Updated list of free agents the 49ers may target

AFC defensive back Aqib Talib (21), of the Denver Broncos, warms up before the NFL Pro Bowl football game Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. The AFC won 24-23. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Last week, I listed five players I think the 49ers would try to target in free agency if available.

I’m adding a name and bumping it to No. 2 on the list: Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib.

The Broncos probably will release Talib soon, according to Pro Football Talk. Talib turns 32 in February and is scheduled to earn $12 million in 2018.

Talib still is one of the top corners in the NFL, and is a perfect fit for the 49ers’ defensive scheme under Robert Saleh.

Do you think the 49ers should get Talib? Why or why not?

This article has 154 Comments

    1. Talib certainly fits Saleh’s defense in terms of skill set. Big, physical, aggressive CB who can play on an island. I don’t think he fits in terms of character. He’s entering the twilight of his career as well.

      That said, if the 49ers can sign him at a reasonable price, I’d consider it.

      1. I live in Denver and he regularly draws ire from the fans here because of his childish tantrums on the field. He’s a solid player but much of the talk this season surrounds the lack of veteran leadership on the Denver defense including Talib. All the things you say about his skill set are true. I agree on your character assessment.

  1. The answer to this question totally depends on the 49ers draft strategy. If they target a CB with their #1 or #2 pick then signing Talib is unnecessary. If they go with any other position at the top of the draft then signing Talib would make sense. I don’t follow the FA market enough to know if there is a longer term answer available. I hear people throwing out Kyle Fuller’s name so that may be an option. I think Talib is better but Fuller is younger.

      1. On how to shoot yourself in the leg…or get multiple run-ins with police…or maybe how to get in a fight with your new teammate at your rookie symposium?

  2. Didn’t we just trade away a headache corner with an attitude who had a knack for penalties? Granted he may be a very good corner, but i’d rather get a corner that fits the current locker room mentality and draft an eventually replacement.

  3. What chance that Shanalynch sign Talib? How about zero percent? OTOH, Talib seems the right type to shore up the Bengals’ backfield right behind Burfict….

  4. Not on my life…your life, sure, but not mine. The guy has a “Legal problems and incidents” section on his wikipedia page…that right there should tell you to stay clear…and its not for on field stuff, its for things that get you 4 game suspensions (or more).


  5. Living in the Chicago area and having to watch the Bears every week , I’m not that impressed with Fuller. Yes he makes many good plays but he also has more than his share of bone headed plays. I wouldn’t break the bank for him

  6. I don’t think they will go after any player who has anger issues and can’t control himself on the field. The 49ers are building a team of high character, players who hold themselves accountable and can lead by example.

    1. Exactly, George. Plus they don’t want to fork out huge chunks of money on a 32 year old player who is near the end of his career and whos skills soon will start to decline.

  7. I agree with the comments about Talib not being a fit for the locker room. In addition to having attitude and issues, the guy is old while the spirit of the team has a lot to do with being young and having fun. I think that is why so many 49ers like the team and want to continue to be a part of it.

    Josh Jackson and, maybe, Minka Fitzpatrick should be available in the draft. Trumain Johnson would be a better free agent fit. No need to even think about Talib.

  8. Yes on a one year maybe 2 year contract. No more then 8 mil per year and if so it would be under insetives. 5 mill guarantee for each year. His 32 and we’ll on a decline

    1. Skip Taleb altogether. He’s definitely not worth the trouble. Unless the 49ers want to pay big for Tremaine Johnson or Malcolm Butler, the list of 2nd tier cornerbacks is not very impressive. I think that they would be better off drafting a corner on day 2 of the draft and another one on day 3. If the 49ers are looking for an experienced cornerback, he is already on the roster. Jimmy Ward.

      1. I totally agree with u. Finally someone who’s thinking like I am. Jimmy Ward is the best option at corner. Why try to keep him at safety when we have Tart, and Colbert there at safety. Move Jimmy back to corner and the problem is solved and as was said draft a corner on day 2 and day 3 of the draft.

