The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up the 2017 season and have begun their work to prepare for 2018 free agency and the draft. We’ll be breaking down plenty of what that means, but in the meantime, we wanted to take a look back at the season that was for the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo captured our imagination, but the 49ers rebuilding process was extensive last year. We are going to take a look at every notable addition and provide a forum for grading how that signing, trade, or draft pick worked out.
Cassius Marsh, Edge Rusher
How acquired: Claimed off of waivers on November 22, 2018 after being waived by the New England Patriots on November 21.
First of all it’s pronounced CASH-us, as Marsh is named after the legendary Cassius Clay. Marsh went to UCLA before being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 4th round of the 2014 draft. He was traded to the Patriots on September 2, 2017, in exchange for a 2018 fifth and seventh round draft pick.
Marsh missed an overlap with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh by one season, but arrived in Santa Clara familiar with the system and several members of the defense. Not only did he know them from facing off in the NFC West twice each year, but he trained with Eli Harold, Arik Armstead, Ronald Blair III and DeForest Buckner in Hawaii during the offseason. There was very little adjustment time and Marsh was productive from the get go.
Pro Football Focus analyst Jeff Deeney reported they gave Marsh above average grades and noted he was more productive with the 49ers than with the Patriots. They recorded Marsh having two sacks, three hits, and 11 hurries in 135 pass rush snaps. He ranked 25th out of 68 4-3 defensive ends in their Pass Rush Productivity Rating. He graded out with a 76.9 overall grade, 76.0 as a pass rusher, and 73.3 vs. the run.
What is notable about Marsh is his value, which probably made him more attractive. The 49ers needed help on the defensive line with injuries to Armstead, Blair, Tank Carradine and Aaron Lynch. It’s kind of surprising that New England gave Seattle two late round picks before waiving him midseason. The 49ers were able to claim him off waivers in the final season of his rookie contract. They paid him a prorated portion of his $690,000 base salary, according to Over The Cap.
While I still believe that the 49ers look for a edge pass rusher in free agency and/or in the draft, Marsh was not bad for a midseason pick up. He hits free agency this offseason, which means the 49ers have to figure out what kind of value he has for their defensive front.
If you can’t see the poll below, click here.
How do you grade the Cassius Marsh waiver claim?
This poll is closed