5 players 49ers should have pursued more aggressively in free agency

J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Whether it was from a lack of interest or not trying hard enough, the 49ers should have been a bit more active trying to sign these five free agents in 2022.

The San Francisco 49ers surely couldn’t get into lucrative bidding wars with some of the top players hitting NFL free agency in 2022, and even some of the second-tier free agents were bound to command top dollar the Niners simply couldn’t afford.

Especially with a need to cross off $9.5 million from the books, according to Over the Cap, which is the amount they were over the $208.2 million salary cap in advance of the league’s new year on March 16.

Granted, San Francisco was able to clear that number, yet general manager John Lynch still had to be mindful of his coffers heading into NFL free agency anyway. And with the 49ers landing one big-ticket player in former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward, it was likely the Niners were done with the splash signings anyway.

Still, Lynch and Co. could have driven a harder effort to lure in these five no-longer free agents to help boost up the team heading into 2022.

No. 5 free agent 49ers should have pursued harder: QB Tyrod Taylor

San Francisco elected to retain its third-string quarterback from a year ago, Nate Sudfeld, as a primary backup to the new starter, Trey Lance, this season.

Maybe that’ll pan out, as the 49ers appreciated Sudfeld enough last season to give him a game-day check for Week 18 before signing him to a one-year fully guaranteed $2 million deal during the offseason.

Yet Sudfeld certainly doesn’t possess the pedigree as now-New York Giants veteran signal-caller Tyrod Taylor has, particularly after venturing all across the league and having secured a Pro Bowl nod back when he was with the Buffalo Bills.

There were rumblings new Niners assistant head coach Anthony Lynn, who worked with Taylor when they were together with the Los Angeles Chargers, would lure in the journeyman quarterback. Perhaps as the perfect mentor to Lance and as someone who has, proverbially, “seen a few things.”

Alas, it wasn’t going to happen, and San Francisco watched Taylor sign a two-year deal with the New York Giants instead.