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Top 6 free agents 49ers should prioritize

January 11th, 2021

The 49ers have more than 40 free agents going into an offseason where salary cap space will be at a premium.

Prioritizing their players set to hit the open market will be crucial in an attempt to restructure a Super Bowl caliber roster. While they’ll likely add some of the lower-tier, cheaper players on low-cost deals for depth, they have to also retain some of their top-end players as well.

Unfortunately San Francisco won’t be able to keep them all barring a major change in the NFL’s salary cap for next season. Here are the six free agents the 49ers should prioritize first:

LT Trent Williams

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers’ offseason plans have to start with retaining Williams. He was outstanding last season even after a full year away from football. His athleticism really shines in the run game, and he’s still very good in pass protection. San Francisco unloaded two draft picks to acquire the Pro Bowl left tackle and knew they’d need to pay up to keep him in 2021. That’s something they’ve surely factored into their plans and keeping him is key to ensuring their offensive line is better next year.

FB Kyle Juszczyk

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

So much of the 49ers’ offense success starts with Juszczyk’s ability to fulfill multiple roles. He can affect defenses by lining up in different spots and playing each of those spots effectively. San Francisco can probably get by with a different fullback, but finding a player who can do all the things Juszczyk does won’t be easy. The 49ers should be aiming to hold onto him.

CB K’Waun Williams

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Williams has become one of the NFL’s best slot defenders. He’s good in coverage, an effective blitzer and strong in run support. Defending the slot is imperative to putting together an effective NFL defense. San Francisco will surely try to bring their nickel corner back, but he’s good enough that his market could push him out of their price range.

DE Kerry Hyder Jr.

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The 49ers’ edge depth was bad this year. It only gets worse in the offseason. Hyder was tremendous for San Francisco when thrust into a starting role. Chances are he’ll get priced out of their range since good pass rushers don’t come cheap and don’t get overlooked in the open market. However, figuring out a way to keep him should be something San Francisco’s front office does early in the offseason.

CB Jason Verrett

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Verrett can’t be the only corner San Francisco holds onto this offseason. His injury history is still worrisome. However, he was superb in 13 starts while playing more snaps than he’s ever played in six NFL seasons. The 49ers can build a terrific secondary where Verrertt starts at one of the cornerback spots, but they can’t afford to overpay him given his long list of injuries.

WR Kendrick Bourne

(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

While the 49ers have the top of their receiving corps established, keeping quality depth will be imperative. Bourne is the definition of a high-quality player to have at No. 3 or 4 on the depth chart. He converts on third down, is good in the red zone and can step into a larger role if need be. A WR-needy team would be smart to pay up for the former UDFA, but the 49ers would be smart to try and keep Bourne for the next few seasons.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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