5 early targets for the 49ers in 2020 NFL free agency
By Peter Panacy
The San Francisco 49ers are only a few weeks into their 2019 campaign, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about the team’s plans in 2020 NFL free agency.
The San Francisco 49ers are currently 3-0 heading into their Week 4 bye, meaning there are only a handful of Niners-related topics to hold us over between now and the team’s Week 5 Monday Night Football matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
One of those, of course, is NFL free agency.
The upcoming 2020 offseason will be vastly different than what many San Francisco fans can recall in recent history. True, general manager John Lynch still has a good deal of cap space with which to work — $20,428,859 at the present moment, according to Over the Cap — but both he and the front office will have to consider quite the difference scenario between now and the opening of next year’s free-agent period.
Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner is pending what will likely be a lucrative extension. Tight end George Kittle will be getting a nice raise, too, at some point in the not-so-distant future. Meanwhile, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s cap hit will increase from $19.35 million in 2019 to $26.6 million in 2020.
The point is the Niners are no longer in position to simply go after top-name free agents and offer up big bucks. They have to be more careful about spending now, especially considering they’re projected to have just over $27 million in space next year, and $10 million of that will be used to sign the 2020 NFL Draft class.
Thankfully, the 49ers have a good history of being wise with contracts and cap space. Now, the focus turns to which potential free agents, should they hit the open market, should be on San Francisco’s radar.
Here are five Lynch and Co. should strongly consider.