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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Why Field Yates doesn’t believe the 49ers need significant offseason changes

Apr 1, 2024 at 10:24 AM--

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Some fans may look at last season's outcome and think that the San Francisco 49ers require a substantial boost to defeat a team like the Kansas City Chiefs and finally win the Super Bowl. However, an objective observer would recognize just how close the 49ers came to emerging as champions. It took overtime and some brilliance from Patrick Mahomes to disappoint The Faithful again.

ESPN's Field Yates believes the 49ers have what it takes to make another Super Bowl run without the need for sweeping changes. The foundation is already in place.

Yates emphasizes that pass-rush depth will be crucial in 2024. San Francisco made efforts to bolster this area by signing Leonard Floyd and Yetur Gross-Matos to complement Nick Bosa.

Additionally, offensive line depth could prove essential. While the 49ers didn't address this position group in free agency, they could strengthen their trenches through the draft. Many anticipate the team using the No. 31 overall pick to add an offensive lineman.

In a recent conversation with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, Yates made it clear that he believes the 49ers are one of a select few NFL teams that are already talented enough to contend.

"Maybe rather than like massive dramatic changes, you just got to get back up off the mat and keep swinging for another 225 days or whatever it is from the start of training camp until the end of the NFL season," Yates said. "Because, I mean, how much different are we talking about this? If they end up with the football in their hands on the final drive of the Super Bowl and not the other way around?"

Floyd has been the most significant offseason signing, with no other move generating substantial headlines. However, perhaps additional significant moves weren't necessary, assuming contract negotiations with Brandon Aiyuk go well, and the team uncovers talent in the draft.

"There's not like wholesale changes needed," Yates continued. "They've got an impossible-to-defend offense. They've got a defense that, you know, we'll see what happens with the coordinator spot, but they've got to, I would say, get back to playing 49er-level football, and this team will be easily one of the, I don't know, two or three favorites going into next year."

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the 49ers are already the betting favorite to win the next Super Bowl, owning slightly better odds than last season's champions, the Chiefs.

Yates added, "It's just a grind. It's taxing, and those big critical moments either sort of define you or they prove to be the moments in which you realize that you're not quite made for it. I think the team is made for it. You've been in the Super Bowl twice in four years. It's a game of inches."
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