The 49ers experienced a number of disappointments over the course of 2021, but these returning players will be given second chances this upcoming season.
The San Francisco 49ers’ 2021 offseason campaign will ultimately be decided by one single player, quarterback Trey Lance, who’ll be handed the keys to the franchise after sitting behind veteran signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo for the bulk of last year.
Whether or not Lance succeeds will define whether or not the Niners’ offseason efforts from a year ago will have mattered.
But that doesn’t absolve a number of other acquisitions San Francisco made who’ll need to bounce back from otherwise disappointing campaigns a year ago.
Fortunately, some 49ers players will be given another shot at redemption, particularly with the context being such that they can wind up turning into key contributors.
Here are five such players who’ll be given second chances in 2022.
49ers player No. 5: Wide receiver Trent Sherfield
In training camp heading into the 2021 season, wide receiver Trent Sherfield was looking as if he’d be a bona fide contributor for the Niners offense over the course of the entire year. He was catching passes with ease from both Lance and Garoppolo and appeared to be the shoo-in favorite to secure the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
Except Sherfield all but disappeared from the offense when the regular season commenced.
When Week 18 finally concluded, Sherfield had a meager nine receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown, instead seeing the bulk of his snaps on special teams and not impacting the offense much at all.
However, San Francisco enters 2022 with multiple question marks on the back end of its wide receiver depth chart. Tack on the reality Sherfield established a great rapport with Lance on the B-team during training camp, and it’s possible those two wind up connecting a good deal once 2022 rolls around.
Assuming the pending free agent comes back, of course.