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One player from each team the 49ers should be interested in: NFC East edition

We know the 49ers will be players in free agency, so let’s throw some potential options out there

NFL: OCT 15 49ers at Redskins Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We know the San Francisco 49ers are going to be players in free agency. That’s been the case each offseason since general manager John Lynch has been calling the shots. Fans always remember the signings that fail and not under the radar moves that helped propel a team. Lynch has given money to a running back in free agency two years in a row. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice; you know the saying. That’s one position and one example. Just because one signing didn’t work out doesn’t mean you take your foot off the gas, as I’m sure the team would reference.

Let’s go through every NFL team and name one free agent the 49ers should consider, starting with the NFC East. I’m going to attempt to make this as realistic as possible.

Philadelphia- DT Timmy Jernigan

Jernigan is a stout, run-stopping defensive tackle that missed some time during 2019 but played the second half for the Eagles. The 49ers could use a veteran presence up front to pair with DeForest Buckner and D.J. Jones. Timmy Jernigan is a stout, run-stopping defensive tackle that missed some time during 2019 but played the second half for the Eagles. Because He’s not much of a threat to get after the quarterback, San Francisco could ink Jernigan to an affordable deal. Do it, John!

Dallas- DT Christian Covington

Amari Cooper and Byron Jones would be great, but good luck affording them. Covington is more athletic than Jernigan, a couple of years younger, and has more pass-rush upside. He could intrigue the 49ers as they look for someone to spell Buckner. Covington started six games for the Cowboys. In his 481 snaps, he had 18 pressures and 18 stops, so he’s active. Another player that could be signed for cheap and, at 26-years-old, still has time to become a “breakout player.” Free agency isn’t about boom-or-bust, but the 49ers seem to have that train of thought looking at some recent signings.

Washington- RG Brandon Scherff

I’m in the camp that you sign guards in free agency because veterans matter at the position. Not journeymen, but players with experience that have played at a high level. That’s Scherff, who will likely cost over $12 million annually. Keep your wide receivers and any other position in free agency that you want to spend big on and invest in your quarterback. Scherff has been one of the better guards in the game for years. Known as a dominant run blocker that can overpower players, Scherff is equally as impressive in pass protection. He only allowed one sack all season, and zero quarterback hits in 394 passing snaps. That’s with Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, and a rookie QB. If you’re looking for a splash signing, Scherff is the guy. It may not be sexy to talk about during the offseason, but he’d pay huge dividends during the regular season.

New York- DL Leonard Williams

One of the most bizarre trades of last season was the Giants trading a draft pick for Williams when they were nowhere near contending for the playoffs. Let’s say the 49ers realize they can’t sign Arik Armstead or lose him in some capacity. Williams would be a cheaper option that could give you 80% of what Armstead did in 2019. Williams is only 25-years-old and has plenty of talent. He’s projected to make $8.2 million annually, which is about half what Armstead would make if franchised tagged.

From Week 9 on, Williams had 31 total pressures, one sack, 12 QB hits, and 11 stops on 361 snaps. That’s playing with next to nobody on that Giants’ front. During that same time, During that same time in 138 more snaps, Armstead had 42 total pressures, with five sacks, seven quarterback hits, and 18 stops. These are the decisions the front office will be weighing over the next month.