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Who should the 49ers target in the second week of free agency?

The bargain bin. Everyone’s favorite aisle. Taking a look at 2 players the team should sign and two players they should stay away from.

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve seen some 49er fans that are upset with the haul that the team has gotten so far in free agency. If I told you before free agency started you would still have all your draft picks this year, and end up with a pass rusher coming off of a historical season in regards to getting after the quarterback. Add a speedy linebacker that creates chaos. Create competition at running back, wide receiver, and defensive back, all while having still having over $41 million in cap space? Come on. You’re just getting greedy now. To be able to sign/re-sign 15 players and still have the fourth most cap space in the NFL is a luxury. It gives the team freedom to poke around and maybe entertain trade offers they normally couldn’t with that sort of space.

It’s the second week of free agency, and most of the “big” names have signed. There is still plenty of talent available. Some of the best value in free agency hasn’t happened yet. With that said, here are two players the Niners should target and two players the team should steer clear of.

OG Quinton Spain

This would not only be a depth signing, but it would also be some much needed insurance. The best way to describe the play of Laken Tomlinson and Mike Person’s play last year would be “fine”. Both players will be making under $3 million in 2019. The continuity surrounding the offensive line is the best argument for trotting both players out again in 2019. Can you likely find better players? Sure. Knowing the tendencies of the guy you’re playing next to matters.

That brings us to Spain, who was actually benched during a game late in the season. Spain allowed one sack and 16 total pressures for the Titans last year. For reference, Person allowed only one sack as well, but did allow 34 total pressures. While Tomlinson allowed four sacks and 31 pressures. The 27-year old Spain would likely come in on a cheap deal. He’s a big strong guy that could push for starter snaps at best. At worst, you have a quality backup guard in the event of injury. A low-risk, high reward signing that likely only makes the guys in front of you step their game up. Competition tends to do that.

FS Tre Boston

Boston is a guy that is the true free safety that most 49er fans covet. There are some things that Boston does very well. He’s aggressive. He can cover. He has better ball skills than Jimmie Ward, but that’s not the most ringing endorsement. Speaking of Ward, Boston’s tackling ability would be enough pass.

Boston had 15 “stops”, or tackles that constitute as a loss for the offense, last year. He missed 12 tackles. Boston is not a good tackler. There’s no other way to slice it. You want him now, but he will drive you insane if he’s on your roster. Count on him making a play that will benefit the offense because of his tackling once a game. It can be that bad. If the Niners are going to evolve, Boston is a player to avoid. He can play the deep safety and is serviceable, but he’s not a guy that will be better than whoever safety you take in the second round. Because Boston is limited, the 49ers would be wise to pass.

SS Eric Berry

Staying at the safety position, Berry just hasn’t been reliable. It looks like he is headed to Dallas, but he’s a name that has been popular among fans. You can count on one hand how many games Berry has played in the last couple years. The team has already taken their fair share of risks in free agency. To double-down on a player that hasn’t suited up much lately at safety just isn’t how you build a team. Judging by his play last year, Berry just doesn’t seem like he can move anymore. The team sitting idle, besides bringing back Ward, was the right play, considering the strength of the draft.

Edge Justin Houston

I tried hard to get a different name here. But Houston is just so dang good. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, it’s not even about money:

“He is generating considerable interest as of today. Down to 3 teams as of last week. Because he’s made so much money in his career and where we are in free agency, he’s not really in a rush but has narrowed it down to a couple finalist.”

The only thing that seems plausible for Houston being available his Houston himself saying there’s no rush. Houston could tag along with his former teammate Dee Ford, and mentor Nick Bosa. My selling point if I’m John Lynch to Houston is that he will only rush the passer, if that’s all he’s interested in. Because if you isolate him just rushing the passer last year, Houston was a monster in 2018. PFF tracks “pass rushing productivity”, which measures pressure created on a per snap basis with weighting toward sacks. Ford’s “PRP” was sixth, at 8.9%. Houston was three spots behind him at 8.6%. The signing, the fit, the culture that you’re trying to create. Houston just makes so much sense.