The San Francisco 49ers have had a pretty decent showing in free agency, at least as far as I’m concerned. The center market was going to be fierce, and I’m happy the team elected to bring in Weston Richburg, who should man the position for years to come. Richard Sherman was a fantastic signing, and the Jerick McKinnon signing ... well, I have some reservations there, but it’s intriguing at the very least.
And if you go back a little bit, before the new league year actually started, we can talk about Jimmy Garoppolo. You either believe in him or you don’t, but if he’s the franchise quarterback, the 49ers did a good job to lock him up before free agency opened and Kirk Cousins got a fully-guaranteed contract from the Minnesota Vikings.
There are a lot of these going around, but today we’re looking at the “early winners of free agency” article from Pro Football Focus, on which the main image if Garoppolo and the 49ers are the first team mentioned. I rather agree with them!
The 49ers’ offseason technically started by locking up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo long-term, securing their franchise signal-caller for the foreseeable future. Garoppolo’s small-sample size of success is enough to believe that he’s the right man to build around in San Francisco. They then added cornerback Richard Sherman after his release from the Seattle Seahawks, bringing him in on a team-friendly deal. Sherman is annually one of the best cornerbacks in football, and assuming good health, the 49ers got a steal in securing the tail end of Sherman’s prime. Up front, they added center Weston Richburg who is one of the league’s best when healthy, especially if he gets back to his 2015 form that saw him grade at 86.5. Beyond that, the contract for running back Jerick McKinnon may have been a bit rich, but he’s a good fit for the zone-heavy rushing attack and his pass-game ability adds to his value. He’s coming off a career-year that saw him grade at 84.6 overall.
I like what they say about Sherman and being on the tail-end of his prime. The tail-end of his prime should be pretty exciting to see.