49ers roster: 3 free agents who can help San Francisco right now

Odell Beckham Jr. #3 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Odell Beckham Jr. #3 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The 49ers may be getting healthier, but they still have shortages. Adding one of these free agents can help shore up the roster and depth chart.

At 3-4, the San Francisco 49ers are hitting that crucial point of the season where they’re either going to solidify themselves as a legitimate playoff contender or are going to crumble down the stretch, leading to desperation times in order to merely hang around in the Wild Card race.

True, the Niners are starting to get healthier in the wake of a notable string of injuries that have taken place over the last few weeks. Starting tackles Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey are back from injuries, while Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa worked his way back from a groin injury.

And San Francisco might bank on getting other players back soon, too.

However, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s roster still has some holes in it, and there’s a good chance no one on the current roster will be able to fill those voids.

The pickings may be slim on the NFL free agency market, but a number of players could be had, and any one of these three could help ensure the 49ers remain in the playoff-contention department.

49ers NFL free agency target No. 1: DT Linval Joseph

The Niners’ run-defending efforts against the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs in Weeks 6 and 7 were nothing short of atrocious, which is an alarming trend considering how well this element was for San Francisco dating back to the middle of last season.

It’s more than clear the defense misses injured defensive tackle Arik Armstead (foot), who missed those two games and whose void has allowed teams like the Falcons and Chiefs to run wild.

Veteran defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who spent 2020 and 2021 with the Los Angeles Chargers in a system, not unlike that of the 49ers, might not be an elite run-stopper like he was earlier in his career. And, at 34 years old, he’s nowhere close to being an every-down player either.

That said, Joseph’s biggest pedigree over his career was acting as a solid interior run-stuffer, and that’s what the Niners could use to help ensure they get back to a point where they can hold opponents to less than 100 yards rushing in games.

Especially if Armstead is either going to be out for a while or isn’t able to return at 100 percent.

49ers NFL free agency target No. 2: CB A.J. Bouye

San Francisco’s loss of starting cornerback Emmanuel Moseley to a season-ending ACL tear is starting to hurt in more ways than originally thought.

Sure, the 49ers have received great production from fellow corner Charvarius Ward, but Moseley’s replacements since he was lost in Week 5, namely Deommodore Lenoir and Dontae Johnson, haven’t exactly been adequate.

And while the Niners are hoping oft-injured veteran Jason Verrett can return soon off the physically unable-to-perform list, the longer time goes by, the lesser the chance Verrett has to make an impact. Plus, it would be unwise to bank on Verrett staying healthy anyway.

Read More: 49ers corners who must step up with Emmanuel Moseley out for year

Former Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye is nothing close to the Pro Bowl-caliber player he once was back in 2017 with the Jags, and at 31 years old, he’s merely an experienced veteran who’s on the decline.

However, over 10 games with Carolina last season, he did allow a respectable 6.9 yards per target with zero touchdowns surrendered, and he’d easily be an upgrade over someone like Johnson.

49ers NFL free agency target No. 3: WR Odell Beckham Jr.

San Francisco already has a solid one-two punch at wide receiver with All-Pro Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. But a Super Bowl-caliber team needs to have more playmaking depth, and it’s pretty clear veteran wideout Odell Beckham Jr. is weighing his options and factoring in which teams have the best shot this postseason.

Already turning down an offer to return to the Los Angeles Rams, money is unquestionably going to be a factor. But, with $5.2 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap, the 49ers could entertain bringing aboard the veteran to add yet another playmaking prowess at wide receiver.

Beckham is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last February, and he might not be ready to sign until after the 2022 NFL trade deadline.

However, the Niners could easily begin the flirtation process to show they’re truly going all-in on trying to win a Super Bowl this season.

Next. 49ers' 15 best free-agent acquisitions of all time. dark