5 bargains 49ers can target after opening wave of NFL free agency

Kerry Hyder #51 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Kerry Hyder #51 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants
New York Giants strong safety Jabrill Peppers (21) Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers bargain free agent No. 1: Safety Jabrill Peppers

Safety Jabrill Peppers might not have turned into the All-Pro kind of defender he was anticipated to be coming out of the 2017 NFL Draft when the Cleveland Browns selected him No. 25 overall.

Still, Peppers has nevertheless put in a decent career ever since, split between those two years in Cleveland and the last three with the New York Giants, enjoying a career-best 2020 campaign in which he recorded 91 tackles, eight of which were for a loss, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and 11 passes broken up.

Peppers suffered a torn ACL midway through last year, so a team like the Niners would have to monitor that and hope he has a full recovery. But at 26 years old, he’s still plenty young and would surely be an immediate-impact starter if signed.

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San Francisco does have a need, especially with its former strong safety Jaquiski Tartt unsigned and potentially not looking at returning in the wake of the team signing backup safety and special teams ace George Odum in NFL free agency.

Peppers would start over Odum, though, and he’d be younger than Tartt while having a modestly better injury track record, too, although the ACL tear contradicts that to a point.

Still, that injury likely keeps Peppers’ market thin, and the 49ers may be able to go after him on a relatively inexpensive deal.

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