49ers Free Agency: 5 Players SF Should Target This Offseason

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Dec 13, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers guard Chris Scott (79) on the bench in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defeated the Falcons 38-0 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Scott – Carolina Panthers G (UFA)

Offensive guard Chris Scott would be a left-field signing, as he is currently a backup guard for the Panthers, and has been a backup for his entire career.

However, in the time he has played this season for a team that is currently 14-0, he has performed decently. Per Pro Football Focus in his 91 snaps played in 2015, he has a grade of plus-60.4, with the same even grade against the run and the pass (plus-60.2).

This is not a world-beating grade admittedly. But look at who the 49ers have on the roster now — Jordan Devey (minus-37.5, since benched) and Marcus Martin (minus-30.4, who seems to be pushed back every other play). Ian Silberman and Brandon Thomas cannot get on the field ahead of either of these two, which is disturbing enough. Andrew Tiller looks like the only winner right now in this group.

With Boone likely to leave in free agency to get his big bucks elsewhere, guard is a need position. If the 49ers coaches have no confidence in Silberman and Thomas, then they need to hit on someone else.

Scott is that man — his 2015 cap hit is a measly $665,000, and he is still only 28 years old. The 49ers are likely to draft a guard (or two) in the upcoming 2016 draft, but Scott would provide some quality depth and would likely get a chance to start next season.

Assuming that right tackle Anthony Davis returns from his retirement, the 49ers could slide Trent Brown to guard or keep him as the top backup at the tackle position, and an off-season competition could decide where Tiller, Scott and the draft pick end up playing.

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The beauty of free agency is that literally anything can happen. The 49ers will have a plan for 2016, and will be continuing to tinker with it. However, for the first time in several years the 49ers have a high amount of cap space to spend. It is critical that they use this space to get as many impact players as they can.

The five players listed here would each provide a solution to a high need area for this team. Though there are lots of needs throughout the team, the draft will also help address some of them, and any change in coaching and potentially schemes would additionally impact where the 49ers could head in free agency.

Only time will tell!

Next: NFL Power Rankings: San Francisco 49ers Remain Near Bottom in Week 16

All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, spotrac.comoverthecap.com and 49ers.com unless otherwise indicated.