SF 49ers free agency: 5 cheap players to target in 2021
By Peter Panacy
SF 49ers Free-Agent Target No. 1: EDGE Aldon Smith
Would San Francisco entertain a reunion with its former pass-rusher, Aldon Smith, who became known more for his off-field issues than his on-field production early in his career?
Well, there’s a good chance it could happen. Especially after Smith resurrected his otherwise-demolished career during his one-year “prove it” trial with the Dallas Cowboys last season that saw him register five sacks and 14 quarterback hits.
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At 31 years old and having missed the previous four years while on suspension, it’s not likely Smith ever reverts back to the kind of prolific pass-rusher he was early in his career.
But that’s OK. The SF 49ers could use some pass-rushing depth anyway, particularly with EDGE Dee Ford’s injury concerns and fellow defensive linemen Kerry Hyder and Ronald Blair poised to hit the free-agent market this offseason.
Smith is coming off a one-year, $2 million deal, which would put him in the range of being more expensive than other players on this list. Yet even modestly talented pass-rushers tend to cost more money than other defensive positions, and the Niners could do much worse than ponying up some cash to get some better pass-rushing depth this offseason.
Plus, it might be a nice full-circle story for Smith, who’d get to return to the team that originally drafted him.