ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that former 49ers edge rusher Samson Ebukam is signing a 3-year deal that’s worth up to $27 million, including $11 million in the first year. This is a contract that’s big enough to fall into the compensatory pick formula for the 49ers.
Ebukam was an excellent project that paid off for the 49ers. Ebukam hadn’t played along the defensive line full-time before signing with San Francisco in 2021. In his first year under Kris Kocurek, Ebukam notched 4.5 sacks, 33 pressures, and showed plenty of promise.
Ebukam was even better last year as he had five sacks, 47 pressures, and continued to play fantastic run defense. Now, the 27-year-old will have to put up numbers as a possible No. 1 threat. This time, without the luxury of playing opposite of Nick Bosa.
The good news for Ebukam is he’ll be playing next to former 49ers star defensive tackle, DeForest Buckner.
With Bosa, Armstead, and Javon Hargrave slated to be the other starters along the 49ers' defensive front, whoever replaces Ebukam in the starting lineup should be in an immediate position to thrive.
The Niners ideally would like 2022 second-round pick Drake Jackson to prove ready for that role. However, they will certainly add veteran and rookie competition through free agency and the draft. 49ers free agents Charles Omenihu and Jordan Willis remain prime candidates to re-sign with the team.
As an added bonus for the 49ers, the $9 million average annual value in Ebukam’s contract is likely large enough to net San Francisco a fifth-round compensatory pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. According to Over the Cap, the Niners were already in a position to net a third, sixth, and seventh-round pick. Granted, the 49ers could cancel out some of those picks depending on their remaining free-agent signings.