There are 137 users in the forums

Roster Analysis Part III: Free Agency Discussion

We've talked plenty about whom among our current roster are key players of the future, but what about guys that are here with contracts set to expire? Or guys not here with contracts set to expire? At the mid-season point of a year gone wrong with a team-crippling injury to Jimmy (Packers, Raiders, Colts, Texans, and Broncos fans can certainly relate), we are left looking forward to the off-season where we can focus on the glaring holes we've previously discussed. Holes that became far more evident after Jimmy's unfortunate move from the active roster to the IR Pit of Misery where fellow projected starter, Jerick McKinnon, was there waiting for him.

So let's take a look at what we've got to work with, and then later look at the pool we may have a chance to dip into for 2019. We will yet again have around $100 million in spending money. The expectation that we will be heavy spenders means no compensatory picks for 2020, which in turn means it makes little sense to let anyone go that is willing to stay and that the team wants to keep. So who's on that 2019 49ers FA Class? (see below)

2019 49ers Free Agents

UFAs
K Robbie Gould - this is a clear no-brainer. He's been fantastic since coming on, and has absolutely earned his next deal.

DB Jimmie Ward - Has never been able to stay healthy, and inconsistent when he is healthy. However, we could do a lot worse and the coaches love him. Would not be shocked if he's brought back on a bargain deal.

OG Mike Person - Has done a good job run blocking, up-and-down pass blocking. The younger Garnett is behind him but it's hard to say how the team feels about either player long term. The team is very high on Erik Magnuson who wouldn't have to worry about snapping the ball if he switched to guard. Something tells me EM is in line to start in 2020 at RG after blocking quite well any time he's had a chance to be on the field so far for the team.

LS Kyle Neslon - No reason to believe that he won't be re-signed. Snaps well and will be cheap.

LB Mark Nzeocha - Special teams guy but these are a dime a dozen. Not expecting him to return.

RB Alfred Morris - Is serving his rotational role well, but the emergence of Mostert makes him expendable going forward.

QB Tom Savage - No need for a 3rd QB once Jimmy G returns.

S Antone Exum - Has played well in reserve duty, but the team has Harris waiting in the wings. Possibly could be retained for competition but he may have a better chance elsewhere.

P Bradley Pinion - The Niners said it was an open competition last off-season between him and Locke. It really was no competition because Locke was horrendous. Not sure there there's anyone much better that will be available in free agency, but the team doesn't seem content with Pinion for whatever reason.


RFA/ERFAs
OLB Elijah Lee (ERFA) - Virtually guaranteed to be locked up on this one year deal. Plays STs and has been a key depth player.

RB Raheem Moster (RFA) - Another guaranteed tender in my opinion. STs star who is showing skill as a runner now.

DB Tyviss Powell (RFA) - 50/50 if he's retained. Feel like we could do so much better.


Noteworthy 2019 UFAs at 49ers Top Positions of Need (LEO DE, SAM LB, CB, S, WR, OG)

LEO DE:
Jadeveon Clowney
Dante Fowler, Jr.
Terrell Suggs
Dee Ford
Ezekiel Ansah
Cameron Wake
Brandon Graham
Demarcus Lawrence
Trey Flowers
Frank Clark
Clay Matthews
Markus Golden

SAM LB:
Shaquill Barrett
Shane Ray
KJ Wright
Anthony Barr
Thomas Davis
Mychal Kendricks

WR:
Chris Conley
Josh Gordon
Devin Funchess
Martavis Bryant
Mike Wallace
Kelvin Benjamin
Quincy Enunwa
Tyrell Williams
Golden Tate
John Brown
Randall Cobb
Donte Moncrief

CB:
Bradley Roby
Ronald Darby
Bashaud Breeland
Justin Coleman
Jason McCourty
Kareem Jackson
Morris Claiborne
Brent Grimes
Rashaan Melvin
Bryce Callahan

Safety:
Lamarcus Joyner
Earl Thomas
Tyrann Mathieu
Mike Adams
Eric Reid
Ha-ha Clinton Dix
Landon Collins
Tre Boston
Kenny Vaccaro
George Iloka
Brynden Trawick

