49ers would be smart to extend these 3 players’ contracts ASAP

Trent Sherfield #81 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Trent Sherfield #81 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers back Jeff Wilson Jr. (30) Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: 49ers Running Back Jeff Wilson Jr.

OK, it might be risky for San Francisco to offer up an extension for a player who suffered a serious knee injury during the offseason.

But there’s merit to making a long-term offer to backup running back Jeff Wilson Jr.

For starters, don’t overlook the fact Wilson actually led the 49ers in touchdowns last year with 10. As a strong-bodied rusher, his speed is actually elusively fast enough, and his pass-catching skills are underrated.

It would have been interesting to see how Wilson would have factored into the Niners’ running back room this season, particularly with the NFL Draft additions of tailbacks Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell. With Wilson suffering a meniscus tear during organized team activities, we’ll never know how the initial depth chart would have panned out.

But Wilson is scheduled to return later this season, so that’ll be a point to watch.

The bigger kicker, however, is veteran running back Raheem Mostert is also a pending free agent in 2022. At 29 years old, it’s not likely the Niners invest interest in re-signing Mostert, so bringing Wilson back as depth and a would-be fill-in starter to guard against one of the other younger rushers suffering a lengthy injury would be a smart move.

Doing so now would also help ensure a new contract could be done much cheaper than after a potentially solid back half of the regular season.