49ers free agents: 5 players who won’t be back in 2022

Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /
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Ross Dwelley, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers tight end Ross Dwelley (82) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4: 49ers Tight End Ross Dwelley

Usually, there’s not going to be much interest in backup tight ends hitting the free-agent market. But considering All-Pro tight end George Kittle has unfortunately dealt with a small-but-noticeable injury history in recent years, identifying a quality fill-in replacement has been somewhat necessary.

Prior to 2021, No. 2 tight end Ross Dwelley had handled those duties relatively well. Sure, he might not possess Kittle’s blocking or yards-after-the-catch prowess. But Dwelley nevertheless came up with some clutch grabs between 2019 and 2020.

Now, however, Dwelley appears to have lost his placement on the depth chart to second-year pro tight end Charlie Woerner.

Woerner now sits ahead of Dwelley in offensive snaps this season, 189 to 184, and the former is easily a superior blocker. Despite Woerner’s raw and unrefined route-running abilities, it sure seems as if San Francisco is trying its best to groom Woerner into a complementary pass-catcher to Kittle, as Woerner now has five catches for 52 yards compared to Dwelley’s four for 51.

It’s unlikely Dwelley will want to return on the cheap to hang around as a No. 3 option on the depth chart, pointing to the strong likelihood the 49ers let him walk once NFL free agency hits in 2022.