The 49ers didn’t make a ton of splash moves in NFL free agency, but the opening wave of transactions did produce some clear-cut winners and losers.
The first week of 2022 NFL free agency is effectively over.
Usually, this is the time where teams offer up massive contracts, especially in the opening days, followed by some still-impressive deals for both top-name players and under-the-radar targets.
The San Francisco 49ers weren’t overly aggressive on the open market, of course, mostly signing B-list contributors to help bolster up specific areas of need. For a team on the cusp of winning a Super Bowl, though, that’s probably the right approach for general manager John Lynch.
Lynch’s moves reveal a lot about what the team’s priorities are this offseason. In the nature of competition inside the greater competition that is the NFL, however, there are going to be some winners and losers.
With one week of NFL free agency in the books, let’s look at which Niners ended up being big-time winners and which ones are on the losing side of the equation.
Winner: 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward
Easily the biggest transaction San Francisco engineered in the opening week, signing former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward to a three-year deal worth as much as $42 million, it’s hard not to peg Ward as a massive winner.
His $14 million annual average won’t put him in the top echelon of highest-paid cornerbacks, of course. But it’s certainly a lofty enough price tag to reward him for three years of being a quality starter.
More importantly, the 28 year old who registered two interceptions and 10 pass breakups for the Chiefs last season gets recognition as the 49ers’ highest offseason priority, addressing a need for the team that’ll instantly make him a point of focus.
If he thrives in that role, it’ll be all the better.