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Silver: 49ers seek starting safety, explored Joey Bosa options

Mar 14, 2024 at 4:47 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers have been active in the first week of free agency, but their work isn't done yet. After narrowly missing out on a Super Bowl victory last season, the team knows it owns a championship-caliber roster and believes a few strategic adjustments could make all the difference.

According to Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle, the 49ers looked into strengthening their defensive backfield on Thursday, aiming to secure a potential starting safety and possibly a cornerback.

"With the safety market somewhat oversaturated, the Niners might be able to land a big name such as Justin Simmons (four times a second-team All-Pro during his Denver career) or a less decorated player such as the Commanders' Kam Curl or the Colts' Julian Blackmon," Silver wrote.

The journalist adds that safety Talanoa Hufanga, who earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2022, isn't assured of reclaiming his starting job. The 24-year-old is coming off a torn ACL that prematurely ended his 2023 campaign. Rookie Ji'Ayir Brown was thrust into the starting lineup following the injury, and the other starting safety, Tashaun Gipson, is a free agent. Gipson, by the way, considered retiring last offseason before re-joining the 49ers on a one-year deal.

Silver also mentioned that the 49ers explored adding a high-profile player like Joey Bosa, potentially bookending him with his brother, Nick, to fortify the defensive line.

"However, on Thursday, Joey — like teammate Khalil Mack the previous day — restructured his deal to remain in L.A., ending the 49ers' dream of making opposing quarterbacks the pastrami inside a Bosa sandwich," Silver noted.

In addition to addressing the defensive needs, San Francisco looked into acquiring a tight end to complement All-Pro George Kittle, who has carried much of the offensive workload during his tenure with the team. The 49ers also hope to improve their sometimes underperforming offensive line.

The defensive line has undergone significant changes, with the departures of Arik Armstead, Clelin Ferrell, Javon Kinlaw, and, very likely, Chase Young. To fill the gaps, San Francisco reached an agreement with Leonard Floyd, signed Jordan Elliott and Yetur Gross-Matos, and traded for Maliek Collins.

The team's roster remains a work in progress, with the 49ers aiming to add more talent through free agency and the upcoming draft. As other NFC teams strive to catch up to the 49ers, head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are committed to maintaining their competitive edge and avoiding falling behind.
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