Ranking best edge rushers available to 49ers in NFL free agency
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers could use some pass-rushing help to assist Nick Bosa in 2023, and these free-agent edge rushers could provide a needed boost.
The San Francisco 49ers’ pass rush in 2022 was a bit of a paradox.
On one hand, All-Pro EDGE Nick Bosa not only led his team in sacks during the regular season, but he also led the entire NFL with 19.5.
Pretty astounding, yes. But it’s also somewhat troubling that no other player on the Niners roster had more than five over the course of the year. If anything, the top-heavy nature of San Francisco’s pass rush pretty much illustrates the need for general manager John Lynch and Co. to find some extra help.
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Granted, the 49ers have just over $8 million in available cap space entering 2023, according to Over the Cap, so their resources are limited. And this year’s NFL free agency class isn’t exactly overwhelming either.
That said, should the Niners explore the free-agent market for an outside pass-rusher, these top-five candidates should be on their radar.
49ers pass-rushing target No. 5: Justin Houston, Ravens
We told you, the 2023 NFL free agency class is pretty underwhelming.
That said, veteran pass-rusher Justin Houston still has a niche role in the league as a situational player who can be a part of a quality rotation, and that’s what San Francisco has employed for years now behind Bosa.
At 34 years old, Houston would only enter as a third-down specialist, and even then, his snap counts would be limited.
However, coming off a 2022 campaign in which he recorded 9.5 sacks with the Baltimore Ravens, perhaps that kind of role is suited for him for the next year or so.
While there isn’t much, Houston still has some gas left in the proverbial tank.