3 free-agent options for SF 49ers in wake of Nick Bosa injury

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Anthony Zettel, Detroit Lions
Anthony Zettel #69 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

SF 49ers Free-Agent Target No. 3: Defensive End Anthony Zettel

San Francisco isn’t exactly flush with salary cap space to begin 2020, so it’s fair to assume any players brought aboard are going to be relatively low on the asking price.

So, if the SF 49ers want to maximize the impact while minimizing the spend, going after a free-agent defensive end like the 28-year-old journeyman, Anthony Zettel, would probably be a good idea.

Zettel spent a portion of 2019 with the Niners last year, coming aboard as a free agent in December of last year after the Cincinnati Bengals parted ways with him. Zettel enjoyed a career-best year with the Detroit Lions back in 2017 when he recorded 6.5 sacks under then-defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, who is now doing the same job in San Francisco.

One has to figure that plays a factor.

While Zettel’s impact last season and into the playoffs wasn’t exactly eye-popping, he did manage to play well enough, registering three tackles during the postseason and posting a halfway decent 52.9 defensive grade last year, including the playoffs, per Pro Football Focus.

Not terrible for a rotational player.

Plus, Zettel knowing the defensive scheme and having worked previously under Kocurek would indicate the former being a low-cost addition to beef up the D-line numbers for the rest of 2020.