San Francisco 49ers: 15 best free-agent acquisitions of all time

Garrison Hearst, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Garrison Hearst, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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Larry Allen
Larry Allen. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Greatest free agent acquistions in San Francisco 49ers history: 15. Larry Allen

49ers Tenure: 2006 – 2007

His time was short with the 49ers, just two seasons, but Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive guard Larry Allen was a major boost to what was otherwise a dismal time in franchise history.

After spending his first 12 seasons with the Niners’ long-time rivals in the Dallas Cowboys, Allen signed on with San Francisco in 2006. This was a year after the team, under then-head coach Mike Nolan, went 4-12 and was desperately trying to usher in a young quarterback in Alex Smith.

In his first year with the 49ers, Allen made his 11th Pro Bowl, despite suffering a sprained MCL that season and appearing in only 11 games. And while it can’t entirely be attributed to Allen, his presence helped cut the Niners’ total of sacks allowed down to 35 from 48 the previous year.

On top of that, running back Frank Gore also rushed for a franchise-record 1,695 yards.

Allen would return for one more season with San Francisco in 2007 before retiring the following year, eventually landing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.