OG:
Rodger Saffold
Mike Iupati
Andy Levitre
James Carpenter
Ramon Foster
Ben Garland
Chance Warmack
Matt Slauson
DJ Fluker
Quinton Spain
Shaun Lauvao
Jermon Bushrod
Earl Watford
AJ Cann
Brian Schwenke
Mitch Morse


Projected Roster at the start of free agency & after expected re-signings:


QB - Garoppolo, Beathard, Mullens
RB - McKinnon, Breida, Mostert, Juice
WR - Garcon, Goodwin, Pettis, James, Bourne, Taylor
TE - Kittle, Celek, Dwelley
OL - Staley, Tomlinson, Richburg, Magnuson, Garnett, McGlinchey, Gilliam, Coleman

DT - Buckner, Armstead, Mitchell, Day, Thomas, Taylor, Jones
DE - Blair, Marsh, Watson, Street
LB - Foster, Smith, Lee, Warner
CB - Sherman, Moore, Witherspoon, Reed, Williams
S - Ward, Tartt, Harris, Exum
K - Gould
LS - Nelson
P - (empty)

So now that you've had a chance to look at what might be out there and what the roster shell will look like, barring any pre-FA released players, who would you go after? In bold, I've marked one player in each position group who, in my opinion, are the most reasonable for us to pursue.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Oct 31, 2018 at 3:27 PM ]
agreed.
If a superstar becomes available, do not be afraid to overpay for elite talent. This is the only thing I am concerned about.

I would love to have Trey Flowers. I haven't watched the other guys enough to have an opinion on them...

I agree, they need about 4 or 5 free agent signings. Keep Jimmie Ward if he keeps playing well at free safety, otherwise cut him. Keep Person, draft another G late if you have to. OL seems okay.
Minus improvement at G (though Person has played fairly well this year) and WR (need a major upgrade over Garcon), the expected first team offense is pretty great, IMO. They obviously need to improve the depth for if (when) all our starters are put on IR in Week 2 2019, but the starters on paper are pretty solid for 9/11 positions. (One of the backup needs this offseason may be for a LT prospect that can eventually replace Staley, but they may kick that can down the road to the 2020 draft since other needs are so prominent).

Defense is a totally different story. They need new starters at LEO, CB and S. I'd like to see them swing big on CB and S free agents. Assuming they will be in a position to draft Bosa they can be a little more measured at LEO in free agency. However, if they are drafting 2-5 they should aim higher on LEO free agents even if they plan to draft one of the non-Bosa LEO prospects.

A DB starting group of Sherman, Dix, Coleman and Tartt/Colbert (hopefully healthy and improved) with Bosa/mid-range vet free agent LEO would completely flip the defensive performance in 2019. They will still need some depth at LB and should also keep trying different young DBs because those vets won't be around forever, but this particular fantasy roster of starters I just outlined should win. If they actually acquire them (or similar players) and stay healthy enough to actually be on the field.
[ Edited by captveg on Oct 31, 2018 at 1:46 PM ]
Originally posted by Ensatsu:
If a superstar becomes available, do not be afraid to overpay for elite talent. This is the only thing I am concerned about.

I would love to have Trey Flowers. I haven't watched the other guys enough to have an opinion on them...

I agree, they need about 4 or 5 free agent signings. Keep Jimmie Ward if he keeps playing well at free safety, otherwise cut him. Keep Person, draft another G late if you have to. OL seems okay.
Why? They overpay for crappy talent so I don't see why they wouldn't overpay for great talent.

And we don't have one free agent worth retaining except Person. You can let all them guys walk

Garcon? He needs to be released. Resigning Ward makes no sense to me.

I like Flowers not sure how great of apss rusher he really is but solid player. I'd prefer Clowney or Dee Ford. Would like Tyrell Williams too.
Originally posted by lamontb:
Why? They overpay for crappy talent so I don't see why they wouldn't overpay for great talent.

