It was a mixed weekend for the 49ers. They landed key pieces that should be able to help them compete with the elite teams in the NFL. But it was also a sad weekend with the Niners’ rock, Joe Staley announcing his retirement after 13 years. The team was able to find a very able replacement when they traded for Washington’s Trent Williams. They finished off the weekend by getting some undrafted free agents onto the roster.
Joe Staley was a cornerstone for the 49ers’ offensive line since the day they drafted him in 2007. His arrival along with his fellow 2007 draftee Patrick Willis laid the foundation for a team that had a couple of rough seasons before finally ascending to the elite of the NFL and a Super Bowl they unfortunately lost in 2012. After Patrick Willis retired in 2015, Joe continued to excel, but suffered a few more very rough seasons before getting another chance at a Super Bowl earlier this year. Unfortunately Joe retires without that elusive Super Bowl ring, but he goes down as one of the best 49ers to ever play. He is beloved and hopefully he is able to find a role around this current squad.
Before the draft, the biggest need the 49ers had was to find a WR to pair with Deebo Samuel. The team selected two in the draft and signed another one as an undrafted free agent. The prize pickup was Brandon Aiyuk from Arizona State, who was selected in the first round after the 49ers traded back into the first round. He was the YAC king in college football so it’s easy to see why Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch went with him. They like guys who can separate and make plays and he fits that description.
Aiyuk joins a roster of receivers that includes Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis, Travis Benjamin, Jalen Hurd, Trent Taylor, rookie Jauan Jennings, and Richie James. Travis Benjamin and Richie James have the toughest road to make the team. Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor have good chances unless they have some major setbacks from their injuries. Aiyuk will likely join Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne as the top WRs. Dante Pettis is an unknown and seems the most likely to be traded if they can make a deal happen. The training camp battle should be intense with some many spots open for guys to take. At this moment, Deebo, Kendrick, Brandon, Jalen, and Trent are the obvious frontrunners to make the team.
Striking a balance (Wagoner)
Jalen Hurd cleared (Alper)
Draft grades (49ers staff)
Strong weekend to reload the roster (Madson)
Rookies land their numbers (Inman)
Staley’s ex-teammates talk (Inman)
Lynch talks about Buckner trade (NFL video)
10 undrafted free agents (Cohn)
Tuesday’s roster moves (49ers staff)
9 undrafted free agents sign (Alper)
Joe on his exit (Inman)
Joe Staley calls it quits (Branch)
Staley on his new replacement (Maiocco)
Who could be traded or cut? (Barnwell)
Which top 4 team had the best weekend? (NFL video)
New Orleans sign Jameis Winston (Gordon)