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Bill Barnwell offers 5 suggestions for San Francisco 49ers offseason

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He does not do as much on offense as I would have expected.

The San Francisco 49ers are in the very early stages of a rebuilding process, and they have a whole host of decisions to make. They have cap space and draft picks to make a significant dent quickly, but with an inexperienced GM and a rookie head coach, this first offseason will be telling.

Over the past week, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell has been going through each division and offering up five moves each team should make during the offseason. Monday evening he posted his NFC West column. Here are the five things he suggested for the 49ers, with a few thoughts of my own.

1. Re-sign Eric Reid

This is not as simple as it might have seemed at one point. The injuries are a significant issue. Prior to this season, he had missed one game in his first three years, but the concussions have been a worry. He avoided concussions the last two seasons, so that is certainly a plus, but then he tore his biceps tendon this year. Long term durability is a concern.

The other issue is how the 49ers will use him in their new defense. One option is to move Jimmie Ward to the deep safety role, and use Reid up closer to the line of scrimmage. Some have suggested turning either Reid or Jaquiski Tartt into more of a linebacker role. Whatever they choose to do, that would impact how they want to use him. They have a year to figure this out.

2. Resist the urge to do something dramatic at quarterback with the second overall pick

This makes sense. Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch each have a six-year contract. We don’t know how they feel about any of the likely available quarterbacks. We know Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins, but odds are decent Cousins is franchised. If that is the case, he would likely come available next year without the draft pick compensation. With Shanahan and Lynch likely having fairly long-term stability, if they want Cousins, I would rather see them wait a year to improve the roster and not give up draft picks.

If the 49ers want to wait and see on Cousins, they can either try and re-sign Colin Kaepernick or sign someone like Brian Hoyer or Matt Schaub, and then draft a developmental prospect a bit later in the draft. They might very well decide they love Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson, but if not, patience is the key.

3. Actually, resist the urge to do something drastic in general

You really could link this one with No. 2. The 49ers have the cap space to overpay and make some significant moves that would get them a little further into the mix. However, that could be short-sighted, particularly investing heavily in older veterans. I’m not saying they should avoid any older veterans this offseason, but it would be smart to take their time and focus on younger players that will move further into their prime as the team improves in the next two or three years.

4. Pursue defensive help

Barnwell talked about the need to add pass rush and cornerback help. He suggested Nick Perry and Jabaal Sheard as front seven options. Then he suggested A.J. Bouye, Stephon Gilmore, and Logan Ryan as potential options. Bouye is 25, while Gilmore and Ryan are 26.

I think there are bigger needs than cornerback at this point. The team could use a clear No. 1 shutdown option, but I think an improvement in the pass rush would help improve the back end of the defense. Of course, if they do move Jimmie Ward to more of a center field role, cornerback becomes a bigger need. Tramaine Brock and Rashard Robinson are the most likely starters in that case, with Will Redmond and Keith Reaser competing for nickel work.

5. Re-sign Carlos Hyde

Aside from the QB mention above, this is the only offensive move mentioned. I would actually think getting wide receiver depth would be important for any new quarterback, but Barnwell seems to think otherwise for the time being. I do think locking up Hyde makes sense. He would not be ridiculously expensive, but the reason for that is his injury history. However, with a not overly expensive extension, it would make sense for the 49ers to find a legitimate second option. Shaun Draughn has been decent as a back-up, but he does not seem like a long-term rotational option. Shanahan and Lynch will need to find the Tevin Coleman to Hyde’s Devonta Freeman.

What are your thoughts on these five moves? I think wide receiver is the one primary missing piece in this, but otherwise, most of these moves make sense. The Reid one is a tough one to figure out depending on how you view his injury history and his role in the defense. And I don’t think they need to be quite as aggressive in adding cornerback help compared to other positions. But otherwise, I think much of this plan makes sense.