San Francisco 49ers: 4 guys they should keep, 4 guys they should ditch

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Emmanuel Sanders, 49ers

Emmanuel Sanders #17 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers are no longer going through the rebuild phase, but that doesn’t mean the team could use some changes during the 2020 offseason. Here are four players the Niners should keep, along with four they shouldn’t.

The 10-2 San Francisco 49ers are much more concerned right now with how they’ll fit into a hotly contested NFC playoff picture. Figuring out players the Niners should retain or let go in 2020 is surely on the minds of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. But most likely not in the immediate forefront.

Fortunately, it’s Niner Noise’s job to openly speculate, providing the much-needed opinion and analysis for Shanahan and Lynch to use once the regular season and postseason wrap up.

At that time, San Francisco can look back at a number of its players either needing to stick around into 2020, or be jettisoned one way or another, either through cuts, trades or letting walk in free agency.

There are quite a few players who fit in these two categories, too.

Niner Noise breaks down eight players total: four the 49ers should keep into next season, along with four the Niners would be wise to ditch.


Keep: Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders

San Francisco made the pre-NFL trade deadline move for veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who provided an instant upgrade to an otherwise disappointing receiving corps this season.

Sanders has developed a rapport with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, which is something to consider next season. But so is the fact Sanders will turn 33 years old before next season and is also a pending free agent.

The Niners don’t have to re-sign Sanders to make the move a successful one, especially if he’s a key factor in this year’s playoff push. San Francisco can bank on possibly receiving a compensatory pick, should Sanders walk in free agency.

That said, keeping Sanders would be a wise move.

Sanders’ age likely limits any lucrative, expensive contracts. And out of the 49ers’ younger options at the position, only Deebo Samuel has emerged as a legitimate starting-caliber player. There’s too much uncertainty elsewhere at wide receiver for San Francisco to take a pass on retaining Sanders.

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