With the start of the 2019 NFL season just over a month away, Niner Noise ranks out the top five free-agent targets the San Francisco 49ers should pursue this offseason.
Neither player panned out in 2018 to desired expectations, though. McKinnon was lost to a torn ACL before the regular season even began, and Richburg’s efforts were largely hindered by a knee injury on which he had surgery once the year drew to a close.
The good news is both players are expected to return healthy in 2019. Yet with over $60 million in projected cap space, according to Over the Cap, one should expect general manager John Lynch and Co. to hit the free-agent market again when the league new year kicks in this March.
But who winds up being the targets?
In truth, the Niners need a lot of help. San Francisco isn’t just short of impact players. It also needs adequate depth — an element that was tested to the extreme last year.
Yet there are some big names the 49ers should be able to aggressively pursue this offseason.
Some free-agent positional markets are thin. Case in point, don’t expect the Niners to find a lot of likable options in free agency to shore up their wide receiver needs. But there are other positions that could use some help, and the markets there look pretty enticing. Additionally, San Francisco would be smart to re-sign some of its own pending free agents, such as offensive lineman Mike Person and kicker Robbie Gould.
So, which players are the top targets from the other 31 teams? Here are five of them.