49ers news: 2021 NFL free agency tracker with updates, analysis

Trent Williams #71 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Trent Williams #71 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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John Lynch, SF 49ers
General Manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Follow along with Niner Noise as the 49ers negotiate through the opening days of NFL free agency, trying to retain their own players while signing others.

The San Francisco 49ers reportedly have three main targets as part of their plan for NFL free agency, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport over the weekend:

  1. Keep fullback Kyle Juszczyk
  2. Keep left tackle Trent Williams
  3. Keep cornerback Jason Verrett

According to Over the Cap, the Niners began the window of “legal tampering” on March 15 with $31.36 million in cap space, which isn’t the worst situation to be in. At least San Francisco wasn’t executing a “slash and burn” effort with its roster like many of the teams well above the diminished 2021 salary cap set at $182.5 million.

That allowed 49ers general manager John Lynch and Co. to consider retaining those three players Rapoport mentioned:

The Niners already made some moves prior to free agency kicking off, too, ensuring running back Jeff Wilson Jr., safety Marcell Harris, cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, tight end Ross Dwelley and long-snapper Taybor Pepper were under contract through 2021, thereby preventing them from even coming close to the NFL free agency period.

That said, San Francisco still has a little over 30 pending free agents poised to hit the open market, meaning Lynch will either have to engineer some team-friendly or backloaded deals for players the team wants to keep or target some bargain-basement players elsewhere on the open market.

Unless the 49ers are banking on finding some gems with one of their 10 picks scheduled for the NFL Draft this upcoming April.

Fortunately for the Niners, they were able to check off one of those goals before the madness of the negotiating window opened, retaining Juszczyk on yet another record-breaking deal for a fullback.

Let’s start off our tracker there.