49ers news: Ex-Niner met with Steelers, CBS Sports' win/loss projections

New York Jets linebacker Kwon Alexander (9)
New York Jets linebacker Kwon Alexander (9) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

A former 49ers linebacker could join forces with the Steelers soon. Plus, CBS Sports just predicted each team's win/loss totals for the upcoming season.

It wasn't that long ago when the San Francisco 49ers' highest-paid linebacker was also the No. 3 guy on the depth chart.

The other two backers, Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, have subsequently earned new contracts that reward them handsomely. But, back in 2019 and for half of 2020, it was then-Niners linebacker Kwon Alexander who was making the most money after inking a free-agent deal during that 2019 offseason.

However, Alexander's midseason pectoral injury opened up the door for Greenlaw to become a household name among San Francisco fans.

At any rate, Alexander was traded off to the New Orleans Saints the following year and has since turned in a season with the New York Jets, too, playing under former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh who is the head coach there.

If Saleh was hoping to reunite with Alexander, a free agent this deep into the offseason, it might be too late.

Former 49ers LB Kwon Alexander to join Steelers via free agency?

Alexander, who'll turn 29 years old later this summer, is meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to a Monday report from ESPN's Adam Schefter:

Niner Noise's colleague at FanSided, Still Curtain's Tommy Jaggi, had the following to say about a possible Alexander-to-Pittsburgh free-agent move, particularly in light of the Steelers' failed experiment with Myles Jack:

"Alexander is a quality depth option at linebacker who could probably start alongside Cole Holcomb for the Steelers and carve out a significant role. He's probably only average compared to other NFL starters, but compared to what Pittsburgh was working with in 2022, Kwon Alexander would still be an upgrade."

Additionally, as Niners fans know all too well, Alexander is a well-respected and likable locker-room personality, and the crop of San Francisco backers like Warner and Greenlaw have long sang his praises in the years since.

The 49ers play the Steelers in Week 1, in case you were wondering.

CBS Sports predicts 49ers will have how many wins in 2023?

Offseason predictions are always fun. The bulk of team-building exercises (and not the ones you do in your office) are complete with free agency and the NFL Draft in the books. And, aside from the never-ending low-end trade and signing here and there, teams' rosters are pretty much set.

That leads to predictions. And if you wanted to know ours here at Niner Noise, here you go:

Read More: 49ers 2023 schedule is out, and we predict every game right here

Now that we've touted our own predictions, let's break down why CBS Sports' Will Brinson predicted the Niners to have a 12-5 record to wrap up the 2023 season:

"Everything depends on Trey Lance's skillset and/or Brock Purdy's baseball injury. Wild to think about Lance and SF expectations this time last year versus now."

OK, Brinson is pointing at the obvious scenario of Lance versus Purdy, who is healthy and who wins out in training camp, assuming Purdy is healthy enough to participate by then.

Purdy has way more success at the NFL level than Lance after just half a year, whereas Lance's ceiling is still vastly higher than that of the final pick from the 2022 draft.

That doesn't quite help explain all of Brinson's predictions, though, yet that San Francisco offense has plenty of weapons for either quarterback, and the defense is stacked.

Playing in a weak NFC makes things a bit easier, too.

Next. Ranking the 5 toughest quarterbacks 49ers will face in 2023. dark