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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Tim Settle, Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team defensive tackle Tim Settle (97) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4 free agent 49ers should have pursued harder: DT Tim Settle

The 49ers weren’t going to have much of a chance re-signing their five-year nose tackle, D.J. Jones, who opted to ink a lucrative three-year, $30 million deal with the Denver Broncos after spending 2021 on a Niners team-friendly one-year contract.

Jones’ loss creates some question marks for San Francisco’s defensive line on the interior, and the hope will be third-year pro defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw can fill the void.

That said, finding a solid 1-technique with excellent run-stopping skills who can also offer up something in the pass-rush department will remain a priority.

A fallback option could have been former Washington Commanders nose tackle Tim Settle, who enjoyed five sacks back in 2020 and eventually signed a relatively inexpensive two-year, $9 million deal with the Buffalo Bills instead.

At 24 years old, Settle is also still very young and would have been a perfect contingency plan, especially if the 49ers were fully aware re-signing Jones would have been next to impossible.

For now, though, it appears as if the Niners will have to be content either with their on-roster options or another late-round find, like Jones, in the 2022 NFL Draft.