This is pivotal offseason for the San Francisco 49ers. After getting oh so close to a Super Bowl berth last season, they’re one of the NFC’s top contenders heading into 2022. In fact, they’ve got +1300 odds to win the next Super Bowl—only four teams have a better shot.
With an outlook like that, they really need to nail the offseason, starting with free agency.
San Francisco 49ers free agency preview
Positional needs: OL, CB, S
The Niners could lose a pair of Pro Bowlers on the offensive line, with center Alex Mack potentially retiring and guard Laken Tomlinson ticketed for free agency. That would not be beneficial for Trey Lance’s turn at the helm. In the secondary, safety Jaquiski Tartt as well as cornerbacks Jason Verrett and K’Waun Williams, are all pending free agents. The defensive backs weren’t as much of a liability last season as many predicted, but the 49ers could still stand to make some upgrades back there.
Players to target
Laken Tomlinson, G
The best free agents are usually your own players. Tomlinson’s been a stud in the middle of the Niners’ o-line. His presence allows head coach Kyle Shanahan to lean on a creative running game that keeps defenses guessing. Even at 30, Tomlinson’s just too good to let walk.
Justin Reid, S
A speedy playmaker who can close off the field with his sideline-to-sideline speed, he had 66 tackles and two interceptions last season. It’s fair to say he might have been one of the few highlights for the Texans. He could use a change of scenery, and he’s the kind of player who could put the 49ers defense over the top.
Stefon Gilmore, CB
Gilmore grades out well, even if he didn’t make headlines last season. Injuries sapped his 2021 season, but he’s still got the bona fides of a five-time Pro Bowler and the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year. He’d be a huge upgrade in the secondary.