49ers, they rank so high because the team retained some of its own talent in defensive lineman Arik Armstead and safety Jimmie Ward, re-signing both to multi-year deals.

"Those moves made them realize that defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was a luxury," wrote Edwards, "so they shipped him to Indianapolis in exchange for a first-round pick. They made a series of budget signings to sustain a Super Bowl-caliber roster."

Add to that the previously mentioned acquisitions of Kinlaw, Aiyuk, and Williams, and you have the reason why San Francisco ranks above 28 other teams.

Edwards wonders, though, "Will this offseason's moves be enough to get Kyle Shanahan's team over the hump?"

We won't know the answer to that until February.

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