NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco reported that he’s hearing the 49ers are being aggressive on the cornerback market, and they’ve reached out to the “top guys.” The 49ers are currently over the cap. But, as we’ve mentioned, a couple of restructures or extend a couple of contracts to create the cap space necessary.
Our resident salary cap expert, Jason Hurley believes the 49ers will end up somewhere between $36-$37 million range after they deal Jimmy Garoppolo.
An extension for Jimmie Ward paired with a Garoppolo trade would give the Niners upwards of $44 million in cap space. A Ward extension would need to occur before the start of the new league year Wednesday, at 1 p.m. PT.
Now that we’ve established money won’t be an issue for the 49ers, Matt’s report makes sense. The 49ers could conceivably re-sign Jason Verrett as their CB1, but history would suggest he won’t stay healthy.
Emmanuel Moseley is a high-end CB2. Ambry Thomas has question marks. Signing a veteran cornerback keeps Moseley as your No. 2 cornerback while it gives Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir time to develop.
J.C. Jackson? He’s the top cornerback on the market. Jackson will likely set the market and “break the bank.” The 26-year-old has elite speed, ball-production and has consistently been one of the top cornerbacks during the past three seasons.
Stephon Gilmore is a name that we’ve discussed and a player the 49ers have been linked to. Gilmore played like his All-Pro self during his eight-game stint with the Panthers last season. Gilmore, who will be 32 by Week 2, is an immediate fix at cornerback but not the long-term answer.
Another top cornerback on the market is Bucs unrestricted free agent Carlton Davis. Tampa Bay re-signed Ryan Jensen, which might mean Davis is on his way out.
For what the 49ers ask of their CBs, it’d be tough to find a better fit than Carlton Davis. A matchup CB that takes the pressure off last year's rookies to play and keeps Moseley as CB2.— KP (@KP_Show) March 14, 2022
Davis just turned 25 and would be the long-term answer at CB the Niners desperately need. https://t.co/303drhs1cA
When you think about everything the Niners ask of their cornerbacks, Davis fits the bill. Also, he’s a playmaker and aggressive. He takes chances, but in a way, that’s necessary to excel at the position.
Once you factor in Davis’s age, he’d be the best-case scenario, in my opinion, for the Niners. Davis has missed multiple games due to injury in each season he’s been in the NFL. That is something you cannot ignore. Still, his talent is worth betting on, and he’d be an ideal fit for San Francisco.