No. 3: Linebacker Ken Norton Jr.
The mid-1990s 49ers looked to rediscover some of the same magic they had the previous decade, prompting then-owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. to hit the free-agent market in advance of the 1994 season.
One of the moves was to purge the Niners’ rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, of one of their standout defenders, linebacker Ken Norton Jr.
Norton was coming off a Pro Bowl year in 1993 and didn’t exactly repeat the same in his first with San Francisco. But his efforts helped the 49ers reach their fifth Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
He was a big part of why.
Norton went on to finish up his playing career with the 49ers, calling it quits after the 2000 campaign, and registering two more Pro Bowls (1995 and 1997) and one first-team All-Pro accolade (1995).
Since then, Norton has joined the coaching ranks and is currently the Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator.