Five free agents the 49ers should consider adding this season

The trade deadline has come and gone, however there are several solid free agent options available who can help the 49ers this season.

San Francisco has only $6.118 million in cap space available.

Regardless, these are five players I think San Francisco should target to enhance their roster.

1.) Odell Beckham Jr. – Wide Receiver

Beckham is the biggest name on the free agent market, and the 49ers have a thing for going after shiny objects.

Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Monday the 49ers would consider adding the veteran receiver to their roster.

Signing Beckham makes sense for several reasons.

The 49ers currently are tied for the highest pass drop rate in the NFL. Deebo Samuel has dropped seven passes and Jauan Jennings has dropped five. Beckham had a total of three drops over the last two seasons.

Beckham would add a downfield element to that is currently missing in the Niners passing game. They tried to address this during the draft with the selection of Danny Gray. However, the rookie wide receiver has played only 33 offensive snaps and has zero catches on just six targets.

Finally, Beckham was dominant for the Rams during the 2021 postseason. He provided Matthew Stafford with a play maker opposite Cooper Kupp. It’s very likely the Rams would not have beaten the 49ers in the NFC Championship game without the addition of Beckham.

2.) Will Fuller – Wide Receiver

A former first-round pick of the Houston Texans, Fuller was productive. During five seasons in Houston and one in Miami, 165 of the veteran’s 213 receptions went for either a first down or a touchdown.

Last year Fuller suffered a thumb injury in week four which sidelined him for the rest of the season.

While a PED suspension wiped out the end of his 2021 season and raises some red flags, Fullers speed and sure hands would be a welcome addition to the 49ers passing game.

3.) Sheldon Richardson – Defensive Tackle

Javon Kinlaw continues to miss time with a knee injury, he’s already been ruled out for Monday’s game against Arizona in Mexico City. Fellow defensive tackle Arik Armstead also continues to be a question mark as he tries to return from foot and ankle injuries.

With those two out, the 49ers have turned to several backups to fill the void. Richardson provides a solid veteran option.

Although he has bounced around, Richardson has been a consistent performer both against the run and getting after the quarterback.

4.) Ndamukong Suh – Defensive Tackle

Suh would help the interior of the Niners defensive line as well. He recorded 12 sacks over the last two seasons with Tampa Bay and 71 tackles.

At 35, Suh may want one final opportunity to chase a Super Bowl ring.

5.) Kevin King – Cornerback

San Francisco’s secondary suffered a blow when Jason Verrett tore his achilles tendon in practice last week.

While the injury didn’t force any changes to the starting lineup, adding a veteran to the back end of the 49ers defense would be a positive move.

The 49ers secondary was at its best this season with Deommodore Lenoir playing in the slot. However, Lenoir was forced to move to the outside when Emmanuel Moseley was lost for the season.

As a result, Jimmie Ward has been playing in the slot. Ward is a solid safety and currently the best option. The issue is Ward struggles to cover receivers from the slot which limits the coverage options for DeMeco Ryans.

Adding King would allow the 49ers to move Lenoir back inside with King coming in on obvious passing downs.

This article has 41 Comments

  1. I am not understanding why anyone thinks we need to go after a receiver. Let’s see, we have Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Kyle Juzcheck, and worthy of honorable mention, Jauan Jennings. Then at RB we have McCaffrey and Mitchell to help the receiving game because defenders have to stop the run. Oh and the #1 tackle in football on the left side, and Kittle is the #1 blocking tight end and Juzcheck is the #1 blocking fullback in the NFL. And Shanahan is supposed to be one of the top 3 offensive minds in the NFL.

    So tell me again why we don’t have the #1 offense in the league right now? Shanahan’s seat should be red hot. The media is being excessively friendly with him.

