49ers would be wise to get ahead of Deommodore Lenoir extension

Extending Deommodore Lenoir would probably be a smart move by the Niners.
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Deommodore Lenoir (2)
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Deommodore Lenoir (2) / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The 49ers could lose a number of cornerbacks in free agency in 2025, Deommodore Lenoir being one of them.

When discussing offseason extension talks, the first name that probably comes to mind among San Francisco 49ers fans is that of wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

Understandably. The high-profile standoff between the team and its top receiver from the last two seasons appears to be at an ugly stalemate. And with the Niners stressed for cash in 2025 while also having to extend quarterback Brock Purdy, it's reasonable to assume they'll table extension costs for nearly everyone who's eligible.

Including Aiyuk.

Yet there's another name San Francisco should look to extend sooner than later: cornerback Deommodore Lenoir.

Lenoir, a fifth-round pick from the 2021 NFL Draft out of Oregon, has only seen his value rise in recent years, coming into his own in 2022 and then emerging as a top option within the 49ers secondary a season later.

2023 was Lenoir's best campaign yet, one in which he started all 17 games, primarily at nickel, recorded three interceptions, broke up 10 passes and held opposing quarterbacks to a lowly 75.2 passer rating when targeting him.

He'll turn just 25 years old this season.

Heading into a contract year, getting Lenoir locked up for the long run would be a wise move, one that should be done at the soonest possible opportunity.

49ers can safeguard free-agent attrition at cornerback by extending Deommodore Lenoir now

The Niners are looking at a potential massive shakeup of their secondary in 2025, and Lenoir is just one of many key players who are poised to hit the open market.

In addition to fill-in offseason additions like Isaac Yiadom and Rock Ya-Sin, All-Pro cornerback Charvarius Ward is going to be a free agent less than a year from now, and he's made it clear he wants to command top dollar, even if it's not from San Francisco.

There's a good chance the 49ers are forced to decide between Lenoir and Ward, as far as re-signing/extending a top corner, but the former is likely the easier and cheaper choice.

For starters, Lenoir is nearly four years younger than his counterpart and is very much on the ascent. On top of that, nickel cornerbacks almost always command far less money on the open market than those on the boundary who have similar numbers and capabilities.

There's an X-factor in the mix, too, rookie corner Renardo Green, whom the Niners drafted in Round 2 last April and could slide in as a potential Lenoir-or-Ward long-term replacement.

But, to help maintain some level of continuity within the defensive backfield, extending Lenoir entering 2024 would be the cheaper and smarter option, if San Francisco wanted to secure at least one name of its starting cornerback room for the long run.

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