The 49ers were hit pretty hard on Day 2 of NFL free agency, and two starting-caliber players already ended up moving on with new squads.
It might be reasonable to assume the early installment of the 2023 San Francisco 49ers is nowhere near as good as what the 2022 squad looked like.
The Niners have already suffered some significant losses in NFL free agency, perhaps none bigger than watching quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo depart for the Las Vegas Raiders. On top of that, a couple of bigger-name starters, such as right tackle Mike McGlinchey and safety Jimmie Ward, left for the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans, respectively.
But, wait, there’s more.
Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley is leaving. So is linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair.
Late on day two of NFL free agency, even more hits came to San Francisco.
49ers lose No. 2 pass-rusher Samson Ebukam in NFL free agency
EDGE Nick Bosa shouldered the load for the 49ers’ pass rush last year with a league-high 19.5 sacks.
And while the Niners didn’t get much from anyone else on the roster, no other player having more than five, EDGE Samson Ebukam was nevertheless an every-down player who finished with five sacks in 2022, a career-best.
Now, Ebukam is off to the Indianapolis Colts on a three-year deal.
Perhaps one can look at the two-year, $12 million free-agent contract he signed with San Francisco entering 2021 as a bit of a disappointment, given that he never turned into a top-tier pass-rusher.
That said, the 49ers seem poised to put plenty of pressure on second-year EDGE Drake Jackson, who was never able to beat Ebukam out on the depth chart last season.
49ers will no longer have the versatile Daniel Brunskill for their O-line
On the surface, it doesn’t seem like a big loss. But losing offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill on a free-agent deal with the Tennessee Titans is quite the blow.
Brunskill effectively played all five spots along the O-line since joining the Niners in 2019. He was able to take snaps at center, backed up both tackle spots and spent 2022 in a platoon at right guard with then-rookie Spencer Burford.
Additionally, Brunskill seemed to be the only player who’d largely negate Los Angeles Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald on a regular basis.
Perhaps San Francisco didn’t see that kind of need for Brunskill any longer and views both Burford and reserve lineman Nick Zakelj as more important for the roster going forward.
That said, Brunskill certainly showcased his value to the 49ers over the last four years.