      1. Felix: “So far Shanahan has yet to drop a pass.”
        Question Felix….Does KS get paid to catch passes? Can you say FALSE EQUIVALENCE?
        * You also fail to address the real problem. DROPPED PASSES! We can agree, or disagree, on the 9ers signing Odell Beckham Jr., but if the 9er receivers were not dropping passes, would the 9ers need to outspend Jerry Jones to sign him?
        * IMO, the greatest 49er position NEED, is a DT that can stay healthy and replace Javon Kinlaw! Again, we can agree, or disagree, on signing DT Sheldon Richardson, or Ndamukong Suh. IMO, the 9ers need is to draft Michigan DT Mazi Smith.
        * Michigan DT Mazi Smith goes viral for being named college football’s top freak!
        https://www.on3.com/teams/michigan-wolverines/news/michigan-dt-mazi-smith-goes-viral-as-college-footballs-top-freak/

            1. So did Gore who became an all time great RB. Lots of college players have injuries in college that go on to have very successful careers.

        1. We got no 1st round pick, bro! Fortunately, we suck at drafting high. I’d get a DT in the 5th or 6th round pick, we got DJ Jones and Kevin Givens in the late rounds.

          We need to stop Kyle from wasting draft capital and salary cap on his gadget players this offseason and hold him accountable for under performing offense. Right now, we desperately need a RT and another center as our offensive line sucks! Then we should get a run stuffing DT and a CB.

          1. Felix
            * “So did Gore who became an all time great RB?” I’m hoping that was a rhetorical question?
            BYW: The discussion is about DROPPED PASSES and signing Odell Beckham Jr.

          2. Gene
            * Michigan DT Mazi Smith is projected to be drafted in the late 3rd to mid 4th round, in the 2023 draft.
            * The 9ers have two 3rd round compensatory picks in the 2023 draft. I agree the first 3rd rd draft pick should be an OT. The second 3rd round pick IMO. S/B used to draft Michigan DT Mazi Smith.
            https://www.nfldraftbuzz.com/Player/Mazi-Smith-DL-Michigan

            * OT: Zion Nelson, Miami , 3rd rd……. https://www.nfldraftbuzz.com/Player/Zion-Nelson-OL-Miami

              1. Old Coach
                Thats true, but I enjoy watching tape on draft prospects and the 9ers, IMO, will need to draft
                a DT because Kinlaw can’t stay healthy. The problem is, the 9ers don’t have a draft pick until 2 pick in the 3rd round. As of now, Michigan DT Mazi Smith is the best DT draft prospect in the 3 Rd Round. And I agree, that could change after the combine and the players pro day.

    1. So tell me again why we don’t have the #1 offense in the league right now?

      You answered your own question – ever heard of a #1 offense with a QB with no name

      You won’t even include him in your rant not even a small honorable mention- that is how much useless our back up QB is

  2. I don”t freaking understand how signing Beckham makes sense for ANY reasons.

    Forget the fact we have to pay Bosa and Aiyuk in the near future – Odel is asking for a prorated range of $20 million for the balance of the season

    Beckham would add a downfield element to that is currently missing in the Niners passing game.

    Are you watching any of the games this season – How many passes has JimmyG throw over 20 yards?

    Who will be throwing these downfield passes ? – When has Jimmy been consistent throwing deep passes?

    I am confused – is this from the weed or Jack Daniels ?

    1. I’ve seen Jimmy make deep throws. Shanahan has stated numerous times Jimmy can make all the throws. Having said that, it’s not his best skill nor that of our receivers. Their best skills are quick throws to guys who are great at YAC. That’s who our team is and Shanahan calls plays that complement the best skills of our players which is what good coaches do.

      1. I would pass on OBJ.
        He sulks when things don’t go his way. And more importantly, his best days are behind him.
        Yes, our WRs need to stop the drops, but they’ve also shown that they can produce and help the offense more often than not.

        The player who I believe can help is Ndamukong Suh. He could be a stout interior DT. Not sure what his asking price is, but he’s worth a look.

        1. I agree AES. I will take Suh or any help on our interior DL. Our offense is stacked and there is only one ball to go around. If you cannot score with these talent then there is a bigger problem. I say bring in Suh and lets get that elusive 6th SB!

      2. Funny how you have seen but can’t show stats – smh

        Aiyuk would easily be a bona fide pro bowler with any of the top 5 QB’s in the league

        in 5+ years in the NFL Jimmy has NEVER been known for throwing deep passes, he can’t because his game is over after 5 secs the ball is snapped.

