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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


2021 49ers Free Agency: Who’s In? Who’s Out?

May 10, 2020 at 11:00 AM0


With the recent schedule release for the 2020 NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers revenge tour officially begins. While the schedule will certainly present its fair share of challenging matchups and adversity throughout the season, the odds of the 49ers once again claiming NFC supremacy remain high with a formidable roster intact. It's safe to say, after a bitter Super Bowl defeat, that the team has loftier goals beyond just the NFC.

While the 49ers may be slightly less talented considering their offseason departures, reinforcements are in place to make another deep playoff run. More than half the players on the roster are in the final year of their contracts (potentially 34 to be exact). However the season ends for the 49ers, the future is now.

Here are the initial rankings:

UFA - Unrestricted free agent
RFA - Restricted free agent
ERFA - Exclusive-rights free agent
CO - Club option

34 - CB Jalen 'Teez' Tabor (RFA)
Tabor missed 2019, and was in and out of the practice squad. Let's just say Tabor's goal is to dress on game days for special teams, if he makes the team. That's a big if.

33 - TE Daniel Helm (ERFA)
When you're fifth on the depth chart behind Kittle, Dwelley, Celek, and Toilolo, it's hard to see the field. Much like Tabor, his goal is to make any roster.

32 - S Derrick Kindred (UFA)
Signed in January, Kindred has two picks, and 148 tackles on his resume. The 49ers secondary has plenty of bodies, but there are worse options than Kindred. More than likely a Practice Squad player.

31 - OT Leonard Wester (UFA)
Wester has dressed for 27 games, yet started one. He's the quintessential definition of a rotational player on the O-Line. His fate will be determined during the preseason, if not sooner.

30 - QB C.J. Beathard (UFA)
Beathard endured a difficult season off the field, while not stepping foot on it. If there is to be another Garoppolo injury, the gap between Mullens and Beathard is large. As of now, he is a Lynch/Shanahan draft miss.

29 - C Jake Brendel (UFA)
Brendel started three games in 2018 for Miami before Baltimore cut him last December. His upside is his position: center. Behind Richburg and Garland isn't necessarily the worse scenario to be in for his prospects for the season.

28 - DT Willie Henry (UFA)
Henry's rookie year in 2017 with Baltimore definitely opened some eyes, but injuries have hit him. Considering the departures of DeForest Buckner and Sheldon Day, Henry, at the very least, will be considered distant D-Line depth.

27 - LB Joe Walker (UFA)
Starting 11 games for Arizona last season, Walker can fill in admirably, if needed. Nzeocha and Al-Shaair lead the backers in special team reps, but Walker's experience is a big plus.

26 - DT Kevin Givens (ERFA)
Givens has the ability with his quickness, but hasn't been given a consistent playing opportunity. Should be in the mix for D-Line depth, probably a situational-type player.

25 - OT Tom Compton (UFA)
Compton was primarily signed for his experience. He'll serve as the main back up on the offensive line interior voided by Mike Person. His effectiveness is inconsistent at best.

24 - RB Jeff Wilson (RFA)
When given an opportunity, Wilson has proved to be dynamic in limited touches. The problem is the 49ers have backs galore, but McKinnon's uncertainty and Brieda's departure should increase his touches.

23 - WR Trent Taylor (UFA)
Taylor showed promise his rookie season as a slot receiver, but injuries and Bourne's emergence have limited his progress. He'll battle Jalen Hurd for 4th receiver repetitions.

22 - S Marcell Harris (RFA)
A memorable highlight of last season on D was Harris causing and recovering a fumble against Lamar Jackson. After starting four games, a solid backup for Ward and Tartt if need be.

21 - WR/KR Travis Benjamin (UFA)
Benjamin's value will be determined on punt returns, with already four career TDs, but look for him to contribute on specialty and gimmick plays considering how much Shanahan loves speed on offense.

20 - DT Kerry Hyder (UFA)
Hyder is a situational-type player, likely playing on 3rd downs. Not sure where he ranks on the defensive tackle pecking order, but Shanahan looks to favor experience over upside if there's an injury or ineffective play. That helps Hyder's roster chances.

19 - OT Shon Coleman (UFA)
Coleman was in line to be the 49ers swing tackle, but an ACL tear during preseason wiped out his year. He started all 16 games in his second year with Cleveland. You would think he gets the benefit of the doubt to make the roster.

