Good morning! NFL free agency gets going a week from Thursday, and yet, the San Francisco 49ers are already far outpacing their 2016 free agency performance.
Matt Maiocco wrote about it on Saturday, and Pro Football Talk picked it up on Sunday. The 49ers signed Earl Mitchell to a four-year contract, worth a reported $16 million. Odds are good Mitchell will never earn the full contract, but that deal alone is more than what the 49ers spent in total on 2016 free agents. The big name last year was Zane Beadles, who signed a three-year deal worth $9.75 million.
The 49ers have signed Mitchell, cornerback K’Waun Williams, and wide receiver DeAndre Carter. There are still players to be signed, but even if the 49ers sign nobody else before the start of free agency, they have filled some needs. They added a run-stuffing defensive tackle, a nickel back with some upside, and a project receiver with short-area burst that also could provide some upside to a depleted wide receiver depth chart.
The question now is what the 49ers will do once regular free agency gets started. They still have a huge amount of cap space, and plenty of needs to fill. They have been aggressive in targeting Mitchell and Williams. Will we see them continue their aggressiveness with some high profile unrestricted free agents?
2017 49ers already have outspent 2016 49ers in free agency (ProFootballTalk)
Niners could mimic Raiders in attempt to turn around fortunes (Branch, Tafur)
49ers' Houston connection swayed frre agent Mitchell (Barrows)
Mailbag: Which 49ers vets are on shaky ground? (Maiocco)
Top 11 free agents for the San Francisco 49ers to decide whether to re-sign (Pro Football Weekly)
49ers Q&A: Is quarterback likely the pick at No. 2 overall? (Fourth and Nine)