No. 2: 49ers Go with a Free-Agent Signing
While the 49ers are up against the salary cap, if Raheem Mostert’s base salary of $2.575 million and $3.158 million cap hits were to come off the books, the Niners, who currently have just over $12 million in space, could potentially sign a free-agent running back to a team-friendly deal with incentives.
The first name that comes to mind is former Atlanta Falcons tailback Devonta Freeman.
Along with the fact Kyle Shanahan has a history with Freeman and could reunite him with Tevin Coleman, Freeman is in a spot to kickstart his career and be a complementary piece for another shot at a Lombardi Trophy.
At 28, Freeman, a two-time Pro Bowler, may be on the shorter side of his career. But with Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme and a solid offensive line, he may find a few more holes to run through with San Francisco. A veteran running back with playoff and Super Bowl experience and a chip on his shoulder (the Falcons released him with three years left on his contract) could be a great fit for the offense.
Other names the Niners could look at include running backs LeSean McCoy, Wendell Smallwood, or Jonathan Williams. While the names may not excite anyone, the production in a complementary role could be sufficient with Coleman, Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson, and/or a UDFA splitting carries.