5 underachieving free agents SF 49ers could target to bolster roster

John Ross III #11 of the Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
John Ross III #11 of the Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Chase Edmonds, Trent Murphy, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills
Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds (29) tackled by Buffalo Bills defensive end Trent Murphy (93) Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports /

No. 2: EDGE Trent Murphy, Buffalo Bills

The SF 49ers face some concerns with their outside pass rush this offseason. EDGE Dee Ford, whose back injury kept him out of all but one game in 2020, could ultimately land him in the status of a cap casualty. Kerry Hyder, who finished with a career-best 8.5 sacks last year, could have priced himself out of the Niners’ comfort range.

All the while, third-year EDGE Nick Bosa is coming off a season-ending ACL tear.

Even if San Francisco had a solid crop of outside pass-rushers, getting some extra depth would be a wise move.

Spending top dollar on elite-level edge rushers might not be an option, but going after an underperforming one in the Buffalo Bills’ Trent Murphy might not be a bad move.

Murphy, Washington’s second-round pick from the 2014 NFL Draft, probably will never come close to replicating the career-high nine sacks he enjoyed back in 2016. And after recording five sacks with Buffalo in 2019, Murphy saw that number fall to just two a season ago.

While he wasn’t able to get home much last season, Murphy still managed to generate 16 quarterback pressures and could find himself in a better scenario as a situational pass-rusher.

At 30 years old, Murphy is on the downside of his career. But hoping for some modest production to bolster the pass-rushing depth on the cheap could be smart for the SF 49ers.