5 players 49ers should have signed in free agency

Curtis Samuel #10 of the Carolina Panthers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Curtis Samuel #10 of the Carolina Panthers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers, 49ers
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: Wide Receiver Curtis Samuel

Gosh, it would have been fun to see now-Washington Football Team wide receiver Curtis Samuel in a San Francisco uniform.

Aside from the fact the 49ers would have had two wideouts named Samuel (at least Curtis Samuel wears No. 10 and not Deebo Samuel’s No. 19), the former Carolina Panthers pass-catcher would have been such an exciting commodity at head coach Kyle Shanahan’s disposal.

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Shanahan has already used plenty of his offensive players in a “positionless” format. The last two seasons have showcased Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk acting as running backs, while big-slot wide receivers are the norm. Kyle Juszczyk lined up on the outside, while tight end George Kittle would serve as a lead blocker.

Now, just envision the multifaceted Curtis Samuel in that kind of system.

Samuel netted 1,051 all-purpose yards last season with Carolina, and he would have been an excellent No. 3 option behind the Niners’ two returning wideouts. No questioning that.

The only question is whether or not San Francisco could have outbid Washington, which spent $34.5 million on a three-year deal for the 5-foot-11, 195-pound wideout out of Ohio State. True, it would have been a lot of money to spend on a player who’d likely be slotted behind Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel on the depth chart.

But that doesn’t change the notion the 49ers should have pursued Curtis Samuel as hard as they possibly could have.

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