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Are there any free agent defensive ends the 49ers should take a look at?

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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.

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

Player Position Team Age
Player Position Team Age
Demarcus Lawrence 43DE Cowboys 27
Ezekiel Ansah 43DE Lions 30
Cameron Wake 43DE Dolphins 37
Brandon Graham 43DE Eagles 31
Allen Bailey 34DE Chiefs 30
Muhammad Wilkerson 34DE Packers 30
Julius Peppers 43DE Panthers 39
Michael Johnson 43DE Bengals 32
William Hayes 43DE Dolphins 34
Alex Okafor 43DE Saints 28
Bruce Irvin 43DE Falcons 32
Tyson Alualu 34DE Steelers 32
Margus Hunt 43DE Colts 32
Derrick Shelby 43DE Falcons 30
Dion Jordan 43DE Seahawks 29
Dominique Easley 34DE Rams 27
Terrell McClain 43DE Falcons 31
Mario Edwards 34DE Giants 25
Zach Kerr 34DE Broncos 29
Ethan Westbrooks 34DE Rams 29
Benson Mayowa 43DE Cardinals 28
Wes Horton 43DE Panthers 29
Kerry Wynn 34DE Giants 28
Angelo Blackson 34DE Texans 27
Brent Urban 34DE Ravens 28
Frostee Rucker 43DE Raiders 36
Ricky Jean-Francois 43DE Lions 33
John Simon 43DE Patriots 29
Markus Golden 43DE Cardinals 26
Frank Clark 43DE Seahawks 26
Josh Mauro 34DE Giants 28
Kony Ealy 43DE Raiders 28
Kasim Edebali 43DE Bengals 30
Steven Means 43DE Falcons 30
John Jenkins 34DE Giants 30
Carl Davis 43DE Browns 27
Henry Anderson 34DE Jets 28
Trey Flowers 43DE Patriots 26
Jacquies Smith 43DE Raiders 29
Geneo Grissom 43DE Colts 26
Zach Moore 43DE Cardinals 29
Nicholas Williams 34DE Bears 29
Branden Jackson 43DE Seahawks 27
Shilique Calhoun 43DE Raiders 27
Quinton Jefferson 43DE Seahawks 26
Leterrius Walton 34DE Steelers 27
Christian Covington 34DE Texans 26
Eddie Yarbrough 43DE Bills 26
Kerry Hyder 43DE Lions 28
Bronson Kaufusi 34DE Jets 28
Kristjan Sokoli 34DE Giants 28
Jonathan Woodard 43DE Dolphins 26
Romeo Okwara 43DE Lions 24
Joel Heath 34DE Texans 26
Roy Robertson-Harris 34DE Bears 26
Mitchell Loewen 43DE Lions 26
Morgan Fox 34DE Rams 25
Bryan Cox Jr. 43DE Panthers 25
Isaac Rochell 43DE Chargers 24
Justin Hamilton 34DE Chiefs 26
Efe Obada 43DE Panthers 27
Ricky Ali'ifua 43DE Seahawks 28
Fadol Brown 34DE Packers 26