Along with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, these four overpriced San Francisco 49ers failed to live up to the expectations that came with their inflated contracts. To take a step forward during the 2019 NFL regular season, the Niners need to part ways with these expensive veterans this offseason.
Incoming general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan went on quite a spending spree over the past two seasons in an effort to revamp the San Francisco 49ers’ roster. The Niners’ front office added a bit of younger talent, but they also brought in a number of established veterans who were asked to provide leadership both on the field and in the 49ers’ locker room.
The duo had their fair share of hits, as well as a good number of expensive misses.
Now two years into the team’s rebuild, the 49ers’ franchise is in a different place. Shanahan, Lynch and a number of key leaders on the roster have begun to establish a defined team culture, despite the Niners’ lack of victories on the field of play. With the initial groundwork set, the time to add young and talented playmakers is now.
But before the San Francisco 49ers can take the next step forward toward NFL legitimacy, the organization needs to part ways with overpriced veterans to make room for the up-and-coming stars of the future. These experienced players helped stabilize the franchise at an important time in the team’s development, but each player’s current cost now outweighs his potential benefit to the organization.
On Wednesday, the 49ers began their veteran purge of 2019. The first victim of the year was nose tackle Earl Mitchell, who lost his starting job to second-year defensive tackle D.J. Jones late last season.
During his time with the team, Mitchell wasn’t the run-stuffer expected out of the big man on the defensive line. Jones is still raw, but he showed flashes during 2018 and he comes at the salary discount of a third-day draft pick.
After the news of his pending release broke, Mitchell confirmed the reports on Twitter with a message to his Niner teammates:
Given his lack of playing time in 2018 and his contract option for the upcoming season, Mitchell was the team’s most obvious 2019 cap casualty.
Mitchell’s pending departure leaves the San Francisco 49ers with four additional overpriced players the Niners should part ways with over the 2019 offseason, beginning with an established veteran who is extremely unlikely to return to the team under his current deal: