3 reasons why 49ers haven’t been hyper-aggressive in NFL free agency

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Charvarius Ward, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (35) Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

Reason No. 1: 49ers already got who they wanted in NFL free agency

Of course, the Niners haven’t been wholly inactive in NFL free agency. And they haven’t just stuck with bottom-end transactions either.

Sure, signing former Green Bay Packers special teams ace, linebacker Oren Burks, won’t turn many heads. But considering how bad San Francisco’s special teams were a year ago, the move certainly makes some sense.

However, the 49ers’ big-ticket acquisition was grabbing former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward, inking him to a three-year deal worth up to $42 million. While Ward might not have the recent prowess of now-Los Angeles Chargers corner J.C. Jackson or the name recognition of former Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots corner Stephon Gilmore, Ward is a quality addition in his own right.

And an immediate upgrade over the Niners’ two incumbents, Emmanuel Moseley and Ambry Thomas.

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Going into the offseason, cornerback was easily seen as one of San Francisco’s most pressing needs. While the 2022 draft could have been a plausible route to take, young defensive backs often struggle transitioning from the college ranks to the pros, and a team ready to compete for a Super Bowl now likely won’t take that risk.

As such, it’s perfectly feasible for the 49ers to have had the wherewithal to address their cornerback needs before anything else, letting the rest of the market play itself out until later.

And doing so would mean relatively little action on the NFL free agency wire so far.

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