No. 4: 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw
The 49ers have a trio of starting-caliber linebackers entering 2022: Fred Warner, Azeez Al-Shaair and Dre Greenlaw, the latter appearing in just three regular-season games a year ago after suffering a serious groin injury back in Week 1.
Al-Shaair admirably filled in for Greenlaw for much of 2021, leading to the Niners retaining the restricted free agent into 2022.
Greenlaw, meanwhile, enters a contract year this season.
With San Francisco already committing big money to Warner, one of the NFL’s top linebackers, it doesn’t seem poised or perhaps even interested in dishing out big bucks for Greenlaw either, although the latter won’t come close to commanding anything like what Warner is getting. If anything, the 49ers would rather look to lock up Al-Shaair on what would likely be a cheaper long-term deal than what it would take to re-sign or extend Greenlaw.
It might not be surprising to see the Niners move Greenlaw at some point this season, too, depending on how their depth chart pans out and what they think of Al-Shaair moving forward.
Either way, don’t expect Greenlaw to be back in 2023.