Super Bowl 55: 4 free agents SF 49ers should watch for 2021

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Deone Bucannon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Outside linebacker Deone Bucannon #23 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Linebacker Deone Bucannon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Remember back in the 2014 NFL Draft when former Washington State linebacker Deone Bucannon was going to be a massive force at the pro level?

Bucannon was, after all, the epitome of the new hybrid linebacker capable of manning the second level of defense while also serving as a legitimate safety-like cover option.

Unfortunately, it never materialized for Bucannon and the Arizona Cardinals, and Bucannon has since gone on to become a role player for the Buccaneers after faltering in Arizona. Even now, he primarily serves as a special teams ace and little more.

Yet the SF 49ers could look at the 28-year-old Northern California native as a possible reclamation project. While the Niners boast two quality linebackers already in Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, depth is always a bonus. And with strong safety Jaquiski Tartt poised to hit the free-agent market, it might not be a terrible idea to add to the offseason competition for the rights to replace Tartt in the starting lineup.

With at least a couple more years of quality football left in his body, paired with his role now as a backup, Bucannon would be a low-risk, possibly decent-reward option on the cheap.