The NFL free agency tampering period technically does not begin until later this afternoon, but the rumor mill is already heating up. Over the weekend, CBS Sports NFL reporter Jason La Canfora connected the San Francisco 49ers to wide receiver Allen Robinson and running back Dion Lewis.
We’ve heard plenty about Robinson. The 49ers could use help at wide receiver, and he’s the biggest name out there. But Lewis is someone fans have been talking about, but we have not heard much in the way of a formal connection. La Canfora had this to say about Lewis.
As for Lewis, his ability to operate as a difference-maker out in space as well as being a powerful runner between the tackles makes him quite attractive to various teams. New England is going to attempt to fight to keep him, from what I gather, but his price-point may far outpace what the Pats are used to spending at the running back position. The Jets, Titans and Colts are also in play for Lewis, sources said, while I can’t help but wonder if the Bucs, Browns and Raiders will get involved when the market opens this week.
The 49ers running back situation remains a big question mark. Carlos Hyde is hitting free agency. Matt Breida looked solid as a rookie, and Joe Williams will return from injured reserve, but the team will be adding at least one running back this offseason, if not more. Lewis makes sense, although given the 49ers need and cap space, he could just be another player getting mentioned in connection with the 49ers to boost his price.
I have been a little surprised we have not heard more about the 49ers and their running back need heading into free agency. Kyle Shanahan and Bobby Turner have done a lot with backs a little further under the radar. Lewis could fit this mold to some extent. He’s certainly not a nobody, but he’s not exactly the monster name that some might call a “splash name.”
The 49ers have not been formally connected to him yet in terms of bringing him in for a visit, but with a little under 48 hours until free agents can sign, there is plenty of time to start talking. Jason La Canfora can be a little all over the place with his reports, so we’ll certainly take this with a grain of salt. But it’s something interesting to consider!