18 - TE Ross Dwelley (RFA)
Statistics can be hard to come by when you're stuck behind Kittle, but Dwelley held his own with limited opportunities. His strength is blocking which is crucial in the 49ers run-heavy offense. Definitely a capable backup.

17 - DE Ronald Blair (UFA)
Blair has the skills to be a quality edge rusher with his playmaking ability. A torn ACL shut down his season last year, but he's usually on the field during crunch time. The team trusts him, but coming off a major injury is concerning.

16 - C Ben Garland (UFA)
Garland more than held his own at center, taking over for Richburg while starting the final six games. A good backup with experience and versatility.

15 - CB Ahkello Witherspoon (UFA)
Witherspoon has shown flashes of being a good player with his unique size and speed, but his inconsistency has now slated him behind Emmanuel Moseley as a starter. Because John Lynch called him out, it's safe to say his future with the team rests on his production in 2020.

14 - QB Nick Mullens (RFA)
Mullens is not as polished as Garoppolo, but as he showed in 2018, he can play and at a far more reasonable rate. He's firmly etched as the number two QB distancing himself against Beathard. Perhaps how the 49ers season ends will determine his fate with the team.

13 - OT Daniel Brunskill (ERFA)
Brunskill's versatility was definitely on notice last season, filling in at tackle and guard for seven starts. Starting at right guard, he's the ideal fit in the 49ers run-first offense, but O-Line competition is nipping at his heels.

12 - RB Jerick McKinnon (UFA)
After signing a free-agent deal three years ago, McKinnon has yet to see the field for the 49ers due to ACL and knee issues. Raheem Mostert is now the man in the backfield with Coleman getting his touches as well, but McKinnon can provide some punch. John Lynch says he's cautiously optimistic about his status for 2020. "Cautiously" being the operative word.

11 - DT D.J. Jones (UFA)
An ankle injury cut short Jones's season as his presence was definitely missed during the Super Bowl. An excellent interior run stuffer, Jones has very good athleticism, which is rare for a player his size. He and Arik Armstead anchor the middle of the D-Line.

10 - K Robbie Gould (CO)
Last season was weird for Gould. He missed nine total kicks, but was steady enough to make his final 16. Kickers are a dime a dozen, and Gould is getting long in the tooth, but he is as reliable as they come. Maybe his final season.

9 - CB Emmanuel Moseley (ERFA)
After taking over for Witherspoon in midseason playing corner opposite Richard Sherman, Moseley never looked back. Although his production didn't raise any eyebrows, his tackling and aggressive play didn't stray. Expect more interceptions this season.

8 - CB K'Waun Williams (UFA)
Williams deserves a raise for his play last season, posting a sack, two picks and four forced fumbles from the nickel corner slot. Hard to say if the 49ers will pay him, but some team will.

7 - RB Tevin Coleman (UFA)
Coleman's touches per game are limited, but he can still be a playmaker or have a good game, which was evident against Minnesota in the playoffs. With McKinnon and Wilson in the fold behind Mostert, Coleman will have a big role, but his value will be determined week-to-week.

6 - WR Kendrick Bourne (UFA)
Bourne made big strides last season, establishing himself as a precise route runner and notable red zone threat. He begins as the third receiver, and another good season can result in a payday. Bourne could be expendable considering position depth.

5- SS Jaquisky Tartt (UFA)
With 42 starts in his career, Tartt is a safety who occasionally misses tackles, but his durability is a plus and his athleticism helps him play aggressively. Safeties are at a league premium, so he'll receive a contract somewhere next season.

4 - FB Kyle Juszczyk (UFA)
Juszczyk is considered the best fullback in the league because of his toughness, versatility, and elite blocking in Shanahan's system are invaluable. Run first teams will definitely be interested in his services after 2020.

3 - CB Richard Sherman (UFA)
Sherman may have lost a step in terms of speed, but that didn't stop him from having an All-Pro season. His leadership skills, instincts, and intelligence are all excellent. Sherman is still a commodity, but at what price?

2 - OT Trent Williams (UFA)
Despite sitting out last season, Williams is a seven-time All-Pro replacing Joe Staley at left tackle. He plays at a high level in both run blocking and pass protection. There will be plenty of suitors for Williams after the season, but John Lynch has said he wants him back.

1 - TE George Kittle (UFA)
Let's save the suspense. Kittle isn't going anywhere. His blocking, playmaking, and athleticism make him the best tight end in the league with an already impressive resume. His next contract will reset the market for the position for years to come.
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.


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