  9. Talib is a volatile personality, but he’s been fine when he’s in a strong locker room in NE and Den. Can’t deny the talent and I would be fine with the 9ers going after him if they felt he could be a fit. You can’t decide to steer clear of all players who are sometimes hard to deal with. You need a mix of personalities and intensity to be successful.

      1. He is still a high caliber player and if the money is right and the team thinks he’s a valuable addition, I’m good with it. The character concerns don’t bother me and I don’t want a locker room full of choir boys anyway. Guys like this are good because they have an edge and that edge can be valuable in taking a team to the next level.

        1. Guys like this also start to lose said edge around his around edge. And like I have said, Talib is most likely going to want to go where he feels like he can win another Super Bowl ring.

        2. That “edge” is also responsible for a lot of dumb personal foul penalties because he is not very good at anger management.

  10. No please the 49ers deserve young talents that get from draft or udfa and develope these youngsters into rising stars and not overpay for old vets! Theres a lot of youngbucks with star talents and lots of potential so my FAITHFULL 49ERS DONT NEED TO OVERPAY FOR THESE HIGH PRICED OG’S. JUST NEED TO GET EVERYTHING WE NEED TO DEVELOPE FROM UDFA AND 2018 DRAFT ALL DAY EVERYTHING!

  11. I have some reservations as others here do. The eye poking thing was disturbing. Lynch’s connections to the Broncos suggest he’d know what he was getting into if he pursued Talib, so there’s that.

  12. Expensive big name old and on the decline, pretty much the opposite of Bill Walsh’s philosophy. He’ll be a brilliant addition to your madden franchise grant, id sign him if i were you.

  13. “Do you think the 49ers should get Talib? Why or why not?”

    Yes, because Adam Peters will vouch for him.
    No, because Adam Peters will not vouch for him.

    1. Two of those teams have potential salary cap issues. I also do not see the 49ers making a play for him or Talib wanting to come here.

      1. I absolutely see Talib wanting to come here. Why wouldn’t he? He gets to come to a very up in coming team. Would start opposite of Witherspoon. Still gets paid. He would be an excellent addition. The only question is what John Lynch and Adam Peters think of him. That’s the main hold up. If they believe he would be a good fit then it’s a no brainer. He fits the mold of a big corner. He also brings an edge to him that’s needed on any defense. How big of an idiot he is only those two guys would know. He still a good corner. Only 2 years left on his contract. This would be smarter then paying Johnson or Butler big money. Gives the team the flexibility to not go corner in the first 2 rnds. I would like the move.

        1. “Gives the team the flexibility to not go corner in the first 2 rnds.”

          That’s a good point. It took a while for Witherspoon to see the field. The same could happen with a rookie this year. Talib could teach Witherspoon and the rookie all the tricks of the trade.

        2. How Rebuild? He is on the wrong side of 30 and will probably be wanting to sign with a team he knows will compete for a Super Bowl. While the arrow is trending upwards for the 49ers, I doubt it is high enough to convince Talib that the 49ers are a Super Bowl contender. Then there is the likelihood that he will be the most expensive option at the CB position in free agency.

          1. The Niners are a Super Bowl contender now with JG. Just like the Jags and Rams were this year. You add 4-5 players in free agency and have a nice draft they have as good of a chance as anyone in winning it. Things change very quickly in the nfl…

            1. The fact that you said 4-5 players need to be added in free agency asserts the fact that the 49ers are not a Super Bowl contender yet.

              1. Mid,

                If you agree that we could make the playoffs, then why wouldn’t a potential FA feel the same way and perhaps feel like his signing with the team could put them over the top?

              2. Not one that is getting up there in age and has already tasted what it feels like to win the Super Bowl.

              3. They have 120 mil in cap space. They will add 4-5 high quality free agents this off season. Similar to what the Eagles did. Except the Niners have a ton of drafts(A top 10 pick)…. Niners have a franchise changer at QB… there a contender..

            2. I agree Rebuild, as I watched these playoff games from Wild Card Weekend on I kept thinking none of these teams scares me. I believe we could stay on the field with any of them.

              1. Absolutely Steve. Niners are a contender now. There is no question about that. Look know further then the Eagles, Jags…

          2. “While the arrow is trending upwards for the 49ers, I doubt it is high enough to convince Talib that the 49ers are a Super Bowl contender.”

