Kyle’s update, Thursday, April 14, 10:05 AM PT: Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the 49ers have agreed to a one-year deal with Turay.
Turay appeared in 13 games in 2021, where he played 27% of the snaps with the Colts. During the previous two seasons, Turay appeared in 11 combined games. The hope, of course, is the further away Turay gets away from his injuries the healthier he becomes. At 26, Turay is just entering his prime.
This is a player the Niners have had their eyes on since Turay came out of the 2018 draft, where they hosted Turay on a pre-draft visit.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the 49ers hosted free agent edge rusher, Kemoko Turay. Turay, who has a troubling injury history dating back to college, has been productive when he played. He was a second-round pick in 2018 out of Rutgers, so the talent is there.
Turay broke his ankle during Week 5 of the 2019 season and missed the rest of the year. He started the 2020 season on the reserve/PUP list and wasn’t activated until the middle of November.
Turay had his most productive NFL campaign in 2021. Despite playing in just 27% of the Colts’ defensive snaps, he amassed a career-high 5.5 sacks. Over his four-year career, Turay has appeared in 38 games (three starts) and recorded 33 tackles, 29 quarterback hits, 12 sacks, and seven tackles for loss.
Turay is a pass-rush specialist, so perhaps playing in a limited role would keep him healthy. He rushed the passer 173 times last season and had a higher pressure rate than reserves Arden Key and Samson Ebukam did for the Niners.
If Turay passes a physical and checks out medically, this would be a low-risk, medium-reward move for a team that loves to rotate edge rushers and sometimes uses as many as four on the field at once.
It should be worth noting that after May 2, teams are free to sign free agents and not have it count against their compensatory pick formula. So, money, along with that, is a reason the Niners haven’t been in a rush to sign players.