SF 49ers roster: Identifying needs in 2021 for each position
By Peter Panacy
The SF 49ers could have a lot of roster holes in 2021, so Niner Noise goes through each position and breaks down the biggest need.
While injuries played the biggest role in determining how the SF 49ers would finish in 2020, this year could see NFL free agency play an even larger role in shaping how their roster will look like by the time Week 1 rolls around.
With nearly 40 players heading towards some sort of free agency this offseason, the roster most fans grew to know so well between 2019 and 2020 is going to look drastically different. And in the wake of the global pandemic, the Niners’ chances for either re-signing most of those players or replacing them in free agency will be made that much more difficult by projections the 2021 salary cap could drop as low as $175 million.
Fortunately, unlike last year, San Francisco already has eight selections in the NFL Draft and could net even more compensatory picks, which will be announced later this spring. Landing some of those cheaper rookie contracts will be vital for general manager John Lynch, head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co., so it’s a good thing the SF 49ers are in a position where they can at least engineer a sizable restructuring of the roster.
But before the Niners can tackle their offseason wish list, they’ll need to fully understand what their roster needs are.
No position on San Francisco’s roster is truly perfect. There are holes in a number of places, both deep on the depth chart and potentially in starting roles.
So, to better account for what the SF 49ers’ actions will be this offseason, let’s take a position-by-position look, starting off with special teams.