Without using salary cap implications or trade scenarios, Niner Noise looks at five players the 49ers would love to steal from other NFL teams
Oh, how fun would it be to be for the San Francisco 49ers to be able to sign any player(s) they wanted without worrying about the salary cap implications. It would be like putting together stacked rosters like the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, 1980s Niners or 1990s Dallas Cowboys had before the salary cap era.
In fact, before the cap took hold in 1994, the second-team backup units on most contending teams could very well have made a terrific starting team compared to some of the NFL’s weaker squads.
For example, the 1984 49ers, a team that went 15-1 and won the Super Bowl, had a roster featuring quarterback Joe Montana, defensive back Ronnie Lott and defensive end Fred Dean. But they also had players like defensive end Dwaine Board, running back Roger Craig, offensive lineman Keith Fahnhorst, linebacker Riki Ellison, offensive lineman Guy McIntyre and linebacker Keena Turner. Running back Wendell Tyler had 1,262 yards rushing that season, and a young Craig gained over 1,300 yards rushing and receiving in a complementary role that season.
And even with salary cap savants like the Niners’ Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Paraag Marathe, working his magic, it is rare for teams to keep the talent they acquire intact for more than a couple seasons. Look no further than this past offseason, which saw Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner depart via trade because general manager John Lynch knew he had to pick between re-signing Buckner and potentially losing not only defensive tackle Arik Armstead, but safety Jimmie Ward as well.
And while the draft allows an opportunity to recover some of those losses to the roster, it is seldom a slam dunk you will be able to replace one Pro Bowl talent with another.
So with that said, we take trades and salary cap off the table and just have some fun stealing five players we think the Niners would love to add to their roster heading into 2020.