Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


Top 5 Free Agents the 49ers Should Target

Bobby Horne
Jan 24, 2019 at 1:45 PM


Heading into 2019 the 49ers' top priority is to get better in all phases as I'm sure a repeat of 2018 is not something they want. The 2019 NFL free agency period is one of the first chances to do just that.

Relying on free agents to take your team to the next level, especially after a four-win season, is not a team's best option as proper drafting and development of younger players is what will ultimately help sustain success for a franchise. But you shouldn't underestimate the importance of what a few good free agent signings can do for a team.

They can bring in a veteran presence to an otherwise young team. The 49ers' own Richard Sherman is the perfect example of just that. They can show younger players how to be professionals in their day-to-day duties, helping along that development process.

As the start of the 2019 league year is on the horizon, let's take a look at the top five free agents who the 49ers should keep their eyes on.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports


1. DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys, EDGE:

A name that will likely be at the forefront of all free agent discussions. Lawrence will be the top name until proven otherwise. The 49ers' major weakness in the previous two seasons under head coach Kyle Shanahan has been the pass rush. It's been almost non-existent as they have finished in the bottom half of the league in sacks both years.

Lawrence would certainly change things in San Francisco and would do so in a hurry. Don't let the drop in sacks from 2017 to 2018 (14.5 to 10.5) fool you. Lawrence has been one of the very best pass rushers in the league over the last two seasons.


Now it's likely that Dallas will do everything it can to keep a player of this magnitude and sign him to a long-term deal. Nonetheless, with some other big names that it has to sign and Lawrence likely wanting top dollar it's certainly a possibility he tests free agency. As long as it's a possibility the 49ers should be doing their due diligence.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports


2. Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans, EDGE:

Clowney is another top name in the EDGE department who is scheduled to be a free agent. Clowney finished the 2018 season with nine sacks, making it the second year in a row he has hit that mark. He also put in his best year as a pro in 2018, according to Pro Football Focus.


Clowney will be entering his sixth season but is only 25 years old and has quite a bit of football left in the tank and could certainly change the face of the 49ers defensive line. The 49ers won't be able to take Clowney away easily though as the Texans will have the option to utilize the franchise tag on him if they see fit.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


3. Dee Ford, Kansas City Chiefs, EDGE:

Are you starting to see a trend here? The 49ers need EDGE help badly and will not only have to draft well in this department but will have to also likely hit on a free agent if they want to get to the next level.

The Chiefs' Dee Ford can be that guy. Ford finished the 2018 season with 13 sacks and put in a career year, according to Pro Football Focus.


He also was graded as the top pass rusher in the 2018 postseason with a 92.3. It seemed that it all just clicked for Ford in 2018. He was dominant throughout the year and would fit nicely into the 49ers' scheme.

The Chiefs can also utilize the franchise tag but with the recent firing of their defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, a new coordinator may not see him as a fit and the Chiefs could let him test free agency. If that happens, expect the 49ers to go all in.

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports


4. Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks, Safety:

The 49ers have been down this road before. An All-Pro 29-year-old defensive back coming off a season-ending injury on a contract year in which he has publicly shown his displeasure with his current team. Sound familiar? Richard Sherman was in that boat and so is Earl Thomas.

The 49ers needed CB help then (still do) and need safety help now after being decimated by injuries. Adding another All-Pro talent to the backfield just seems like a no brainer at this point.

Thomas is not going back to the Seahawks, this much we know, and his buddy Richard should be in his ear saying, "we play the Seahawks twice a year". He still is playing at a high level, is under 30 and won't be asking for top dollar.

This just makes too much sense and if you asked me to put money on who the 49ers will likely get from this list, I'd put it all on Thomas. Make it happen 49ers.

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports


5. Golden Tate, Philadelphia Eagles, WR:

The lone offensive player on this list, Tate has been one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL since he entered. Although the 49ers' true receiver need is on the outside, which isn't where Tate lines up. Tate's consistent play, veteran presence and ability to break tackles can't be overlooked.


Even playing for two different teams with different systems in 2018, Tate still managed to put up nearly 800 yards and four touchdowns while averaging over 10 yards per reception. In a Shanahan offense, I think those numbers could elevate by a large margin. He wouldn't be a long-term solution being that he is already 30 years old but he would fill the "Pierre Garçon" roll in a much better fashion for less money.

Tate should be on the 49ers' list, as Shanahan could work wonders with a consistent veteran receiver near the end of his career.

Honorable Mentions:

Dante Folwer Jr., Los Angeles Rams, EDGE
Ronald Darby, Philadelphia Eagles, CB
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Casserly believes Nick Bosa was snubbed from top 10 in NFL Top 100 list

By David Bonilla
Jul 30, 2020

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa is the highest-ranked defender following his rookie season in the history of the NFL Top 100 Players. NFL Media analyst Charley Casserly, however, believes the second-year defender and reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year should have been listed even higher than his No. 17 ranking. Five NFL.com analysts named their perceived biggest snubs from the NFL Top 100 Players of 2020's top 10. While Casserly notes that he feels those who ended up among the top-ranked were very deserving, he believes Bosa to be one of the 10 best players

Read the Full Article


PFF: 49ers' George Kittle should take tight end market to new heights

By David Bonilla
4 hrs ago

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan didn't offer an update on the status of George Kittle's contract extension. That is, other than saying the team continues to work diligently with the tight end's camp and is optimistic that a deal will get done. "We don't have to say how important George is to us, and not only [him] being the best tight end, to me, in the league but also the type of person he is," Shanahan said during a 30-minute-long video press conference on Monday. "We're doing everything we can to get that done. I do feel good about it." There is no doubt that whatever deal results from the negotiations will be the largest ever for a tight end, perhaps shattering the current market value for the position by a

Read the Full Article


Joey Bosa suggests 49ers should start saving money for Nick Bosa's future contract

By David Bonilla
3 hrs ago

Joey Bosa and the Los Angeles Chargers came to terms on a five-year extension worth up to $135 million. The deal includes $102 million in guaranteed money. That's a new record for a defensive player, surpassing Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns. Bosa's $27 million average annual salary makes him football's highest-paid defender, according to Spotrac. Bosa is excited and grateful to have the deal done. The defender doesn't, however, expect the record amount to stand for very long. Instead, he believes it has merely helped reset the market in the right direction. Bosa even hinted that maybe the San Francisco 49ers should start saving up for a few years down the road

Read the Full Article

Featured

More Featured Stories

More by Bobby Horne

All Articles by Bobby Horne

More Articles

All Articles
Share 49erswebzone