        He can’t throw on the run and can’t throw passes over 20 – that is a fact NO ONE can argue with.

        No stress – this average b.s will be over after this season

        1. I would have sworn in was Jimmy G who threw that long pass to Ray Ray. I guess I just can’t believe my lying eyes.

        2. One Niner, he threw a 33 yard pass to McCloud last week while rolling to his right on an unscheduled play. Didn’t you watch the game? 2 weeks prior he threw a longer pass to McCloud which he dropped. Funny how YOU can’t show stats to back up your claim and just because you call it a fact does make it so. Just making that statement shows you have no clue what you are talking about.

          1. The receiver turn the pass to a 30 + yards

            The throw itself was not 30 yards

            Again this is not even an argument….Jimmy is not a deep thrower…Jimmy knows it….Kyle knows is…..the fans know it

  3. Pass on OBJ.

    Fuller could help but don’t see him as an upgrade over BA or even Jennings.

    I think any significant signing should be on D. Never liked Suh bc of his dirty play but we do need another force to help Run stop and assist Bosa from getting double teamed.

  4. Anyone who is not signed at this point in the season is not going to make a significant difference. I believe that any cap money that they don’t use this year rolls over into next years cap and we will need as much cap space next year as we can get.

    1. Salary Cap isn’t as bad of a situation as it appears. The 2023 NFL Salary Cap is supposed to go up by about $26M. So good news is that there’s more to work with than before. The bad news is that all the teams will have the extra cap space to work with.

      1. Allfor,
        The 49ers have quite a few players who are going to be FA’s after this season. They will need as much cap room as possible to sign Bosa, Aiyuk, Ward, Ebukam, Moseley, Al-Shaair, Gould, Brunskill, Hyder,
        Willis, Omenihu, Givens, Ridgeway. All most the entire D line with the exception of Armstead and Kinlaw. If Jimmy G continues to play like he has been and the 49ers reach the SB will they resign him? I didnt include Brendel and McGlinchey, will they resign either of them or try to replace them with late round draft picks?

        1. Bosa is the only one they have to bring back. Possibly Mosely. Other than that, the other guys are all replaceable to varying and acceptable degrees.

          1. Allfor,
            I think Aiyuk needs to be signed. As to the others do you really want to start all over on the D and O line? Are you all in on T. Lance?

            1. Aiyuk is good but is he worth the premium of a 2nd contract? On the other hand the 49ers don’t really have much else in terms of a down the field (more than 10-15 yards) receiver. IMO they could go with Deebo but they seem to focus on using him as a short yardage YAC receiver and rushing the ball with him. If Gray showed more development, I’d be more comfortable letting Aiyuk go. But now…I’m not so sure. So it depends on what other receivers are available.

              McGlinchey and Brunskill are fairly fungible at this point. Heck I don’t think the 49ers lose much when they put in Moore or him. Brunskill is better than Buford at this point and he’s a back up at 3 positions (including Center). So he’s probably a priority at this point. But he’s not so good that you ignore what else is available on the market. Brunskill isn’t going to command a lot of money and he’s not that hard to replace.

              Kinlaw, will be back. If he’s effective I don’t know. Armstead will be back (he’s signed for the long term). Armstead will be back. He’s also costly to get rid after they restructured his contract earlier this year.

              I’m not sure what Lance has to do with this….other than the weird possibility of having to resign Jimmy Garoppolo for next year.

        1. I didn’t realize Jack took over the blog. Jack’s online persona was bit of a hardcase at times but at least I know he knows football….that wasn’t the case with Grant (though I have to admit that Grant did try to study up and learn the game on the fly).

          1. Yeah, Grant was learning on a fly like you said and he admits on it too.
            I honestly learned more about Xs and Os of the game from guys like you in this blog. And I hope to see more of you here.

