Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Spotrac predicts some key 49ers free agency comings and goings

Feb 20, 2021 at 10:56 AM--

What might things look like for the San Francisco 49ers after the first wave of free agency? Time will tell, but one possible scenario was laid forth by sports financial analysis website Spotrac earlier this week.

Spotrac operator Michael Ginnitti posted a long list of free agency projections on February 17, which included guesses for salaries and destinations of the top impending free agents across the NFL. Ginnitti included two 49ers among his guesses -- offensive tackle Trent Williams and cornerback Richard Sherman -- while also projecting three other free agents to wind up in San Francisco.

Ginnitti's projections on Williams and Sherman aren't big surprises, as he thinks Williams will re-sign with the 49ers while Sherman, as expected, will wind up elsewhere. Ginnitti put forth a projected signing figure of four years, $72 million for Williams, which would put him under contract until age 36.

"Williams can't be tagged by the Niners per the terms of his trade agreement, and though the age is seemingly a small concern, he missed all of 2019, and is showing no signs of decline just yet. He'll carry an $18M floor into the negotiating room," wrote Ginnitti.

As for Sherman, Ginnitti guesses the final destination will be the Green Bay Packers at a cost of $20 million over two years.

"While many franchises will look at the age (32) and immediately pass, there will be at least a few who see the value in Sherman finishing his career in their organization," wrote Ginnitti.

The three players Ginnitti guessed would choose the 49ers as their new team were six-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack of the Atlanta Falcons, wide receiver Breshad Perriman of the New York Jets, and defensive back Desmond King of the Tennessee Titans. Adding the 35-year-old Mack (6-4, 311) would make sense for the 49ers, considering he has played under head coach Kyle Shanahan in the past, is a native of California, and recently expressed enthusiasm over the possibility of playing for Shanahan once again. Ginnitti projects Mack would sign a one-year deal worth $5 million to return to the Golden State.

"Mack remains an above-average run blocker though he's lost a step in his mid-30s. His experience will be attractive to teams like SF, BAL, ARZ who struggled in this regard," wrote Ginnitti.

Perriman, 27, is coming off a season of 30 catches for 505 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games with the New York Jets. A 2015 first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, Perriman (6-1, 215) seemed to be in danger of becoming a bust after missing his first season due to injury but has resurrected his career since then, catching 82 passes for 1,490 yards and 11 touchdowns over the past three seasons with the Browns, Buccaneers, and Jets. He now could be set to cash in as a free agent, which Ginnitti projects will happen with the 49ers at the cost of $26 million over three years.

"Perriman comps nicely to who John Brown was before joining Buffalo in an expanded role. Teams looking for complementary wideouts could see him as a nice low buy fit," wrote Ginnitti.

Finally, there's King (5-10, 195), who had 189 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 17 passes defensed, and four interceptions in three-and-a-half seasons with the Chargers before being traded to the Titans for a sixth-round pick in November of 2020. King, 26, was a first-team All-Pro selection as a defensive back and a second-team All-Pro selection as a punt returner in 2018 and has experience from his time with the Chargers in a defensive system similar to the one implemented by former 49ers coordinator Robert Saleh. King hasn't reached All-Pro level since 2018 but would fill needs on defense and special teams for the 49ers, which Ginnitti projects to happen at $18 million over three years.

"King's had years that have popped off the page, but has seemingly been in decline the past two seasons, leaving his financial future a bit of a mystery. This lower price tag could attract decent teams looking to grab value from him," wrote Ginnitti.

Click here to take a look at the rest of Ginnitti's projections.

Free agency gets underway on March 17, at which time we'll get a chance to see how close those projections turn out to be. For now, it's an undeniably fun look at which players could wind up where in the weeks ahead, and how much they'll get paid when they get there.

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