This is the final installment of our free agency series, where we went through one player on each team the San Francisco 49ers should be interested in. Today we’ll stay in the division and talk about some potential fits from the NFC West. We’ll save the best for last, so we’ll start with Seattle.
Seahawks- We’ll be fine this year, thanks.
Whether it’s one team or both, it feels like a lock that San Francisco or Seattle will sign a player from the other team this offseason. Cassius Marsh, Richard Sherman, Mike Iupati, and the list goes on and on. It’s what these two teams do. With that said, I don’t think there is a fit on the Seahawks that would intrigue the 49ers.
Seattle has bigger named free agents like Jadeveon Clowney and Ezekial Ansah, and even defensive tackle Jaraan Reed to a lesser extent. The first two have proven to be injury-prone, while Reed still hasn’t proven that he can be a consistent threat as a pass rusher. Most of the potential depth pieces are either unproven or past their prime. You’re probably not going to go after a guy lie Josh Gordon, so this could be the year where the 49ers don’t go after a former Seahawk.
Rams- Nickell Robey-Coleman
Robey-Coleman is a slot corner that could compete with K’Waun Williams inside. The veteran has always been one of the better athletes in the game and has played well for the rams the past three seasons. Like the Seahawks, the Rams don’t have a lot of depth to choose from. Michael Brokers would be great, but you’re not going to pay a player close to $10 million to be a part-time player. Edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. is going to get paid, but I’d be worried about giving him a big contract. Robey Coleman has a team option, but many expect the Rams to move on from him.
Cardinals- DL Rodney Gunter
You weren’t going to get through one of these without the 49ers adding some beef. Gunter may be one of the better defensive tackle options in free agency to backup both DeForest Buckner and D.J. Jones. Gunter finished the season with 30 total pressures and five sacks. That came on 357 pass-rush snaps. That’s five more total pressures than Sheldon Day, who is an unrestricted free agent, has in the last two seasons. Gunter was drafted in 2015, so he’s just starting to get into the prime of his career. There is still some upside here, and the 49ers would be wise to add another 300-pounder to the roster.
49ers- S Jimmie Ward
We can still talk about the 49ers. If I had to pick one player to bring back, it’s Ward. You’d like to think the further Ward gets away from injury, the more dependable he’ll be moving forward. Ward was incredible in 2020, and, since he didn’t put up flashy numbers, San Francisco should have the upper hand in contract negotiations. Ward will be the most affordable of Arik Armstead and Emmanuel Sanders, and that should decide to bring him back as well. I’m most curious about what Ward’s market looks like.