The San Francisco 49ers’ biggest storyline amid the start of NFL free agency was trading DeForest Buckner. Yet how should the rest of the team’s moves be graded? Niner Noise takes a look.
While the San Francisco 49ers weren’t expected to be major players in the 2020 free-agent market this offseason, they did make a pretty massive splash, sending away 2018 Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the No. 13 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
But after that, most of general manager John Lynch‘s moves have been little more than supplementary, reinforcing the back end of the offseason roster and providing some depth leading up to the draft and into training camp later this summer.
While NFL free agency technically won’t end until the end of the next league new year, Niner Noise takes a look at the moves San Francisco made so far, including the decisive Buckner trade.
And they did.
On the positive side, San Francisco instantly cleared $12 million in much-needed cap space, freeing up money to re-sign both Armstead and Ward. And with the Colts subsequently inking Buckner to a new deal worth $21 million annually, the 49ers freed themselves from that massive money-eating commitment.
The 13th overall pick received in return also puts the Niners in play for one of the many top-tier wide receivers who otherwise wouldn’t be available for San Francisco’s own Round 1 selection, No. 31 overall. That’s excellent, too.
Yet Buckner’s production isn’t something the 49ers defense can merely replace. Right now, Buckner is better than any prospect San Francisco could grab at No. 13.
If that prospect winds up being a massive impact player, this grade goes up to an A with ease.
Until then, it’s a good move. Nothing more.