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ESPN predicts Richard Sherman will return to the 49ers and sign a one-year deal

They listed a few other free agents that the 49ers should pursue, too.

NFL: Washington Football Team at San Francisco 49ers Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

As Julio Jones continues to be the topic of discussion, especially as he went on live TV and said, “I’m out of there” on Monday morning — speaking of his situation in Atlanta — there are some other potential names that could help plenty of teams out there, including the 49ers.

CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones reported that no team had made the Falcons a legitimate trade offer for Julio. This saga is fun to talk about, but I don’t think we’ll get anywhere anytime soon.

ESPN predicted the top landing spots for some of the top free agents in the NFL, including former 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman. According to Bill Barnwell, Sherm will be back in the Bay Area:

Prediction: signs one-year, $4 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers

The future Hall of Famer could make sense for a number of teams, which is why he has been linked to the Jets, Saints and even the Seahawks this offseason. Sherman is 33 and missed 11 games in 2020 with a calf injury, but he was an effective cornerback during his time with the 49ers. He’s not going to be the All-Pro corner from the peak Seattle days, but Sherman is still a very viable NFL starter at this point of his career. Sherman’s understanding of the game and insight into preparation may also be valuable to teams as they develop younger corners on the roster.

Sherman wasn’t healthy, and when he was on the field didn’t have his best season, but it was evident that injuries got the best of him.

It’s tough to project what Sherman will look like coming off what was all but a season-ending injury. The addition of Sherman would give the 49ers much-needed insurance at cornerback.

It’d allow Emmanuel Moseley to continue to serve as the “utility” cornerback, though I believe he’s ready for a bigger role. The good news for the 49ers is they don’t have to rush to sign a veteran like Sherman. If the team likes what they see in Moseley, Jason Verrett, and Ambry Thomas, they don’t have to sign Sherm.

The two names that I thought were interesting were Justin Houston and Melvin Ingram. Like Sherman, the Niners aren’t in a position where edge rusher is a dire need. You can use OTAs, minicamp, and training camp to see how Samson Ebukam looks in his first full season as a full-time pass rusher.

Is Nick Bosa back to his dominant form, or will he need some time? Will San Francisco get anything from Dee Ford? As you go down the roster, these are the questions you ask.

Barnwell predicted that Melvin Ingram would sign for a one-year deal worth $5.5 million with the Chargers and that Justin Houston would sign a one-year deal worth $6 million with the Ravens.

Once the team signs their entire draft class, the 49ers will be between $10-$11 million in ap space. Adding a veteran edge rusher helps your pass rush, linebackers, and secondary. I’d think long and hard about signing Houston or Ingram if I didn’t like what I saw during these upcoming camps from the current edge rushers on the roster.