NFL free agency is less than a month away, which means teams are now looking at their current roster and making decisions both for roster and salary cap space.
There were some releases on Friday and they have some intriguing names. Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin was released while the Buffalo Bills released tight end Charles Clay. Both may yet find a roster. Could they fit on the 49ers?
A 10-year veteran, Quin has had some productive seasons, but none compare to his monstrous 2014 with the Lions where he notched seven interceptions. He’s also been durable, having started all games in every season but his rookie year. Quin’s numbers in 2018 took a slight dip, however. He had zero interceptions and just three passes defended. When targeted, he also allowed a 66.7 completion percentage. His release may have been cap related as well as it clears $6.25 million in Lions salary cap space.
The 49ers need help at safety, or at least depth due to all the injuries and Quin can still play. While many are eyeing Earl Thomas to come to San Francisco, Thomas also has interest in the Dallas Cowboys and a backup plan may be necessary. Quin might not break the bank and can provide some veteran leadership to Adrian Colbert, D.J. Reed (maybe), and Marcell Harris.
Since 2013, Clay has been consistent at getting a 500-yard season. Well, that is until 2018 where he only got 184 yards. Clay was a healthy scratch for several games in 2018 with the Buffalo Bills, so that’s not a good sign. He is 30 years old, so he’s beginning the climb in age, but could still be productive.
Regardless, the 49ers have the George Kittle show so it’s who can compliment that. At first it may have been Garrett Celek, but he had a severe regression in 2018. There are signs this may have been due to a broken finger, but the 49ers may want to get some competition opposite and alongside Kittle. A second tight end to pair with Kittle could make the 49ers put together some filthy two-tight end sets.
The Lions also released wide receiver Bruce Ellington (yes, the same Bruce Ellington drafted by the 49ers). Ellington is still yet to play an entire NFL season and has had a career plagued with injuries. He was cut when Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch took over the franchise, so the likelihood of him returning is small. Also, linebacker Nicholas Grigsby was released. Grigsby was released by the New England Patriots midseason. The Lions picked him up and he didn’t collect a single stat according to Pro Football Reference. Maybe the 49ers could use him for as a training camp body? Hey may come cheap
Any of these names seem like someone to bring to the 49ers?