The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game is one month away, scheduled for Thursday, August 3. The Arizona Cardinals will face off against the Dallas Cowboys to kick off the preseason. The San Francisco 49ers will get going a week later on Friday, August 11.
There are a host of notable free agents still looking for work as training camp approaches in a few weeks. Many will get opportunities after injuries deplete some rosters. But there will be some signings between now and the first preseason games of the year.
The San Francisco 49ers had a whole host of free agents following the ugly 2016 season, and the overhaul in the front office made it pretty obvious a lot of players would not be returning. When you fire your general manager and coaching staff, it’s safe to say some of the players due for new contracts are probably not going to get any.
We’ve talked plenty about Colin Kaepernick, but I thought we’d see who else from the 49ers 2017 free agents remains on the market. And just to be clear, let’s keep discussion focused on them and not Kaepernick. If you can’t find another thread to talk about Kaepernick, you’re not looking hard enough.
The list of 49ers available free agents other than Kaepernick includes the following:
QB Christian Ponder
QB Thad Lewis
RB DuJuan Harris
TE Jim Dray
OL Andrew Gardner
DT Glenn Dorsey
DT Tony Jerod-Eddie
CB Chris Davis
From that group, Glenn Dorsey seems like the guy most likely to get a shot sometime during training camp. He turns 32 on August 1, so age is not on his side. And that is an issue given some of his injuries in recent years. When healthy, Dorsey was an incredibly effective defensive lineman for the 49ers. The 49ers were content to move on, adding Earl Mitchell in free agency, and then Solomon Thomas and D.J. Jones in the draft. But I think Dorsey is a veteran leader who is still worth a flier for a team looking for help along the line.
Chris Davis is recovering from an ACL he tore last October. He was emerging as a guy who might push at the nickel back role, but the injury ended his season in October. I have not seen any mentions of his current status, but at 26 years of age, he’s still young enough to get an opportunity. I could see him either getting signed later this season if someone gets hurt, or getting into camp with somebody next offseason.
DuJuan Harris is another guy that is not a huge impact player, but can be a solid complementary option in the backfield. The 49ers non-tendered him as a restricted free agent, then signed him, then released him after rookie minicamp. Tim Hightower, Joe Williams, and Matt Breida are the primary competitors now for work alongside Carlos Hyde. I see Harris landing somewhere when an inevitable running back injury happens.