And we don't have one free agent worth retaining except Person. You can let all them guys walk

Garcon? He needs to be released. Resigning Ward makes no sense to me.

I like Flowers not sure how great of apss rusher he really is but solid player. I'd prefer Clowney or Dee Ford. Would like Tyrell Williams too.

what is the option at FS if Ward released.

Colbert is ranked as the worst FS in the league. Yes, I pretty much gave up on him already. This scheme doesn't work at all if you don't have a single high.

I'm okay with going after Earl Thomas, but I don't think its realistic.
Originally posted by lamontb:
Why? They overpay for crappy talent so I don't see why they wouldn't overpay for great talent.

And we don't have one free agent worth retaining except Person. You can let all them guys walk

Garcon? He needs to be released. Resigning Ward makes no sense to me.

I like Flowers not sure how great of apss rusher he really is but solid player. I'd prefer Clowney or Dee Ford. Would like Tyrell Williams too.

As much as I want Ford there is zero chance KC let's him leave without a monster new deal. They need all the defensive help they can get and they have a super bowl caliber team. Then.. There's us.. Clowney maybe but still dunno how likely that would be.

I am not the biggest fan of Ward but the staff seems infatuated with him for some reason. All signs point to them wanting him back at the right price.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Oct 31, 2018 at 1:57 PM ]
I would prefer to sign Clowney, Graham, or Lawrence. Odds are though, these guys are getting new deals or tagged. So I am not getting my hopes up, only to be let down.
Excellent post OTC!

IMO, it boils down to draft position.

If we get Bosa the strategy changes somewhat.

I think Ford, Clowney and Lawrence will never happen yet we still need another ER. Keeping Solly and Solomon on the inside would be tough on offenses. Add to that we have a good rotation there/

HaHa would be an excellent pick-up.

I'd like us to get Staley's eventual replacement - if it's McG than get his replacement.

I'd still like a big WR to add to the mix.

IMO, Celek hasn't done much to stand out and replacing him would be an upgrade.
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
I am not the biggest fan of Ward but the staff seems infatuated with him for some reason. All signs point to them wanting him back at the right price.

This is a two way street of course - I get the feeling Ward would rather seek prospects elsewhere and not really consider returning to SF if he has better options open up. It may not even be about the money, but about the yo-yo between CB and S.

If we were to bring him back at a much more reasonable salary I'd like to see them commit 100% to keeping him at S.

My guess is wherever he ends up he'll be signed as a S only.

Originally posted by Ensatsu:
Originally posted by lamontb:
Why? They overpay for crappy talent so I don't see why they wouldn't overpay for great talent.

And we don't have one free agent worth retaining except Person. You can let all them guys walk

Garcon? He needs to be released. Resigning Ward makes no sense to me.

I like Flowers not sure how great of apss rusher he really is but solid player. I'd prefer Clowney or Dee Ford. Would like Tyrell Williams too.

what is the option at FS if Ward released.

Colbert is ranked as the worst FS in the league. Yes, I pretty much gave up on him already. This scheme doesn't work at all if you don't have a single high.

I'm okay with going after Earl Thomas, but I don't think its realistic.

Draft or FA. Yea I think Earl coming off another major injury and at his age makes him a pass.
Nice write up and FA choices. Between FA and the draft there should be some very good options at LEO/SAM
Originally posted by lamontb:
Yea I think Earl coming off another major injury and at his age makes him a pass.

I'd take him on a Sherman prove-it deal only.
He's had an injury plagued season but I see Martin Mayhew convincing Lynch to go after Ansah.
Originally posted by SFrush:
He's had an injury plagued season but I see Martin Mayhew convincing Lynch to go after Ansah.

He'd look great on our IR.

This team needs to go hard after Earl Thomas. Dude was playing at an all-pro level before he got hurt. He shows zero signs of slowing down. Dude is an alpha male on the field. This team is missing those.
[ Edited by Heroism on Oct 31, 2018 at 3:04 PM ]
Share 49erswebzone