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The Shanaplan: One free agent upgrade at each position

We went through each position to determine if there’s a suitable upgrade in free agency.

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

During this week’s episode of the Shanaplan, Akash and I started the show off with a quick discussion about Matthew Stafford going to the Rams and how it changes the NFC West dynamic.

We moved onto the Robert Saleh hiring multiple 49ers coaches and set the over/under at three for the number of unrestricted free agents who played for San Francisco this past season would end up with Saleh in New York, and what Saleh’s recruiting pitch might be.

Around the six-minute mark, we discussed the one-year anniversary of the Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs. This past Saturday morning was the first time that I rewatched the offense in full. The execution was akin to a fourth preseason game. We went through and played the blame game while giving the Niners' defense all of the credit in the world.

At around the 14-minute mark, we spoke about the Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s report that the Raiders are expected to trade Derek Carr. We went through whether Carr is an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo. Not just in a vacuum, but we spoke about Carr’s salary cap and what he brings to the table.

Carr is likely going to be moved, and it could happen as soon as this week. San Francisco is a longshot, but it’s worthy of having a discussion. As was the case with Stafford, the 49ers aren’t going to get into a bidding war with other teams to acquire Carr. The Colts make a ton of sense.

Around the 21-minute mark is where we began to discuss the free-agent options at quarterback. If there’s any question about a player and he’s not a slam-dunk option, then, in this scenario, he doesn’t count.

QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick

He’s an intriguing option. We saw Fitzpatrick dissect the 49ers' defense. The question shouldn’t be, “is Fitzpatrick better than Jimmy G.” The question should be, “can Fitzpatrick give you the same as Jimmy G could for $17 million less a season.”

Fitzmagic’s turnovers come in bunches, and I doubt that’s something Shanahan values.

RB - Is Juice’s production worth what he’ll demand?

WR - We both settled on Curtis Samuel as a realistic option over Kendrick Bourne.

OT - This will surprise you, but there isn’t a better option available than Trent Williams.

IOL - Akash made the argument for going all-in on Packers C Corey Linsley, while I named dropped some cheaper alternatives.

Edge - Leonard Floyd

He’s precisely what the 49ers need for production, athleticism, and versatility; you name it. Floyd won’t be cheap, but we explained why he’s worth the cost.

CB - Rams CB Darious Williams was a top-10 cornerback in 2020. He’s a restricted free agent who the Rams won’t keep around for money reasons. If the Rams placed a second-round tender on Williams, I’m taking the sure-thing who would presumably make under $5 million in 2021.

We tossed a few other names around, like slot CB Mackensie Alexander.

S - Some options would be upgrades over Tarvarius Moore, but you can’t field 11 All-Pro’s on defense. We made the argument that it’s time to let Moore develop and grow into a consistent player. If Moore is your worst starter in the secondary, you're going to be just fine.

In the end, we discussed who would be the one player we’d want the team to sign. We settled on Floyd and Williams.