No. 3: 49ers must cut bait with Josh Norman, other 2022 free agents
Earlier in the season, it made sense for the Niners to onboard veteran free agents signed off the street, particularly in the wake of key injuries to players like cornerback Jason Verrett, which highlighted the need to ink fellow corners Dre Kirkpatrick and Josh Norman.
Kirkpatrick has been a bust during his brief on-field time with San Francisco, though, and Norman currently leads the 49ers with seven penalties, six of them for defensive holding or pass interference.
Both players are signed only through the rest of the year. So, with each passing loss, the need to field either one of these two lessons.
Norman can be jettisoned even if the Niners have untested options there, although let’s get to that in a moment. Same with Fitzpatrick, whose lackluster defensive efforts against the Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts no longer warrant a roster spot.
Veteran wide receiver Travis Benjamin has been a scant contributor this season, and San Francisco would be wiser to backfill his roster spot with one of the previously mentioned practice squad wide receivers on the basis of some hopeful long-term development. Same with offensive lineman Tom Compton, who surprisingly is a candidate to become the starting right tackle in the wake of Mike McGlinchey’s season-ending injury.
Bluntly stated, the 49ers don’t benefit at all from rostering these players.