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Golden Nuggets: How do you rank the 49ers’ offseason compared to the rest of the NFL?

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell has the Niners right in the middle of the pack.

Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers had a busy offseason as they try and retool for another run at a Super Bowl title.

General manager John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan had some tough decisions to make entering free agency. They elected to re-sign defensive lineman Arik Armstead to a five-year, $85 million contract, which was cheaper than what they would have to pay fellow lineman DeForest Buckner, who they wound up trading to the Indianapolis Colts for the No. 13 pick in the NFL Draft.

The 49ers also let veteran pass catcher Emmanuel Sanders walk in free agency, leaving a hole in their receiving corps, and lost All-Pro left tackle Joe Staley to retirement.

Lynch and Shanahan were able to find quickly find replacements for all three, drafting defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the first-round, before trading for Washington’s stud offensive lineman Trent Williams.

Still, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell thinks the 49ers’ offseason was average compared to the rest of the NFL, ranking the Niners at No. 16. While he praises Lynch and Shanahan for getting Kinlaw, Aiyuk and Williams, he still feels San Francisco made some mistakes:

Armstead is a great run defender, but the organization is paying him like the guy who had 10 sacks in 2019 as opposed to the one who had nine sacks combined across his previous four seasons ... The 49ers mostly stayed put elsewhere across their roster, which was a bit of a surprise. I thought they might try to do something at cornerback after Ahkello Witherspoon struggled when healthy and had to be benched during the playoffs, but the only move the team made was to re-sign Jason Verrett, who gave up a 39-yard touchdown and took a 32-yard pass interference penalty on two of his four defensive snaps last season. The team cut starting guard Mike Person and only replaced him with Jets utility lineman Tom Compton; he’ll compete with Daniel Brunskill for the right guard spot.”

Armstead dealt with injuries early in his career, and definitely benefitted from having Nick Bosa and Dee Ford on the line with him last season. What Barnwell fails to mention is that by signing Armstead over Buckner, the team was able to retain more of its own talent.

I did think the 49ers would address the cornerback position at the draft, especially with Richard Sherman’s contract expiring after the 2020 season, but with the emergence of Emmanuel Moseley, who played well subbing in for Witherspoon, it seems Lynch and Shanahan were comfortable waiting.

What do you think of Barnwell’s assessment of what the 49ers got wrong this offseason?

On to some more links:

We know these will change throughout the season. But, oddsmakers have the 49ers as betting favorites in every game but one in 2020. (h/t NBC Bay Area’s Parker Baruh)

The 49ers were seven minutes away from winning the Super Bowl. NFL insider Peter Schrager and Good Morning Football team discuss if the Niners will have a Super Bowl hangover next season.

With university classes and commencements cancelled due to the pandemic, the 49ers are doing their part to help the 2020 class celebrate with some help from Staley.

He will never live up to his draft position, but 49ers Web Zone’s Allan McBride looks at where Solomon Thomas fits on a stacked Niners’ defensive line.

Is one player San Francisco passed up on at the 2017 NFL Draft the key to take the team to the next level? NBC Bay Area’s Bryan Witt suggests a hypothetical trade to bolster the Niners’ secondary.

Which are the five-best 49ers teams of all time? Clutch Point’s Shane Mickle gives his list, and one of them was not a Super Bowl winning squad.

He’s back. Former Niner Aldon Smith has been conditionally reinstated.