4 biggest remaining 49ers needs after the first wave of free agency

The 49ers started the new NFL league year with a flurry of activity, but some questions still remain.

Here's a look at where the 49ers roster could still be improved as the free agency frenzy calms down.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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Wide Receiver

The final need addressed in this article is somewhat similar to the one that opened it, in the sense that it's quietly crept onto the 49ers' needs board without really being noticed. No one can doubt the talent of Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Jauan Jennings, but there are reasonable questions surrounding all three, and not a lot of talent in the pipeline below them.

Samuel's contract is a constant source of strife among 49ers fans, particularly as the money begins to accelerate in the coming years, right around the time that some deals, particularly that of quarterback Brock Purdy, will need to get done.

While Samuel is still a fantastic player, and the heartbeat of the Shanahan scheme, particularly due to his yardage-after-catch ability, there will be a tough decision to make on his contract sooner rather than later.

Similarly, the 49ers are currently making a tough decision on Aiyuk, as he heads for a likely lucrative contract, either in San Francisco or elsewhere. As trade rumors swirl around him, and Jauan Jennings enters his last year under team control also, it's somewhat disconcerting to look at the depth chart beyond them and see very little to get excited about.

Danny Gray has practically been in witness protection for his two pro seasons, while Ronnie Bell has yet to make a transition from preseason hero to consistent regular season contributor.

Aside from them, Chris Conley and Tay Martin round out the depth chart, and while they're solid players, neither threaten to move the needle on a regular basis.

Given the contract concerns, as well as durability issues surrounding both Samuel and Aiyuk at times in their careers, another consistent weapon that can offer some juice to the offense in the clutch would certainly be welcome.

For the long term, it may even be necessary.

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