            Talib would join a defense that has budding stars like Buckner, Foster, Colbert, and Witherspoon. A defense that has solid players in Tartt, Williams, and Thomas. And possibly Ansah. Garoppolo changed everything. The interior OL will be addressed. Garcon will be back. All this and we still have the draft. We are Super Bowl contenders this year.

              1. Can’t read too much into that then because he may not be worth signing or is trying to get his current team to shell out money to him.

  14. I think Talib would be a good addition if the 49ers had an established winning culture and work ethic. Talib needs that to keep him in check. But they don’t have that yet. So I would stay away from him.

  15. We are going to address cb, edge, and og in free agency… Last year we addressed our needs so that we could draft the best player available. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I just hope we sign Malcom Butler or trumaine Johnson not talib. And better yet draft Denzel ward or the big boy from Michigan

  16. To what extent can his success be attributed o a stout front 7 in Denver and healthy pass rush? We can skip Talib in my opinion. Also, my theory of trading back with Pitt, Buf or NO is picking up steam.

    Watch for it.

    Go Niners.

      1. Yea, I wouldn’t want Talib anywhere near Foster in the locker room. You need to have some “bad boys” in there, but you’ve got to be careful with how many….

        1. Exactly. Guys with an edge are great to have, but you need to have the right locker room around them to make it work. This is mostly a young team with few established veterans. Not the right mix just yet.

            1. They stuck together in part because they traded away the guys that were a potential locker room problem (Robinson and, I hate to say it, Bowman).

              1. I don’t think Bowman was a locker room problem, but I get what you are saying. I think this team grew up a lot during that losing streak and both the young guys and vets alike are stronger mentally for it. It would all come down to how ShanaLynch viewed him fitting in, and they know the guys in charge of the last two teams he’s played for very well so they could make an educated decision.

  17. Wow i’ve never seen so many new names in such a short period of time. Welcome aboard. I vote against Talib also too many Character issues. Grant are you going to defend your choice?

    1. Sherman (if he’s cut and available) would be a far better choice than Talib but I doubt it’s the best use of the FA money. Sherman was a receiver in college before moving to CB, and he understands receivers’ tendencies better than most corners (ask Crabtree :). Additionally, he spends a lot of time studying film. He could teach Spoon a thi9ng or two on ball skills.

  18. Grant,

    How about an analysis and grades for last year’s Free Agent pickups. We had some misses, but also some decent hits. I believe you analyzed last year’s draft but haven’t seen anything on last year’s free agents. Maybe I missed it.

  19. Talib’s a luxury pick. A player you sign if you’re one player away. The 49ers need to stay the course, signing young players who can grow together.

    Bill Walsh drafted rookie DB’s, Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright and Carlton Williamson, “The Hammer,” in ’80, who knocked Lynn Swann and John Stallworth out of the same game in Pittsburgh (Bradshaw at QB) on their way to a win and another win over the Cowboys (“The Catch) in the NFC Championship game, ultimately winning the SuperBowl. Rookie DB’s can be a factor.

    But it was the Fred Dean signing (elite pass rusher) that bought those rookies time to grow up during that season. Don’t sign Talib. If anything, spend the money on a pass rusher while drafting rookie DB’s.


  20. * “In 2017, the 49ers ranked 26th in the NFL in that (sack) category with 30.

    Sound familiar? It should. Since 2012, when Aldon Smith had a franchise-record 19.5 sacks, the 49ers have collected the fourth-fewest sacks in the NFL (165). In addition, they are the only team to not have a player post at least nine sacks in a season over the past five seasons.”

  21. I’m no Talib expert, but considering his age, talent and baggage he’d be an ideal “win now” addition for a team that thinks its just a player away from a super bowl run.

    I don’t see the 49ers as being a player away. The way I see the 49ers making a super bowl run is…
    – Near perfect injury rates
    – Great draft and free agency filling key spots at OL(2) and Edge … and CB not counting Talib
    – Amrstead and Garnett have breakout seasons

    1. Yep, agree Brodie. As much as I want to believe (the new X-files may be influencing my vernacular…) the reality is this is still a mostly young team with quite a few holes. While I expect them to be competitive next season and definitely are a chance of making a playoff push, it would be quite surprising to see the team make a run at a SB as soon as next season. And I think most FAs will feel the same way – an up and coming team but not quite there yet.

