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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Austin Corbett, Los Angeles Rams
Austin Corbett #63 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

No. 3 free agent 49ers should have pursued harder: OG Austin Corbett

Just like D.J. Jones, San Francisco wasn’t going to have much of a chance competing with the New York Jets, who offered Pro Bowl left guard Laken Tomlinson a massive payout, three years at $40 million with $27 million guaranteed.

Granted, the 49ers don’t value their guards as much as they do tackles and centers, so not overspending on Tomlinson does make a lot of sense.

Even if it hurts to see him go.

Regardless, the Niners have some question marks for their offensive line heading into 2022, and Tomlinson’s void now sits atop the list. If San Francisco is planning on playing its second-round draft choice from a year ago, Aaron Banks, in Tomlinson’s wake, there you go. But after seeing only five regular-season snaps last season, Banks is also a big question mark of those questions the 49ers have to ask.

A contingency plan could have been to go after former Los Angeles Rams guard Austin Corbett, who at 27 years old, is much younger than Tomlinson but also played in a similar offensive system.

Instead, Corbett signed on with the Carolina Panthers on a three-year, $26.25 million deal.

Significantly less than what Tomlinson is scheduled to make and probably affordable enough from the Niners’ vantage point.