The 49ers head into the 2023 offseason with 25 players (21 unrestricted, four restricted) entering free agency. Throughout the offseason, we’ll highlight each player and their case.
Samson Ebukam, EDGE, 27
The 49ers have a formula for betting on the traits of defensive linemen and maximizing their potential. From Kerry Hyder to Arden Key, Kris Kocurek and the team have found players who can contribute based on those traits.
After four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, the 49ers signed Samson Ebukam in 2021. 2018 was his most successful season with the Rams. Nearly eclipsing 800 total snaps, Ebukam racked up 33 pressures, 31 tackles (career-high), and 20 defensive stops.
In consecutive years following 2018, Ebukam’s snaps decreased to a total of 381 in 2020. However, Ebukam still generated 25 pressures in 2019 and 20 in 2020. Considering the dropoff in snaps, the amount of pressure is still impressive.
The 49ers took a chance on his talent and identified him as a fit under DeMeco Ryans. Primarily, Ebukam is an EDGE defender, with nearly 90 percent of his snaps coming on the defensive line.
2021 started slowly for Ebukam, but as the season progressed, so did the production. Week eight in Chicago was a standout performance with five total pressures after accumulating only four total pressures in the previous weeks.
Down the stretch in 2021, Ebukam hit his stride. From Week 14 through the NFC Championship game, Ebukam had four or more pressures in six games. In three playoff appearances, Ebukam totaled 11 pressures.
This past season, Ebukam mirrored his snap count from 2021 (681) and totaled a career-high 50 pressures. The question isn’t his talent or contributions, but will he follow his former DC to Houston?
Market value for Ebukam’s contract, according to Spotrac, puts him with an average annual salary of 7.7 million dollars. In 2021, his annual salary sat at six million dollars.
With the free agents the 49ers intend to return and bring in, Ebukam could be set for departure.
Ebukam walks in free agency. Comparable contracts and situations to Ebukam are a good reference point for what he can earn on the open market.