49ers take low-risk, high-reward flier on Kemoko Turay

The 49ers flirted with former Colts EDGE Kemoko Turay in NFL free agency, but the relationship is now reportedly official.

When you think you have enough pass-rushers, go ahead and add another.

At least that’s the San Francisco 49ers’ mindset deep into the 2022 offseason, as news broke on Thursday they were signing former Indianapolis Colts EDGE Kemoko Turay to a one-year deal.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo originally reported the news:

Turay, the Colts’ second-round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft who’ll turn 27 years old this offseason, dealt with injuries for much of 2019 and 2020 but bounced back strong enough in a rotational role last season, notching a career-best 5.5 sacks over 13 games played.

Earlier this month, the Niners hosted Turay on a workout, but he ultimately left with no deal being signed. It did show, however, San Francisco was interested in bolstering its pass rush, namely in the wake of losing its No. 2 sack specialist a year ago, Arden Key, in NFL free agency to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa led the 49ers overall in 2021 with 15.5 sacks.

In an ideal world, the Niners would have waited until after May 2, following the upcoming NFL Draft later this month, to sign Turay. Doing so by those means would have meant Turay wouldn’t count against the complex formula used to determine compensatory draft picks for qualifying players either departing or signing.

Turay signing now likely suggests he was drawing serious interest from other teams, and he had previously met with the Atlanta Falcons, too, as Garafolo also reported.

According to Over the Cap, San Francisco has just $1.55 million in available cap space right now, and the details of Turay’s deal aren’t yet known. But it’s safe to say the 49ers will have to generate some modest wiggle room to fit the edge rusher’s contract within the confines, although only the top 51 contracts count at this particular point of the offseason.