4 players 49ers were wise to pass on in 2022 NFL free agency

Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1 free agent 49ers are happy they didn’t sign: WR Christian Kirk

Former Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk was one player we suggested San Francisco could go after to reinforce its depth chart alongside Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. As would have been the case with Chandler Jones, the 49ers would be taking away one of Arizona’s better players while adding some legitimate deep-threat speed to the offense.

Except the Jaguars, who already spent big money on Scherff, completely blew up the market by signing Kirk to a massive four-year, $72 million contract at an annual average of $18 million per season.

Granted, only $17 million of that is fully guaranteed. Either way, though, it’s a massive overspend by Jacksonville.

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Hats off to Kirk’s agent for negotiating that deal, and the rest of the NFL world surely understands the Jags need all the help they can get on both sides of the ball, so overpaying was going to be a reality.

Kirk is a good player, someone who is coming off a career-best 77-catch, 982-yard, five-touchdown campaign last season.

But the contract the Jaguars issued, one which the Niners subsequently avoided, is the kind of deal awarded to perennial Pro Bowl-caliber receivers.

Not Kirk.

More. Ranking 49ers' 10 worst free-agent signings in franchise history. light