49ers free agency: 5 still-available players Niners can target
By Peter Panacy
49ers Free-Agent Target No. 3: Cornerback Xavier Rhodes
San Francisco has all but said goodbye to veteran cornerback Richard Sherman this offseason. And while the door isn’t completely closed on a potential return, it’s not likely Sherman re-signs with the 49ers.
Despite the re-signings of Jason Verrett, Dontae Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley, the Niners still have plenty of depth questions at the position heading into 2021, and some may view Moseley as a prime backup player instead of a true starter on the boundary. Plus, with Verrett’s lengthy injury history, it would make more than enough sense to boost the depth chart as much as possible.
Veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes might have been a San Francisco trade target not long ago. Turning 31 years old before the start of the regular season, the three-time Pro Bowler has been a starter for the bulk of his career but wouldn’t be a long-term fixture for a team like the 49ers.
Like Verrett, amid a down year for free-agent cornerbacks, a player like Rhodes could simply be seeking a one-year “prove it” deal before trying to cash in on what would likely be his last hefty payday.
Rhodes finished last year with the Indianapolis Colts with two interceptions and 12 passes broken up, showing he’s still capable of playing at a high level despite being on the wrong side of 30 years old.
If the market continues to be slow on a player like Rhodes, it wouldn’t hurt for a team like the Niners to consider bringing him in on a simple one-year deal at an affordable rate.