    2. B2W

      Good post Brodie….We’re close…but no cigar just yet…I expect us (with a quality Draft and FA) to be at least a playoff or wild card team…maybe a win or two in post season…depends on injuries…Give me Minka AND Ward…

  22. Post-Senior Bowl 1st-Round Mock
    January 27, 2018 at 9:13 PM • 15 comments
    By Alex Pedregon

    9 or 10) San Francisco 49ers – Tremaine Edmunds, LB – Virginia TechI believe that Derwin James is a strong possibility here as well, but Edmunds seems especially well-suited for Robert Saleh’s defense. At 6’4″, 250ish, he is a faster, more athletic version of Seattle’s K.J. Wright, who himself is a high-impact, do-everything Will LB. Edmunds has the rare skill-set of being able to shut down the run, rush the passer and cover tight-ends/backs. Paired with Reuben Foster, he would be a key building block for a young but improving defense.

    11) Miami Dolphins – Derwin James, S – Florida St.
    Though safety isn’t a critical need for the Dolphins, This would be a pure BPA pick.


    1. Brodie,

      What do you think of 49er Webzone’s, Pedregon, mocking Tremaine Edmunds to us ?

      I’ve seen video and he’s an incredible athlete, sideline to sideline and really shoots the gaps well.
      What I haven’t seen is enough video of him shedding blocks—a good LB coach could teach him that though.

      1. Heard alot about Edmunds but I have yet to study players. Any opinion I express about a player’s ability at this point is internet echo chamber stuff.

        Once the dust settles (after the first week of free agency?) I’ll dive into game breakdowns. A good 100 snaps of any draft crush. 60 snaps of other players I’m interested in.

        How it sounds at this early stage? Seems like the 49ers ongoing curse is to have BPA at non key positions like CB, Edge, or OT with their top pick. Or the CB and Edge have off field or injury concerns (Marcus Peters, Marshon Lattimore).

        Will the 49er brass still be too snake bit by Aldon Smith and Baalke’s frailty brigade to gamble a high pick on a talented player with an off field or injury history? Like Arden Key?

      1. TomD

        Thanks for the heads-up on Nathan Shepherd…on the strength of your link, I am adopting him to my first draft…again thanks

    1. Maybe Shepherd could be our LEO and Next Reggie White. Seems to have good pass rushing skills and White’s size at 6’4″, 310 LBS.

  23. As we have seen the past few years, a team can make a huge jump to contending status very quickly. If JG is the franchise guy he appeared to be, that automatically makes this team a playoff contender next season. With the cap space they have they can get 2-3 starters from FA and if Talib fits the structure the Niners favor, he’d be a good addition. The days of wait until next year don’t exist anymore, at least not when you have a QB, money and draft picks to work with.

    1. Rocket,

      Lots of diamonds in the rough this season. Shepherd of Fort Hays State turned heads at the Senior Bowl, destroying the North’s offensive line.

      He has speed, power and technique. As you state, a solid draft combined with savvy free agent acquisitions could vault the 49ers into a week one playoff bye !!!

    2. I take your point and it is a good one – things can definitely change in a hurry these days. But I still think most FAs will look at the 49ers as probably being a year or two away from being real SB contenders. Good destination for a guy coming into his second contract that can help be part of the foundation. Not necessarily super attractive for a guy on the downswing of his career that wants to go to a team that is SB ready (unless all they care about is the money).

      1. They can become quite good in a hurry Tom if they do it the right way. They are in a great position now that they have a QB.

      2. Could be Scooter, but the better teams usually don’t have a great amount of cap space compared to teams like the Niners, and money usually wins out over going to an established winning team for less. I don’t expect Talib to be a 49er; just pointing out that I see how it could work for him and the Niners.

        I am by no means saying I believe the Niners will win the SB next year, but we saw how much better this team looked with competent QB play. With the addition of good players in key areas, they could make some noise next year and I think players know that.

