While the San Francisco 49ers would probably like to bring back veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, his NFL free agency cost will be tough, yet the Niners will be OK without him.
But Sanders, for whom the Niners traded just before the 2019 NFL trade deadline, is now heading towards free agency status. Sanders recently tweeted he’s received no offer from San Francisco this offseason. And with the start of NFL free agency on March 18, one has to wonder if the soon-to-be 33-year-old wideout ends up hitting the open market and signing elsewhere this upcoming season.
Would the 49ers like to have Sanders back? Most likely. But the Niners have roughly $10 million in available cap space, according to Over the Cap. And with other pending free agents now re-signed and taking up such space, such as safety Jimmie Ward, one has to think general manager John Lynch and Co. are forced to make the tough decision of letting Sanders walk.
And that’s OK.
Granted, it’s not preferable. San Francisco hurt for wide receiver production early in 2019 before Sanders arrived. His mere presence on the field opened things up for fellow wide receiver Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle.
Still, there are positives the 49ers have if Sanders ultimately signs elsewhere this offseason. So, as a precursor to what could ultimately happen with Sanders’ immediate future, Niner Noise explores three reasons why San Francisco will be alright moving forward without the veteran on the roster.