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Top NFL free agents as concern continues about 49ers offensive line

The San Francisco 49ers offensive line is struggling in the early days of training camp. If the group does not come together, here are some free agents they could consider.

The San Francisco 49ers have a full roster at the moment, but questions abound as they prepare for their first preseason game in a week and a half. The team held their first padded practice Tuesday afternoon, and we are starting to get a better handle on where certain players stand. Whether it be positive or negative reports, pads will thin out the herd a little bit.

The biggest area of concern remains the offensive line. The 49ers are making changes at four of the five offensive line positions. The first team line is currently, from left to right, Joe Staley, Alex Boone, Joe Looney, Marcus Martin and Erik Pears. That right side of the line has struggled according to virtually every report. I am concerned by the struggles, but as I said yesterday, I do wonder how the line might adjust as they get more time to gain chemistry. It could just be a bad right side of the line, but it is possible they come together as the month progresses.

There has been no word recently about the 49ers intentions along the line. John Clayton briefly connected them to Evan Mathis a couple months ago, but we have heard nothing since. Additionally, earlier this week, a week and a half ago, the Indianapolis Colts released Gosder Cherilus. It was a curious move. Cherilus has had a brief up and down career since entering the NFL, but he also dealt with various injuries. He was reportedly healthy heading into camp this year, so it is a bit of a surprise.

For now, here is a brief look at some of the top free agents available at the offensive guard and tackle positions. I don't expect the 49ers to actually sign a free agent between now and the first preseason game, but maybe they surprise us. Mathis has seemed to be in no real rush to sign, although he also might be overpricing himself for now.

The 49ers offensive line depth is questionable at the moment. Brandon Thomas is working second team guard, while Trenton Brown is getting work at both offensive tackle positions. As someone mentioned in the comments previously, Brown could be viewed as a potential swing tackle option. But aside from questions about Erik Pears, the interior of the line is a big question mark.

Offensive Guards

1. Evan Mathis
2. Rob Sims
3. Charlie Johnson
4. Daryn Colledge retired
5. Gabe Carimi

Offensive Tackles

1. Jake Long
2. Gosder Cherilus
3. Anthony Collins
4. Sam Baker


1. Chris Myers
2. Brian de la Puente
3. Roberto Garza
4. Dominic Raiola
5. Scott Wells