Tier 1 Free Agents for 49ers
Ah, yes. The kind of players in NFL free agency everyone dreams about. These are usually the players you see reported during the legal tampering period before free agency begins. And if not, they’re usually the ones signing new deals within minutes of the free-agent period opening.
Fortunately, the 49ers still have plenty of cap space after dishing out roughly $17.7 million in NFL free agency so far.
Time for some lucrative spending? You bet. These are the kind of players representing your team in the Pro Bowl, right? Or at least they should be.
Wide Receiver Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
On the surface, one might not see Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams as a Tier 1 free agent. After all, he’s been buried behind the Chargers’ top receiving weapon, Keenan Allen, and now Mike Williams looks to be the solid No. 2 option in L.A.
But according to FanSided’s Matt Verderame, Williams is going to be a prime free-agent target at the position this offseason:
Still, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Williams fits a massive need despite not having a 1,000-yard season since 2016. He would do wonders for Kyle Shanahan’s offense, both serving as a versatile target and red-zone threat — an element the 49ers desperately need in 2019.
Williams probably won’t come cheap, though, meaning San Francisco will have to pony up some cash to land his services.
Projected contract: Three years, $27.5 million
Safety Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks
It shouldn’t be too big a surprise Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas could be the 49ers’ top target in NFL free agency this offseason. After all, he is a linchpin piece in a similar Cover 3 zone scheme to the one the Niners run, and San Francisco needs all kinds of help in its defensive backfield.
True, the six-time Pro Bowler will turn 30 years old this offseason and already has possible ties to being signed by the Dallas Cowboys. Oh, and there’s that 2018 leg injury, too.
Still, the 49ers have considerably more cap space than the Cowboys do, which is an advantage in general manager John Lynch’s corner.
Thomas wants to be paid as the top safety in the league, and it’s not hard to understand why. So, if San Francisco wants to make Thomas its biggest free-agent addition, it will have to pony up money and outbid Dallas.
It will be worth it, though, and Thomas would become the highest-paid safety in NFL history.
Projected contract: three years, $42 million
2019 projected cap hit from Tier 1 players: $23.2 million
Doing the math, the 49ers would be committing $40.87 million to free agents this offseason, which would still leave the roughly $10 million for their rookie class open and plenty of room under the roughly $67.5 million in cap space the team has.
It would work.
So, what say you, Niners Faithful? Would you be happy with this free-agent haul in 2019?