The San Francisco 49ers need to find more options in the pass rush, and an intriguing name is now available. The Philadelphia Eagles released defensive end Vinny Curry after he would not take a pay cut. Curry was due $9 million this season, and coming off a bit of a down season thanks to injury, it was not a figure for which teams were willing to trade.
Curry has been a capable run stopper, and gets pressure on the quarterback, but saw his sack totals slip the past three years. After a season of 2014 season of 9.0 sacks, Curry has had nine total sacks the next three seasons combined. At the same time, it is worth noting he put up big numbers in Pro Football Focus’ pass rush productivity stat. He was the Eagles best rusher from the right side.
Curry would be a definite upgrade for the 49ers, but the price might not be right. The edge rusher market has been relatively slim pickings this year, which could bode well for Curry getting a sizable deal. His number was too big for a trade, but that doesn’t mean he won’t still find a nice pay day in free agency.
The 49ers are in a position where they might look for a cheaper option through the draft. The team has sizable cap space left, but Chris Biderman made a good point with regard to the 49ers contract decisions.
I think Vinny Curry would make sense. But 49ers are *very* particular about who they give big contracts to. Those decisions are as much (or more) about locker room fit as role on the field.— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) March 16, 2018
By all accounts, this is not a locker room issue decision. He’s a guy who was due a big number, and the team wants to get a jump on potential salary cap issues. His performance did not justify to the Eagles bringing him back with an $11 million cap hit.
We don’t know what kind of money will be out there for Curry, but if it turns into any kind of modest bidding war, it makes sense for the 49ers to bow out and see what they can do with some of their higher draft picks.