There are some good free agents on the market this offseason. The Forty Niners need to look at every one of them and not only the key FAs that stand out (i.e. Haynesworth, Warner). There are two ex-49ers that are free agents right now that don't have teams. Both played for the Denver Broncos last season and have good value, even though they got released. Here's the link to the article from NFL.com about their releases:
Let's start off with John Engelberger. Yes, he's 32 years of age, but has great veteran experience and about 2-3 years left in him. He earned 2.18 million last season, and due to his release and the current state of the economy, the Forty Niners can sign him at a very cheap price. It's true that his numbers in the past four seasons with the Broncos aren't as good as we'd like them to be but in the years prior, when he was playing for San Francisco, he provided a decent pass rush along with solid run-stopping ability. He would provide good depth on the D-line.
The second and more intriguing player is Jamie Winborn. Remember him? The Forty Niners traded him to Jacksonville for a seventh round pick in the 2006 draft (probably because of Nolan's stupidity). Does anyone remember who was San Francisco drafted in the seventh round of '06? I don't. Winborn had decent seasons while with the Forty Niners. But his best season was last season in 2008! The 29 year old started all 16 games last season and stood out on a bad defense by recording 99 tackles (74 solo). He only recorded half a sack, though, because the Broncos primarily used him to drop back. He is versatile and can do both, but is better in coverage, as he showcased with 11 passes defensed last season. He can come in on third downs and we fans won't have to worry about Manny Lawson dropping interceptions or not having good angles on TEs/WRs. Winborn is still young and I bet he'd love to play in San Francisco once more. Imagine having tackling machines in Willis, Spikes and Winborn. Then maybe the Forty Niners can actually use Lawson to rush the passer along with Haralson. Winborn earned 2.25 million last season and can also be a bargain. His and Spikes's veteran experience would greatly help the other young LBs (Willis, Haralson, Lawson).