No. 2: Cornerback Deion Sanders
Had current Hall of Famer Deion Sanders played more than just one season with the 49ers, he’d assuredly be the top guy on this all-time free-agent list.
But there’s one thing sticking out with Sanders and his brief stint with San Francisco. He came to the Niners to win a Super Bowl after failing to do so the previous five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.
And he did. Enough said, and he was surely the kind of free-agent talent the 49ers needed.
During the 1994 season, Sanders posted six interceptions and led the NFL with three of them returned for touchdowns. That’s a rarity during any phase of football history.
Of course, Sanders departed after this lone season and joined the ranks of the Cowboys, much to Niners fans’ dismay.
Still, he remains one of the best free-agent pickups in football history, not just San Francisco.