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ESPN analyst thinks Dante Fowler re-signs with Rams

The pass rush market will feature some talented players next week, but is already limited thanks to the franchise tag. DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Frank Clark, and Dee Ford are all unlikely to sign with another team unless a trade happens. Brandon Graham re-signed with the Philadelphia Eagles before free agency began. Now, one ESPN analyst thinks Dante Fowler will likely re-sign with the Los Angeles Rams.

The Rams might want Fowler back in the fold, but it might not matter if another team is willing to pay more, and potentially over-pay for Fowler’s potential. Fowler has 16 career sacks over the past three seasons after missing his rookie year with a torn ACL. The Jacksonville Jaguars spent a first round pick on him in 2015, and then traded him to the Rams for a 2019 third-round pick and a 2020 fifth-round pick.

Fowler has a ton of potential, but the production has been inconsistent at best. Trey Flowers is likely going to land the biggest deal in free agency, but after that, it’s anybody’s guess who gets what. The market includes Flowers, Fowler, Justin Houston, Ezekiel Ansah, Za’Darius Smith, and Cameron Wake, among others. There is talent there, but not necessarily game-changing franchise edge rusher talent. Flowers might be the closest, with Houston an option, albeit on the back side of his career.

Will this turn into a modest bidding war for players like Fowler? How aggressive are the 49ers willing to be for a guy Kyle Shanahan has acknowledged they like?