  5. Coach,
    I enjoy watching Jimmy G having a good season so far. It’s SB win or bust for him (just my opinion).

    I still see this as Lance’s team and based on the maneuvering it took to draft him, I believe that it’s safe to assume that the 49ers feel the same way.
    Actually, if JG can have a deep playoff push, the 49ers could put themselves back in rd 2 in a trade for him.

    1. AES,
      Do you mean a sign and trade because JG is a FA at the end of this season? Sign and trades are common in the NBA but I don’t think I have ever seen one in the NFL.

      1. You’re right Coach. Just wishful thinking on my part. But in short, I don’t see Jimmy back next year.
        The stars aligned perfectly for him this season.

  6. The 49ers should pursue defensive free agents instead of offensive free agents because the 49ers defensive weaknesses are in their CBs. The 49ers have players on both sides of the ball (offense and defense) to make it to the Superbowl, but they probably aren’t going to win it all unless they pass the ball and get it down field. I believe the Chiefs or the Bills will be the AFC representative in the Superbowl, and if the 49ers face those teams, they NEED to have some quick strike capabilities. The 49ers have an excellent defense, and the running game to complement a passing game, but I think they have to become a pass-first offense to win a Superbowl. If you develop a pass-first offense, you can come from behind to win or you can score in a two-minute offense to close the first half of games. Do the 49ers even have a two-minute or hurry up offense? Do the 49ers have a pass game to attack the opponent’s DBs. I don’t think they look at matchups: WR1 vs CB1, WR2 vs. CB2, TE vs. SS or LB. I think HC Shanahan wants to run right, run left, and 3rd down short pass. To me, a genius coach is a strategist who pursues matchups: For example, their CB1 vs. WR1 is less favorable, but my WR2 vs. CB2 is going to have a field day. Another example, my strength of Jimmy G to Kittle will find a hole in the opponent’s zone defense.

    They probably should not pursue OBJ because their identity is to run the football. So far this year, they appear to be more balanced as they are passing the ball more (279 passing attempts to 253 rushing attempts), but that was because they passed 46 times and rushed 21 times in the Chiefs game. In that game, the 49ers had a ten point in the first half and was blown out in the second half. Run-first teams rarely blow out teams, and they rarely come from behind. However, pass-first teams with great QBs tend to go to the Superbowl year after year.

    Why would you want another wide receiver (OBJ) when the 49ers already have Deebo, Aiyuk, and Jennings? As it is now, the 49ers don’t pass it down field. Also, I don’t believe what the press, fans, or other pundits say about Jimmy G not being able to throw it down field. The knock on Joe Montana was that he had a weak arm which is the reason why he was drafted in the third round and not the first round. However, I witnessed Joe Montana throw TD bombs throughout his career. The three-step drop and quick slant was implemented in the mid to late 80s when Montana played against the Buddy Ryan 46 defense which blitzed a lot. This was when the east coast press continued to denigrate the 49ers and Montana’s arm saying that he threw 10 yard passes to Jerry Rice that went for 80. Unless I hear from Jimmy G ‘s mouth that he’s unable to throw deep, then I won’t believe what the anti-Jimmy G people say.

    In my opinion, I think HC Shanahan decided to become a run-first offense beginning in the 2019 playoffs. In addition, I believed HC Shanahan decided to be short passing team. Most of his designed pass plays have been bubble screens, slants, down and in crossing patterns, screen passes, etc… When is the last time Jimmy G looked at a CB matchup with a WR to call an audible and go after the matchup??? Never. That’s why I know HC Shanahan controls the play calling.

    If they were to pursue a free agent, they need to pickup cornerbacks or another cover guy. The KC Chiefs schooled the 49ers defense by scoring on three jet sweeps. Obviously, no in-game adjustments were made to stop the jet sweeps. Also, Mahome’s threw for 423 yards with 3 TD passes. The 49ers need to get more DBs, and the defensive coordinator needs to mix their coverages (zone, man to man, mix of zone and man coverage) as well as blitz a little more. This week against the Cardinals, they better cover those screen passes because they got SMOKED on screen passes last year. They may need two spies: one to go on a delayed blitz and the other to cover the RB or TE on the delayed screen pass.

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