The 2019 season for the Niners was a fun ride all the way until the last few minutes of Super Bowl LIV. Entering the season, they were expected to be competitive in the division with Jimmy Garoppolo coming back from his injury and upgrading their pass rush with Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. But not many people expected them to be one of the top teams in the NFL from the beginning to the end of the season and that’s exactly what they did. After having to go through a complete rebuild when Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch were hired, they are now in their championship window and those windows are normally small in the NFL. The 49ers have a young squad and they need to take advantage of their championship window. That starts right now with decisions surrounding the roster.
One of the first things Kyle and John will have to sort out is what to do with their free agents. Arik Armstead, Jimmie Ward, and Emmanuel Sanders along with backups Ronald Blair and Ben Garland are unrestricted free agents. Arik is the priority after having a breakout season as a pass rusher and ending the season with 10 sacks. Sanders, who was picked up midseason via trade, made an immediate impact on the team’s offense, but the team will have Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd likely ready to play this season so will that money be better spent on another player? The team is expected to have around $13 million in cap space and can get close to $20 million with a couple of moves. They also need to start working on extensions for DeForest Buckner and George Kittle, who will both be coming off their rookie deals soon.
After dealing with the free agents, the draft will be next and the Niners have their first round pick, but then do not have a pick until the 5th round. These draft picks, especially that first round pick at #31, need to be impactful players since it will be hard for the team to bring in free agents with the limited cap space. If they can find a couple of players in the draft that can immediately contribute to the team and insert them into one of the NFL’s best teams, there is no reason that they should not be able compete for a Super Bowl title this upcoming season.
A plan needed to stay in Super Bowl hunt (Wagoner)
Fred Warner on SB loss (Alper)
Offseason calendar (Madson)
NFC West offseason moves (Barnwell)
Cam’s future (Newton)
Ben McAdoo is Jag’s new QB coach (DiRocco)
NFC West rookie grades (Filice)