49ers must issue a stern ‘no’ to signing these 5 free agents

Emmanuel Sanders #1 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Emmanuel Sanders #1 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
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Jason Verrett, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett (22) Mandatory Credit: San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network /

The 49ers could potentially be modest players in 2022 NFL free agency, but they have to refrain from targeting these five players on the market.

Sometimes, it’s not always the deal a team makes that winds up being a difference-maker.

It can just as easily be a deal a team doesn’t make.

The San Francisco 49ers could be modest players on the NFL free agency market in 2022. Assuming they move on from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, the Niners will have roughly $20 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap, and approximately $8 million of that will be needed to sign the team’s 2022 NFL Draft class.

The remaining amount, plus whatever roster jockeying San Francisco engineers this offseason, should afford general manager John Lynch to be fairly active on the free-agent market, yet he’ll likely have to avoid being a major player in trying to lure in blue-chip, expensive talent.

Still, with the need to avoid costly blunders amid what’s turning into the 49ers’ current Super Bowl window, Lynch and Co. would best pass on going after these five free agents this offseason.

Free agent 49ers must avoid No. 5: Cornerback Jason Verrett

Staying in-house with this one, the Niners have to pass on re-signing veteran cornerback Jason Verrett this offseason.

True, Verrett proved worthy during his 2020 campaign in which he emulated his old Pro Bowl self with the Los Angeles Chargers. Yet San Francisco was in a position that season to bank on Verrett’s injury history — he had played in only six regular-season games between 2016 and 2019 — but then elected to re-sign Verrett to another one-year deal in 2021 worth $5.5 million.

Verrett subsequently tore his ACL in Week 1, ending his 2021 campaign.

Turning 31 years old this offseason, Verrett probably won’t receive a lot of interest around the league, and the 49ers do have some serious cornerback concerns entering 2022.

Even if the Niners would entertain a reunion on the cheap, they’d be much better off spending whatever money potentially used on Verrett to land a cornerback with a seriously larger track record of staying healthy.

Injuries can’t burn San Francisco again.