Raise your hand if you thought the San Francisco 49ers’ free agency was going to go like this. The team has an agreement with linebacker Kwon Alexander and now John Lynch and the front office shift their attention elsewhere, and it may not be where you’re thinking. Multiple reports are suggesting the 49ers are interested in cornerbacks, chief of which being Denver Broncos free agent Bradley Roby and Indianapolis Colts free agent Pierre Desir. Per NFL Network’s James Palmer, Roby’s landing spots along with the 49ers or returning to the Broncos include the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Oakland Raiders.
Roby’s not the only cornerback the 49ers are interested in. Matt Barrows also reports the 49ers have interest in Pierre Desir. In fact, Desir may be the preferred option. Forbes writer Vincent Frank breaks it down better than I can, but Desir has the size and can play on the outside a bit better than Roby who struggled in the role when Aqib Talib left for the Los Angeles Rams. Don’t misunderstand, Roby is still an upgrade if the 49ers land him.
Of course there’s the question: what about a safety? Weren’t the 49ers going to go get one? Well, ESPN’s Nick Wagoner put it best. That safety market is mighty deep right now and the cream of it, Earl Thomas remains unsigned. The cornerback market is not near as abundant as the safety market and if the 49ers are going to get a corner, they need to do so now.
The question is who would they go with? I agree that Desir may be the better corner of the two, but if Roby is signed, I’m not going to complain in the slightest. He’s not a bad option at the position. One thing is certain: either of those two will further shrink available salary cap space. That said, if we lived in a perfect world where the 49ers somehow land one of them, Alexander, and still get Earl Thomas to come over with money leftover for the DeForest Buckner extension, I’d be ecstatic. Remember, that salary cap surplus can go to $0 real quick if they aren’t careful, but here’s hoping.
What cornerbacks would you want the 49ers to take a look at? Or do you *shiver* give Ahkello Witherspoon another shot?