Disclaimer: I have no idea if the 49ers will sign any of these players.
On the eve of the NFL draft San Francisco restructured the contract of running back Christian McCaffrey. The move freed up $8.576 million, giving the 49ers $10.719 million in salary cap space.
Here are five players I think San Francisco should target with the additional cap space to enhance their roster.
1.) Justin Houston – EDGE, Ravens
If the 49ers are looking to add a situational pass rusher, look no further than Houston.
What separates Houston from the rest of the pass rushers on this list is his productivity does not require a high volume of snaps. The 12-year veteran racked up 9.5 sacks last year for the Ravens while playing just 397 snaps.
2.) Frank Clark – EDGE, Chiefs
Clark recorded five sacks and 13 quarterback hits for the Chiefs in 2022.
A two-time Super Bowl champion with Kansas City, Clark has been terrific in the playoffs. In 12 postseason games for the Chiefs Clark has racked up 10.5 sacks and 14 hits on the quarterback.
The downside is the number of snaps it took Clark to reach those totals. The veteran played at least 69 percent of the defensive snaps each season in Kansas City.
3.) Leonard Floyd – EDGE, Rams
Originally a first-round pick of Chicago in 2016, Floyd saw his numbers skyrocket while playing alongside Aaron Donald in Los Angeles.
Floyd recorded 29 sacks over the course of three seasons with the Rams. Last season saw Floyd finish with nine sacks and a career high 22 quarterback hits.
The veteran played at least 916 snaps each season in Los Angeles.
4.) Yannick Ngakoue – EDGE, Colts
Ngakoue has recorded at least eight sacks in each of his seven seasons in the NFL. As a member of the Indianapolis Colts last season, Ngakoue put together 9.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hits while playing 732 snaps.
5.) Marcus Peters – Cornerback, Ravens
After missing all of 2021 due to a torn ACL, Peters struggled in 2022. The veteran allowed a career worst passer rating of 113.5.
If Peters is willing to take a team friendly deal, San Francisco would be a good place for a bounce back season. The 49ers have taken fliers on veteran defensive backs in recent years.