49ers agree to terms with DL Kemoko Turay

The 49ers continue to add depth to their defensive line.

Mike Garofolo of NFL Network reported Thursday that San Francisco agreed to terms with former Colts defensive end Kemoko Turay.

The report comes just over a week after Turay had a free agency visit with the 49ers.

A second-round selection of Indianapolis in 2018, injuries have limited Turay to only 38 games during his first four seasons. When healthy, Turay has been productive, finishing with four sacks in 14 games as a rookie and a career-high 5.5 sacks in 13 games a season ago.

With the addition of Turay, San Francisco now has 14 defensive linemen on the roster and 11 who can make a strong case for being on the roster.

San Francisco typically carries ten defensive linemen on the final 53-man roster, so who might be the odd man out?

The first name that comes to mind is Samson Ebukam.

After bouncing between linebacker and defensive end during his time with Los Angeles, Ebukam was able to focus only on improving at one position. As a result, the 2021 free-agent addition came on strong over the second half of the season.

The 49ers are up against the salary cap, and moving on from Ebukam for a player with a similar skill set would save San Francisco $6.5 million in cap space.

Another option is San Francisco opening an extra roster spot by going with only two quarterbacks, Trey Lance and Nate Sudfeld. Kyle Shanahan has done this in the past, and the free-agent quarterback market is thin at the moment.

Going this direction could help a 49ers defensive front that needs all the pass rushers it can find.

San Francisco’s defense in 2022 will face several top quarterbacks. They’ll be taking on Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert at Levi’s Stadium, and that’s just the out-of-division home games. They also will travel to face Derek Carr and Russell Wilson and have Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray on the schedule twice each.

This article has 3 Comments

  1. Jack
    Correct me if you disagree.
    * I see Kerry Hyder (who had 8 sacks in 2020), as the starting LDE and Samson Ebukam his backup (If they don’t trade him), Turay, Barrett, Omenihu and Willis are rotation players that will get some snaps, but they’re replacement players if / when a starter’s injured.
    * Charvarius Ward will be the starting RCB and D. Johnson his backup. E-man the starting SCB and D, Dennard his
    backup. Ambry Thomas will be the starting LCB, with Deommodore Lenoir his backup.
    * I also believe the 9ers will draft a Safety (Nick Cross, Maryland ), to replace Tart. And another CB on day three.
    * If the 9ers believe LDT J. Kinlaw will be healthy, I don’t see the 9ers drafting another DT. Givens and Hurst will
    compete to be Kinlaw’s backup

    1. I disagree with you.

      > Doubt they feel Hyder is a starting level DE. He’ll be fighting for a roster spot. The thing to watch for along the DL is how they choose to use Armstead. Do they move him back to DE on base downs or keep him inside?
      > Expect Ward and Moseley will be the starting outside corners with Lenoir working in the slot.
      > If they draft a safety, it won’t be to replace Tartt. That player is Talanoa Hufanga.
      > The 49ers expect Kinlaw to be a starter.

  2. That could very well be a possibility to cut Ebukam. John Lynch said they had Deebo’s money budgeted for haha.

    But looking at Ebukam’s stats he had 3.5 sacks in the last 5 regular season games. He also had at least .5 sack in 4 out of the 5 games. That is progress so I think if they do cut him it wouldn’t be until August when someone clearly shows they can produce the same at a lesser cost.

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