No. 2: A Bargain Option on the Free-Agent Market
Offensive lines typically take time to jell, and this is especially the case within Kyle Shanahan’s complex blocking system.
So it might be somewhat counterintuitive for the 49ers to comb the now-limited array of options on the dwindling free-agent market for a replacement, yet it might be the safest option to ensure a relatively high-quality level of play without endangering the current depth chart too much.
With just under $13.5 million in available salary cap space, and a little over $8 million of that required to sign San Francisco’s 2020 rookie NFL Draft class, there’s not a lot of money the team can throw at a new tackle. A would-be Joe Staley retirement frees up over $11 million, though, so there’s that to consider.
In all likelihood, a free-agent target would probably be an older veteran who can fill a stopgap void, nothing more. And here are some potential options who’d likely be had on the cheap:
- Greg Robinson, 27 years old
- Jason Peters, 38 years old
- Kelvin Beachum, 31 years old
- Donald Penn, 37 years old
- Cordy Glenn, 30 years old
Fits would have to be considered, yes. But if San Francisco wants to simply grab Staley’s long-term replacement sooner than later, the No. 1 option likely winds up coming into play.