  24. Talib would make sense if the Niners were a Super bowl bound team AND they had some strong, good character, Pro Bowl quality vets on Defense, which the Niners do not have at this point.

  25. Been watching some tape on Lorenzo Carter, Edge, Georgia. Looks good, got some length to him and frame to put on some bulk. Might be an ascending talent on the edge in Saleh’s 4-3….

  26. Hard not to like him or want him. He is light years better than anyone the Niners have right now. He would help.. But I have a feeling someone will throw some money at him this March.

  27. I’d get Aquib just so he can get sick on Crabtree when we play the raiders LoL. But really is take Sherman over Talib

    1. According to this report 3 GMs said they wouldn’t trade for him because they believe he will likely be released. They didn’t say they wouldn’t sign him.

      1. Glad you caught that Scooter. SMH.

        I’m not sure there is a GM in the league who wouldn’t sign a Pro Bowl CB if the price was right. Trading for a guy everyone knows is almost certainly going to be released is an entirely different deal.

        Talib, despite the perceived headache he is, is very well liked by his teammates and highly respected around the NFL. Why? He’s a heck of a cornerback, that’s why!

        1. I think the point went right over your head. If Talib was the corner you make him out to be people would be falling over themselves to offer a trade. The fact that gms wont go that route should tell you the whole story.

          He carries a cap hit of about 12.5 million in his final year of the contract with the Broncos. With the salary cap nearing 180 million that is a reasonable price for a top teir corner.

          The reason most teams wont “trade” for him or “sign” him is because he is a headache and he doesn’t fit in to any long term plans turnig 32 years old soon.

          He will sign with a contender and thats about it.

          1. I think the move is a strong sign the Broncos intend to go after Cousins, Smith, or one of the other QBs in free agency.

    1. If he is held in such high regard by the 49ers (let alone the other teams), then why all the discussion of bringing a coach onboard to mentor and help Reuben Foster? Why isn’t Ryans the logical choice, especially since he was a linebacker?

      Maybe he is the choice and we just haven’t been informed yet.

  28. I love what I see on tape from Edmunds. Didn’t know much about him until about 3 weeks ago. He is a freak. 6’5 250 and can play all 3 LB positions. Fast, powerful kid. 19 years old… If I was to make an educated guess Nelson and Edmunds are very high on SFs list. This kid is good.

    1. Nelson
    2. Edmunds
    3. Jackson
    4. Smith
    5. Ward

    * Now these are potential players that could get to 9/10… Subject to change if someone unexpectedly drops like Barkley…

  29. My current Draftmas wish list:

    1. Nelson LG
    2. Mata’afa Leo
    3. Warner WLB
    3. Cappa OT
    4. Ballage RB
    5. Yiadom CB
    6. Shepherd DT

  30. For all Talib’s skills, he’s also been a problem child wherever he’s been. He also plays right on the edge of dirty…is that the kind of vet CB you’d put alongside Witherspoon? I don’t think so. There are several younger vet CB’s I’d look at…Kyle Fuller, Trumaine Johnson, Malcom Butler & Beshaud Breeland. The Niners have a great locker room now…why bring in Talib. There are better options available, period.

    1. Just happy Shepherd made 49er fan’s draft list. I see some talent there, obviously others (including scouts) do to….Just hope he hasn’t been bumped up by his freak show vs. the North’s entire offensive line when they lined him up a D-Tackle and D-end (plays both positions) !

      1. Lots of fans forget Pierce Holt of Angelo State.

        Some said, “Angelo State, where the hell is that? and hell no he won’t go.”

        Well, Angelo State U is a DII college in West Texas…..With clever drafting the current 49ers could come up with another player like Holt and TomD has spotted one in Shepherd.

        Holt ended up with 2 SuperBowl rings as the 49er starting defensive end.
        He earned 1 Pro Bowl and 1 All Pro incidentally.

  31. Would everyone here want DeMarcus Lawrence? He’s had some injuries and only had one great season, but having one of the best pass rushing defensive ends in the NFL makes the 49ers an instant contender. Corners are a little easier to find in the draft.

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