The San Francisco 49ers will be busy this offseason, further shaping a roster that is improving, but has a host of issues to address before it can develop into a Super Bowl contender. If Jimmy Garoppolo can play a full 16 games, this team will likely be in the mix for a playoff berth. How they address other issues on both sides of the ball will give us a handle on where this team is going beyond that.
However, today I wanted to consider the long term outlook. The longest the 49ers have anybody signed is 2023. Jimmy Garoppolo and Weston Richburg are signed through then, while that season is the fifth year option on Mike McGlinchey’s rookie contract.
The NFL will be in a new collective bargaining agreement by the time 2023 rolls around. There may, and probably will be a labor stoppage after the 2020 season, but at some point a new deal will be in place. There will be some changes to the current structure, but I doubt it is enough to make a huge change in the way the business operates.
With that in mind, Garoppolo and Richburg likely will have either signed contract extensions by then, or will simply not be on the team anymore. Looking at the 49ers current roster, odds are very good that when the 2023 offseason arrives, Mike McGlinchey is the only player still on his rookie contract — and even he might be off it if he has performed well and the 49ers want to get him extended sooner rather than later.
I’ve put together a list of the 49ers entire roster along with the offseason in which they are a free agent. It is ordered starting with this offseason’s free agents and you can sort it by that, by position, or alphabetically by first name.
Ideally many of the players signed through 2021 (listed as free agents in 2022) will have earned contract extensions. A fair number will be gone, but if John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan are still in place as GM and head coach, one would hope they’ve hit pay dirt on a decent number of their most recent draft picks.
For most of the players hitting free agency this offseason and next offseason, it’s safe to say the 49ers will continue their roster overhaul. We’ve offered up predictions on the team’s upcoming crop of free agents. Looking ahead to next year’s, Joe Staley is the most notable by a long shot. Matt Breida will be a restricted free agent, while Nick Mullens will be an exclusive rights free agent. Ronald Blair is an interesting one given his versatility, and Kendrick Bourne is emerging as a potential replacement for Pierre Garçon.
The group hitting free agency in spring 2021 is where things really start to get interesting. DeForest Buckner will be through his fifth year option and ideally extended before then. If George Kittle builds on this past season’s breakout campaign, he’s a strong candidate for an extension a year from now. But what about someone like Richard Sherman? Does he last the length of his deal? He’s said he wants to play until he’s 35, and would be amenable to moving to a free safety role. Maybe that keeps him around even longer.
How many of these players do you think will still be on the 49ers roster four years from now when the 2023 offseason is getting started?
49ers free agents 2019-2023