In a rather odd bit of news, Trent Baalke actually acknowledged some potential free agent targets to the media. The San Francisco 49ers general manager told Matt Barrows the team has interest in linebackers Lance Briggs, Mason Foster, Brandon Spikes and Erin Henderson. Media reports have connected the 49ers to Briggs and Henderson, but this is the first report of interest in Foster and Spikes.
I suppose none of the names should be surprising. The 49ers are suddenly facing a question mark at the ILB position, and adding a veteran makes sense. After thinking this through, it also makes some sense for Baalke to confirm interest in multiple players. This lets the agents of the four players know that the 49ers have some options. It was a given that they could have those options, but this makes it especially clear. And it might even mean there are somewhat meaningful discussions happening at this point. It could mean nothing, but given Baalke's penchant for never giving up anything, that is one possible explanation.
The 49ers have their nine draft picks, and I imagine one would be an inside linebacker. NaVorro Bowman and Michael Wilhoite would currently project as the team's starters, with Nick Moody and Shayne Skov the reserves. We don't know how Bowman's knee will react to full practice and play this summer and fall. We also have a hunch that Wilhoite's ceiling is fairly limited, at least compared to the 49ers previous ILB options. Adding a veteran and then maybe a draft pick makes sense as the team tries to sort through this situation.