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Is Gerald Hodges going to have a sizable free agent market?

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The 49ers don’t have many high quality free agents, but Hodges could end up with a decent market.

The San Francisco 49ers extended Ray-Ray Armstrong last winter, and as they transition into their new 4-3 defense, we could see Armstrong as the weak side linebacker. However, the team will be looking to add some depth with Michael Wilhoite, Gerald Hodges, and Nick Bellore all hitting free agency.

I have been checking free agency rankings, and for the most part, the 49ers don’t have anybody of significant note hitting the market. They were contributors last year, but given how bad the 49ers were, they just are not big impact guys on the open market.

However, Gerald Hodges has been showing up as a guy who could do well in this market. He is showing up in top 50 free agent rankings, and Albert Breer recently included him on his list of lesser-known names that could make some decent money this offseason. Breer had this to say about Hodges

After a breakthrough 2016 season, Hodges won’t cash in huge but could be a sneaky valuable mid-level signing for a contender with a need.

The Minnesota Vikings drafted Hodges in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. They subsequently dealt him in October 2015 to the 49ers for center Nick Easton and a sixth round pick.

In his time with Minnesota, Hodges’ best season came in 2014, when he played 14 games and had 66 total tackles, 0.5 sacks, and an interception. This past year, his playing time seemed to yo-yo, with some weeks where he was only playing special teams, but then a lot of weeks where he was getting significant snaps. He slowly earned a starting role, and in 15 games he had 83 tackles, 3.0 sacks, two interceptions, two pass deflections, and a fumble forced and recovered.

Hodges won’t be getting a monster deal, but with so much cap space out there, he could find himself in a solid situation. He could carve out a starting role for several teams. I think Ray-Ray Armstrong has a higher ceiling, but if the 49ers could figure out a way to re-sign Hodges, I would not have a problem with that. I doubt it happens because I think he recognizes his odds of starting are limited. But it will be interesting to see how his market develops.