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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Graziano: 49ers have ‘at least some interest’ in Chase Young returning

Mar 3, 2024 at 3:36 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers made a significant move when they traded a third-round pick to the Washington Commanders to acquire defensive end Chase Young, aiming to bolster their pass rush in pursuit of a championship. However, last month, the Kansas City Chiefs dashed their Super Bowl aspirations, and Young is one of several 49ers defensive linemen set to become unrestricted free agents.

Despite the return on investment falling short of expectations, the 49ers can envision retaining Young for their 2024 roster.

"The 49ers have at least some interest in bringing back edge rusher Chase Young, who was a bit of a disappointment for them after their deadline deal to acquire him from Washington but is still just 24 and has a great relationship with star 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa," ESPN's Dan Graziano reported on Sunday.

However, this hinges on what Young would accept to remain alongside Bosa. Despite his performance, the pass rusher has a lot of upside, and teams may be willing to gamble on him, potentially offering more than San Francisco is prepared to pay.

While Young reached opposing quarterbacks 1.5 times in his first two games after the trade to the 49ers, he finished his regular-season run with the team with just 2.5 sacks, compared to the five sacks credited to him while with Washington before the trade. Young did not record a sack in the playoffs until the Super Bowl.

According to Pro Football Focus, Bosa led the NFL with 122 pressures and a 21.8 win percentage, including the playoffs, while Young tallied 74 pressures with a 14.7 win percentage.

There is a chance that Young's market may be weaker than the defender hopes, potentially leading him to accept a prove-it deal with an NFL team. Remaining with Bosa for another season and continuing to work with highly-regarded defensive line coach Kris Kocurek could work to his benefit.

Graziano concluded, "Young might end up having to take a one-year prove-it deal, be it from San Francisco or someone else, but there are enough teams still intrigued by the 2020 No. 2 overall pick's potential."

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