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Are there any free agent kickers/punters the 49ers should take a look at?

Position by position, we’re going to look at the free agents and see if there’s anyone you’d want to throw some money at.

Our look at available free agents ends here with special teams. I originally was going to base this on special teams in general, however many special teams aces play a position as well. Raheem Mostert is one of the better special teams gunners you can find, but he’s a running back first and foremost. Trying to pick out who could be brought in strictly as a special teams player is an exercise in frustration as an NFL team would want to balance their depth first and foremost.

So today, we’re looking at the stars of special teams: the punters and the kickers. And wouldn’t you know it, the 49ers are going to have a couple of openings. Punter Bradley Pinion’s deal is up as is kicker Robbie Gould. The 49ers have expressed interest in keeping Gould around, who may be the best kicker available in the market. Gould’s family is in Chicago and has been his entire time with the 49ers. He may want to return to the city, but Chicago also just signed a new kicker in Redford Jones. Was the signing because they felt they couldn’t get Gould? Or just to get someone in there because of the competition for Gould? On the 49ers’ end, it seems like they are trying, but not getting much success in negotiations.

As for Pinion? There hasn’t been much of anything on what the 49ers plan to do with him. His deal’s up, but the rumors of negotiations have been quiet on that front.

So let’s start with kickers. There are some selections. Earlier this week, Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant was released. The release came as a surprise, but Bryant isn’t done. He’s been very reliable as a kicker, but there’s one problem: he kicked in a dome for a decade. So if he can do it in the windy weather of Levi’s Stadium, it’s a good replacement for Gould, but there’d have to be some workouts in the meantime.

Stephen Gostkowski is also available from the New England Patriots. He may be worth a look if New England doesn’t snatch him up before free agency begins. He’s been able to kick anywhere.

And finally, Phil Dawson is available. You remember him as the kicking ace during Jim Harbaugh’s final two years in San Francisco. Dawson went on to be one of the few reliable players on the team during the Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly eras. His departure hurt, but was quickly forgotten when Robbie Gould showed his amazing leg. Dawson’s numbers have taken a slight hit with his current team, the Arizona Cardinals. That said, he could be a good candidate to return.

On the punter side of things, there’s not many free agent punters hitting the market. Another Patriot foot is available and that’s Ryan Allen. Allen’s punting numbers surpass Pinion’s in every way and he’d be worth a look, again, if New England doesn’t snatch him before free agency. Jordan Berry from the Pittsburgh Steelers may also be a decent alternative.

Either way, the 49ers will have some decisions to make on special teams whether it’s to keep who they have or to tap into the market.

Here’s the list of the free agent kickers/punters per Over the Cap. Things could change with franchise tags and deals, but all of the below have contracts expiring. Would you be interested in any of these guys coming to Santa Clara?

Kickers and Punters

Player Position Team Age Restricted/Exclusive Rights/Unrestricted Free Agent
Player Position Team Age Restricted/Exclusive Rights/Unrestricted Free Agent
Stephen Gostkowski K Patriots 35 UFA
Phil Dawson K Cardinals 44 UFA
Ryan Allen P Patriots 29 UFA
Sebastian Janikowski K Seahawks 41 UFA
Robbie Gould K 49ers 37 UFA
Jordan Berry P Steelers 28 UFA
Dan Bailey K Vikings 31 UFA
Pat O'Donnell P Bears 28 UFA
Mike Nugent K Raiders 37 UFA
Donnie Jones P Chargers 39 UFA
Cairo Santos K Buccaneers 28 UFA
Chandler Catanzaro K Panthers 28 UFA
Jason Myers K Jets 28 UFA
Josh Lambo K Jaguars 29 UFA
Matt Darr P Bills 27 ERFA
Bradley Pinion P 49ers 25 UFA
Matt Wile P Vikings 27 ERFA
Ka'imi Fairbairn K Texans 25 RFA
Wil Lutz K Saints 25 RFA
Harrison Butker K Chiefs 24 ERFA
Jake Elliott K Eagles 24 ERFA
Aldrick Rosas K Giants 25 ERFA
Daniel Carlson K Raiders 24 ERFA