49ers 2020 UFAs & Possible Targets

The Niners don't figure to get any compensatory picks in 2020, but depending on how this season goes, we might be in line for some in 2021. For the list shown below, the requirement is that the player be a UFA after this season. After all this, I'll take a look at some top free agents the Niners might consider if they hit the market in 2020.

1. LT Joe Staley
As far as we know, Staley should be a Niner in 2020 if he doesn't retire. His performance this year will be a big determinant on what he does in 2020 I imagine. As he said, if he can still play, he will. I'd like to keep our two bookend OTs as long as we can. It's the inside that's been the bigger issue.

2. DE Arik Armstead
It's very hard to imagine the team bringing back AA no matter how good he does this season. The better he does, the better the comp pick could be. Although he was actually decent last year, he is no doubt a better fit in a 3-4 because he lacks the closing athleticism to finish plays. Guys like Thomas, Street, and Blair all have superior athletic traits as well as the inside/outside versatility. Not to mention Jullian Taylor, if he makes a jump, might very well prove to be just as effective in the future, at a fraction of the cost.

3. CB Jason Verrett
Verrett really was a high quality signing for many reasons. First off, he heightens the competition. Witherspoon knows his seat is already mega hot with Moore right on his heels and the addition of Tim Harris in the draft. Now, if Verrett does pan out, we either will re-sign him and have two Pro Bowl CBs on the roster, or he gets picked up in free agency and we get another boost to our potential compensatory pick haul. Re-signing him would be ideal, because the development of other players could allow us to move Moore back to FS where he belongs, but that's another topic...

4. DE Ronald Blair
Blair has done a solid job overall and is a very high quality rotational player who, for all we know, may still not have reached his peak. Coming off a 5.5 sack season (and let's be honest, these were much more earned than Marsh's "QB fell in front of me" sacks), I can only imagine what kind of boost that would do for a defense that already has Bosa and Ford at the edge. I expect the team would want him back, but the downside if Blair improves is, that would make him a borderline starter on many teams, and he may want to test free agency for a chance to start elsewhere. Of course, if that happens, I think he'd fetch a deal decent enough to again gain us some ground for a comp pick.

5. S Jimmie Ward
Like many others, I have no idea how Ward is still here. One injury? Okay, bad luck. Two? Maybe just really unlucky? Three -- okay that's a trend. But FOUR season ending injuries? The guy isn't built to last in the NFL and you look extra stupid putting your trust in a player like that to be of any significant value to your team. Ward still being here jeopardizes opportunities for other more deserving, young talent to get the reps they need. I really don't get the love fest for Jimmie, who seems to have an infinite number of chances no matter how bad he plays and how often he gets hurt. It's ridiculous. I feel almost certain if Moore was competing at safety, the combination of he and Colbert might be able to push Ward out, but as it stands, the best case scenario is that through this off-season, we've found some gems that can push Ward off the roster for good.

6. NT Sheldon Day
I don't know if Day will be able to show enough to stay in 2020, but I'm sure another team will pick him up as a valuable depth player. While he is a scrappy talent, I don't think it would be terribly difficult to find a similar player in the draft or in free agency to backup D.J. Jones at NT.

7. OG Joshua Garnett
It seems Garnett will have every opportunity to prove he deserves to stay, but it's up to him to earn it. In limited action, he showed he was talented enough, but I don't think he's had the reps to settle in and really convince the team of his value. I don't know what it is, but something just seems off about Garnett and I just get the sense that while the coaches know he has ability, there is some underlying mistrust or borderline displeasure with him. It's like the co-worker who you know the boss hates, but doesn't have a good enough reason to fire yet. That's how it seems with Garnett. Barring a dramatic turnaround, I don't see him coming back in 2020, and he might be the most likely player to get traded out of anyone if they can find a taker AND have a viable option to replace him with.

8. LB Malcolm Smith

SMith's value comes via his versatility to play any linebacker spot on the team, but he's never been close to the player he was in his one great season as a rotational starter in Seattle. He's the definition of a one-year wonder, but he does have an advantage due to his experience. Seems like a good bet to make the team, but after drafting Dre Greenlaw the clock is ticking, and I don't expect him to return in 2020.

9. OT Shonn Coleman
Coleman's only real competition at swing tackle is Vanderbilt rookie, Justin Skule, and Coleman will have the edge in system knowledge entering training camp. His chances of being re-signed depend on three things: #1, his performance in pre-season. #2, Skule's play in pre-season. And #3, whether or not Staley retires after the 2019 season. Going out on a limb, I think he is brought back to at least go through one more training camp to compete with whoever else we acquire in 2020.

10. K Robbie Gould
Gould isn't coming back period, and as I've said before, I won't even be shocked if he pulls a Le'Veon Bell and sits out all of 2019. It's whatever at this point. Whether it's now or later, Gould will net us a pick -- compensatory or otherwise.

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Quick Recap:

STAYING:
Joe Staley
Jason Verrett
Ronald Blair
Shonn Coleman

LEAVING:
Robbie Gould
Arik Armstead
Jimmie Ward
Sheldon Day
Joshua Garnett
Malcolm Smith


FIVE POSSIBLE 2020 TARGETS:

* CB Chris Harris (Denver) - If none of our corners show up outside of Sherman, the team will be force to invest again in this position.

* LB Bobby Wagner (Seattle) - Still an elite player, and one that Seattle may not be able to keep.

* OG Brandon Scherff (Washington) - Our interior badly needs an upgrade. Scherff is a nasty OL who might want to test FA.

* WR AJ Green (Cincinnati) - Shanahan never seems opposed to adding offensive weapons. Could Green go west?

* OT Bryan Bulaga (Green Bay) - If Staley retired, we could move McG to LT and have Bulaga play RT.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on May 14, 2019 at 2:31 PM ]
  • Giedi
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I'm thinking we'll be getting some draft picks for trades possibliy involving BeatHard or one or two of the WR's. That should give us some draft capital for more trades as well as more abiliy to move up in the draft or possibly just make the pick at whatever the round the pick falls in.

We'll see what happens this year, but my gut tells me Cornerback, OLine, and possibly linebacker are spots we'd take a shot at in free agency.
Nice thread. I think Staley retires . Blair is one guy I really like that has performed much better than many high draft picks but does not get enough snaps.

And we should have invested much more in DBs. Hopefully Verrett and Moore show us something
I'd throw Byron Jones in there. Can play both FS and CB at a high level
No to Bulaga. He is the Jimmie Ward of OL.
Originally posted by Hoovtrain:
I'd throw Byron Jones in there. Can play both FS and CB at a high level

I thought about putting him in there as well but had a feeling Dallas wouldn't let him go. Then again, they may not have a choice considering their have horrible cap issues and there's no way they can keep everyone.

I'd be all for snagging Jones if we could.
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Originally posted by Hoovtrain:
I'd throw Byron Jones in there. Can play both FS and CB at a high level

I thought about putting him in there as well but had a feeling Dallas wouldn't let him go. Then again, they may not have a choice considering their have horrible cap issues and there's no way they can keep everyone.

I'd be all for snagging Jones if we could.

Yeah I hope he gets squeezed out.
Nice list btw
Gimme Byron Jones!! Proved he's not just a combine warrior and is a legit player.
Originally posted by gold49digger:
Gimme Byron Jones!! Proved he's not just a combine warrior and is a legit player.

Hopefully cowboys suck this season and we can get him at the deadline or something
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