The San Francisco 49ers are likely to be a busy team when free agency gets started next month, and it’s safe to say they will be connected to a host of players — particularly pass rushers.
The top edge rushers like DeMarcus Lawrence, Dee Ford, Frank Clark, and Trey Flowers are likely to be franchised. But there is plenty of talent at the next level the team could pair with a Josh Allen or Nick Bosa. Los Angeles Rams edge rusher Dante Fowler is likely to be on that list.
It’s not surprising then that NFL.com writer Marc Sessler included him as an option for the 49ers. Sessler put together a list of “fun free-agent fits” for each team in the NFL. He discussed the 49ers need at the position, and mentioned Kyle Shanahan complimenting Fowler in December and saying, “[w]e’re always interested in adding pass rushers.”
The Rams acquired Fowler before the trade deadline, but Shanahan acknowledged the 49ers had been interested. Shanahan said the issue was that he was in the final year of his contract, so they would only be getting half a season of him. Considering the 49ers had already lost Jimmy Garoppolo for the season, it made sense that Shanahan and GM John Lynch decided it was not worth the risk of only getting a half season of him. Had Garoppolo been healthy and the team was showing progress, maybe they would have rolled the dice.
But now Fowler is all but certain to hit the open market, barring an extension before the new league year starts. He could be looking at a decent-sized deal, but the depth of the pass rush market is still not entirely clear. DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Dee Ford, and Frank Clark all could be franchised in the coming weeks. Trey Flowers could be franchised as well, leaving Fowler, Ezekiel Ansah, and Brandon Graham as arguably the three most high profile pass rush options when the market opens. And in this prediction, Sessler has Graham headed to Seattle and Ansah headed to Oakland.
Thoughts on Fowler as an option?