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The Shanaplan: Which offseason moves from last year paid off for the 49ers?

We went through each position

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

During today’s episode of The Shanaplan, Akash and I looked back at some of the moves the 49ers made during free agency last offseason and how that impacted the team during his year.

We began with quarterback because you have to when you’re talking about the 49ers. Next, we discussed if the 49ers' plan to retain Jimmy Garoppolo while developing Trey Lance was worth ruffling feathers in the locker room.

We bounced around from position to position, from cornerback to the one-year deals signed. One player, Samson Ebukam, was a hot topic. Should the 49ers bring him back?

His cap number for 2022 is $8.2 million. So if the 49ers were to release Ebukam before June 1, they’d save $6.5 million in cap space and only have $1.75 million in dead money. That money could be used to re-sign D.J. Jones and another potential free agent.

Then again, Ebukam will be 27 during the 2022 regular season, And in his first full year as an edge rusher, he finished the season with 4.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 32 pressures, showing his worth down the stretch.

Here’s Akash’s point of view on some of the deals handed out last year and the 49ers salary cap:

In an ideal world, you hope Alex Mack retires since you save a couple of million there. As for D.J. Jones, you’re hoping Javon Kinlaw comes back and fills that void. Would you rather have Jones or Arden Key? If Kinlaw is back, I’d rather have Key.

Back to the Ebukam contract. They’d save $6.5 million if they were to outright release him. Right now the 49ers are $4.5 million over the salary cap, which they’ll have to get under in about a month.

They have to cut about $4 million in salary. Jimmy Garoppolo’s trade will save about $25 million. Like you mentioned, they have all of these voids to fill. Outside corner, slot corner, center, if Mack retires. Pass rusher, interior defensive line. They have holes across the board.

They’ll have to make some tough decisions. Arik Armstead and Jimmie Ward are prime candidates for restructures. Ebukam is a prime candidate to be released to save some space and be replaced by another speedy edge rusher on a cheaper one-year deal.

We also talked about linebacker and what the 49ers will do with Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair.

We also discussed what’s taking so long for the Niners to fill their coaching staff as the NFL Combine is a couple of weeks away. The Athletic’s Matt Barrows reported the team is promoting quality control coach Brian Fleury to tight ends coach. That’s the first domino to fall.

Other topics include:

Did the QB plan work out? (1:13)

How badly did the plan at cornerback misfire? (8:42)

Did the gamble on Samson Ebukam pay off? (17:48)

Who are the two most likely defensive cap casualties? (20:46)

Why haven’t the 49ers filled out their coaching staff? (25:10)

Will Vic Fangio be a consultant for this team? (29:00)

What the 49ers can learn from the Rams (32:27)

What should the expectations for Trey Lance be? (38:05)