3 free agents 49ers can still sign to help 2021 playoff push

Olivier Vernon #54 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Olivier Vernon #54 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /
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Quinton Dunbar, Seattle Seahawks
Quinton Dunbar #22 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

49ers free-agent target No. 3: Cornerback Quinton Dunbar

It shouldn’t be too big a surprise San Francisco’s biggest positional weakness is at cornerback after John Lynch and Co. largely neglected the need to infuse young talent into this position over the last couple of seasons.

Yes, it’s OK to let rookie cornerback Ambry Thomas take his lumps over the last two weeks with the hope some positive developments occur as a result, but that’s not a risk the 49ers can afford to take once the playoffs roll around and the competition is stiffened.

Plus, with the injuries the Niners have suffered at the position over the year anyway, it’ll make sense to at least find one veteran who can help plug the gap and can start in a pinch.

One such player is 29-year-old cornerback Quinton Dunbar, who last suited up for a regular-season game with the Seattle Seahawks in 2020 and has experience in a similar defensive scheme that could help make him a more natural fit in what San Francisco operates within its own secondary.

Dunbar, who allowed a career-worst 9.1 yards per target with Seattle, wouldn’t be a long-term option, no. But as someone who could guard against Thomas being asked to do too much down the stretch, it should be an easy low-risk, moderate-reward NFL free agency signing.