The San Francisco 49ers aren’t making many big-name splashes in NFL free agency. With the big names gone, there are still some low-key free agents the Niners can target.
It was never going to be the case where the San Francisco 49ers attacked NFL free agency vigorously this offseason. If anything, the Niners’ biggest free-agent moves were retaining two of their own, defensive end Arik Armstead and safety Jimmie Ward, who signed new deals to stay with San Francisco in 2020 and beyond.
General manager John Lynch‘s next priority will be the NFL Draft this April, where the Niners hold two first-round picks before selecting again in Round 5. The lack of day-two picks might prompt Lynch to either trade down or sift through the remaining names on a shrinking free-agent list between now and the draft.
It’s possible the 49ers are able to land a handful of free agents in coming days and weeks. Due to San Francisco’s salary cap situation, the team will have to dish out bargain deals or make some on-roster moves to free up additional space.
Currently, the Niners have $15,756,290 available, according to Over the Cap.
With that number in mind, here are five remaining free agents who could potentially be targets for San Francisco.
No. 5: Tight End Delanie Walker
A 49ers reunion, perhaps?
The Tennessee Titans parted ways with veteran tight end Delanie Walker after he spent the better part of the last two seasons dealing with significant injuries.
At 35 years old, Walker is no longer the prolific weapon the Niners initially developed and then the Titans boasted between 2014 through 2017. Yet he wouldn’t be asked to hold a significant role in San Francisco’s offense. The premier player at this position, of course, is the All-Pro, George Kittle.
The Niners reportedly were interested in now-Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper, so it isn’t as if head coach Kyle Shanahan isn’t thinking about adding a complementary piece to Kittle. And few teams are equipped, defensively, to defend against two pass-catching tight ends.
Lynch and Shanahan could look to the draft for another tight end, yes. But the dual-threat abilities of catching passes and serving as an above-average run blocker are difficult to find.
Walker still boasts those. And it’s likely he’d be had on the cheap.