With free agency now less than a month away, 49ers media and fans have already begun discussing possible scenarios for how John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan might approach the open period, and how they might use the opportunity to improve the roster.
And while we could talk about the limited cap space, and retaining current talent, and regurgitating the same tired names (AJ Green anyone?), I say, what fun is that?
How about some good old fashioned, wild, baseless speculation?
Which brings me to my free agency question of the day: Should the 49ers consider signing Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller if he becomes available in free agency?
As it currently stands, Deebo Samuel is really the only wide receiver on the 49ers roster guaranteed a spot on the 2020 roster. Jalen Hurd and Dante Pettis are likely to be on the roster as well, and Trent Taylor at the very least will have an opportunity to compete, but the position does seem to be thin heading into 2020. Which brings us to Fuller.
For starters, it should be noted that Fuller is not currently slated to be a free agent. The Texans exercised their 5th year option on Fuller for 2020 which would pay him $10.1 million for the season. But it’s not guaranteed, at least not yet. The Texans have until March 18 to make a decision on Fuller, and can clear over 10 million in cap space if they cut him before that date.
It’s possible that the Texans could shop Fuller, but I can’t imagine any takers at his current salary. Which means that it’s a very real possibility that Fuller hits the open market this offseason. But should the 49ers be interested?
Talent is definitely not an issue with Fuller. When he is on the field he is a dynamic deep threat that forces defenses to stretch the field and creates opportunities for both himself and his teammates. Fuller put his ceiling on display in 2019 against the Atlanta Falcons hauling in 14 receptions for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The issue with Fuller is health. Or lack thereof. In his four seasons in the NFL Fuller has suited up for 14, 10, 7, and 11 games respectively. That’s 42 out of a possible 64 games, or 65%. So there is risk involved for any team that looks to sign Fuller this offseason.
But it is also worth mentioning that in college at Notre Dame, Fuller played every game in his final two seasons. And it has been at least suggested that the Texans medical staff might have managed Fuller’s (and others) health situation poorly.
So would it be worth it for the 49ers to kick the tires on Fuller if he becomes available? What type of contract should they consider, and what price? Let us know in the comments below!
And now, onto those links:
49ers release recently-signed defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks (David Bonilla, 49ers WebZone)
Brunskill Was One of 49ers’ Unexpected Heroes (Doug Williams, NBC Bay Area)
49ers Weston Richburg expected back for training camp (Peter Panacy, Niner Noise)
49ers Top 20 for ‘20: #17 Dre Greenlaw (Gilbert Brink, 49ers WebZone)
49ers: Jalen Hurd must step up if Emmanuel Sanders departs in free agency (Joshua Altorfer, Niner Noise)