5 pending free agents 49ers shouldn’t re-sign next season
By Peter Panacy
No. 3: 49ers Tight End Ross Dwelley
Another player who could likely be re-signed in NFL free agency on the cheap, tight end Ross Dwelley has nevertheless seen his role decrease as the primary reserve option to All-Pro tight end George Kittle this season.
Kittle’s injury history had previously opened up the door for Dwelley to assume bigger roles the last two seasons, namely in 2020 when the former undrafted free agent ended up starting nine games and hauling in 19 receptions for 245 yards and a touchdown in Kittle’s absence.
Yet Kittle, who also missed three weeks in 2021 because of a calf injury, didn’t prompt head coach Kyle Shanahan to rely heavily on Dwelley this year, and it’s been second-year pro Charlie Woerner who has seen the uptick in usage as the No. 2 tight end on the roster.
Woerner might not be a polished pass-catcher, but he surely offers up much more in the blocking department over Dwelley, making the latter something of an excess commodity heading into the offseason.
While the Niners may still be seeking another pass-catching tight end to pair with Kittle in 2022, signs are already pointing to them moving on from Dwelley.