And go! Let’s talk edge rushers. Let’s talk defensive ends, let’s talk—something the 49ers really, really need.
Here’s the one thing we need to remember, while a lot of these names are showing up as free agents now, this is a list that is going to grow smaller as the weeks go by. Well, for the talented players anyways. Much like when we talked the listed defensive tackles, keep in mind who’s a 4-3 and who’s a 3-4. That really impacts ability and fit with the 49ers brand of chaos they want to make their defense strut with.
DeMarcus Lawrence is the first player up and the obvious name that may be available. 27 years old and the big argument is if the Dallas Cowboys should or shouldn’t sign him to an extension. Wherever he goes it won’t be cheap. Lawrence had a great 2018 season. Whether it was better than his 2017 campaign depends on how much you value sacks as the absolute stat for an end. I don’t see him getting out of Dallas, he’s had back-to-back seasons with above average production and is 27 years old, you don’t let that kind of player go. If the Cowboys do decide to part ways, it’s someone that the 49ers could get a look at.
Ezekiel Ansah is another option, much cheaper, less durable, much older. That combination’s effectiveness is in the eye of the beholder. I like Ansah for his history with 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek while the two were with the Detroit Lions. It also helps with a chance to give some veteran presence to the line. The 49ers could grab Ansah in free agency for a two-year deal and then draft Nick Bosa. One can hope that Ansah would not get some monster deal and that Bosa falls to the 49ers in this situation.
Trey Flowers is another end that would be a solid addition. Young and coming off his rookie deal, I doubt the New England Patriots let Flowers walk into free agency. He’s not a be-all, end-all pass rusher, but he is a solid piece that could offer some nice depth to the rotation. Signing him and calling it a day would be a bad idea, but he could spell Nick Bosa or Josh Allen for a few downs.
Bruce Irvin is also available, though I doubt the 49ers even lift a finger to get him. The 49ers went hard after him in 2018 and that circus ended with him going home to Atlanta. That’s one that’s just not happening.
Here’s your free agent defensive ends in the league per Over the Cap. I’ve also listed whether they are a 3-4 or a 4-3 DE based on OTC’s spreadsheet. Also remember, that we are doing players listed as defensive ends. There are several linebackers that work on the edge but you won’t find them in this list (Jadeveon Clowney is a good example since he’s a 3-4 linebacker). 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?
Free Agent Defensive Ends
|Bryan Cox Jr.||43DE||Panthers||25|