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One player from each team the 49ers should be interested in: NFC West Edition

We’ll see how heavily involved the 49ers will be in free agency. Here are three potential players within the division who fit what the Niners want to do.

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The 49ers enter this offseason with 21 unrestricted free agents, three restricted free agents, and four ERFA’s. Needless to say, we can expect plenty of turnover on the roster.

Leading up to free agency, we’ll go through each division in the NFL to see which unrestricted player on each team best fits the Niners.

Not every signing needs to be a marquee name such as Odell Beckham Jr. San Francisco has shown they don’t mind taking big swings, but their hits — in free agency, at least — have primarily been the contracts that come during the second or third wave of free agency.

Let’s start with the NFC West.

Cardinals - WR Christian Kirk

The 49ers signed a Cardinals wideout last offseason. Trent Sherfield turned out to be above average on special teams but only an adequate receiver. On the other hand, Kirk is only 25, can run like the win, create after the catch, and win down the field from the slot. He did have a career year, though, so Kirk’s price tag might be inflated as he was 18 yards shy of 1,000 receiving yards on the season.

Kirk would effectively replace Trent Sherfield and Travis Benjamin. It should be worth noting Kirk has experience as a returner.

Kirk’s cap number in 2021 was $3 million. Over The Cap’s valuation of Kirk’s season comes in north of $10 million. If that’s the case, it’s an easy pass. Still, Kirk would give the 49ers more speed on offense and special teams.

Seahawks - CB D.J. Reed

I’m unsure whether the door is closed for a reunion, but I’d bring Reed back. He plays the way DeMeco Ryans wants his players to play. Reed tackles, doesn’t shy away from contact and is best in man coverage.

Reed proved that he could play outside if needed, but I still believe he’s best in the slot. At 25, this could be your slot cornerback of the future without having to overspend.

Reed’s coverage numbers were impressive. Per Sports Info Solutions, Reed allowed a completion percentage of 47.9%, had ten pass breakups and two interceptions while only allowing three touchdowns all season — two of them came in Week 3 against the Vikings.

Furthermore, he was even better in man coverage. Reed’s completion percentage when he was in man coverage was 38.5%. That’s an area the 49ers must improve. Reed fixes that and also comes with return experience on special teams.

Rams - DT Sebastian Joseph-Day

Von Miller or OBJ would be fun, but neither seems realistic. The Rams center and right guard are both free agents, but they’re undersized and unathletic. That’s not a good combo.

I thought the 49ers should go after Darious Williams last offseason with their second-round pick, but he proved to be a one-year wonder that benefited from playing opposite of Jalen Ramsey.

You could say the same for Joseph-Day playing next to Aaron Donald, but he’d be coming to a defensive line that’s loaded with talent. Soon to be 27, Joseph-Day would be a D.J. Jones replacement if the Niners can’t strike a deal with him.

Joseph-Day is coming off a pectoral injury, so he’d sign for less than he’s worth. He started seven games in 2021 but did not miss a game in the previous two seasons.

He had 38 tackles, three for loss, three sacks, and seven QB hits in seven starts. His average depth of tackle was 2.3 yards, and Joseph-Day made a tackle on 26.3% of his snaps against the rn, which was the highest percentage of any defensive lineman in the league, per Tru Media.

He’s similar in value to Jones and would be the closest available free agent to Jones’ value in terms of production versus what you’ll pay.