49ers get questionable NFL free agency grade from CBS Sports

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The 49ers may have been smart in NFL free agency in 2022, but CBS Sports isn’t so sure of the moves John Lynch made so far.

A team on the cusp of winning a Super Bowl doesn’t automatically have to be overaggressive in NFL free agency, and the San Francisco 49ers already boast a roster capable of getting deep into the playoffs.

Even after the Niners lost some key contributors, including nose tackle D.J. Jones and Pro Bowl left guard Laken Tomlinson, in the opening free-agent wave.

General manager John Lynch spent much of San Francisco’s efforts addressing two of the team’s biggest needs: cornerback and special teams. As far as cornerback, the 49ers onboarded former Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Charvarius Ward on a sizable deal, while Lynch brought on a number of special teams aces, such as former Pittsburgh Steelers return man Ray-Ray McCloud and gunner George Odum.

Certainly not the wild spending spree teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars engaged in, and it won’t compare at all to the arms race going on in the AFC West.

So, what’s the national spin on what Lynch and Co. have done so far?

CBS Sports’ grade on 49ers NFL free agency moves isn’t bad, but it’s not great either

Even the most casual fan will know winning free agency doesn’t guarantee anything towards winning in the regular season, let alone the Super Bowl.

Still, it’s always important to be productive in NFL free agency.

In his breakdown of every team’s moves in free agency so far this offseason, CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin dished out a C-plus grade for the Niners:

"Ward is a fine gamble at corner, where they needed to get younger. But they’ve got holes to address yet, with Laken Tomlinson departing as a starting guard and Jimmy Garoppolo‘s market yet to materialize."

Not terrible. But it’s nothing special either.

Read More: 4 free agents Niners were wise to pass on in 2022

There are two ways to look at this, though. On one hand, San Francisco didn’t need to completely overhaul its roster, and the bulk of pickups made addressed the weaknesses carried over from last season.

On the other, however, a 49ers NFC West rival in Super Bowl-champion Los Angeles Rams continued to be aggressive, adding standout wide receiver Allen Robinson from the Chicago Bears in the wake of last year’s wideouts, Robert Woods and Odell Beckham Jr., suffering ACL tears.

Exactly how much that improves LA’s chances of repeating as Super Bowl winners is anyone’s guess, just as much as one can wonder if the Niners will be significantly better or worse in the wake of their own free-agent moves.

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