Chase Young can still help 49ers despite signing with Saints in free agency

The Niners love compensatory picks, and Chase Young might be able to deliver in that regard.

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Chase Young (92)
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Chase Young (92) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The 49ers hoped Chase Young would provide some serious pass-rush thump last season, but that didn't pan out. But Young can still help the Niners another way.

The San Francisco 49ers had a win-win situation when they traded with the Washington Commanders for edge Chase Young, the 2020 second-overall pick from the NFL Draft who became that year's Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Young was supposed to provide the bookend to All-Pro edge Nick Bosa, his former Ohio State teammate, and that's what the Niners were banking upon on their march to the Super Bowl.

Well, it didn't quite go down that way.

Sure, Young flashed some moments here and there. But he ultimately finished the regular season with a mere 2.5 sacks despite having five during the same year with Washington. And there were questions about Young's effort, too, which drove the strong likelihood that San Francisco wasn't going to re-sign the pending free agent. Especially with salary cap challenges facing general manager John Lynch and Co.

Following the 49ers' free-agent pickups of players like edge Leonard Floyd, the door on Young seemed to be fully shut.

But he could still potentially help the Niners out another way.

49ers will hope to get a 2025 compensatory NFL Draft pick for Chase Young

Currently, San Francisco is experiencing a net loss of qualifying free agents, which would translate into a strong likelihood of more compensatory picks in the 2025 NFL Draft.

On Monday, NFL Network broke news that Young was signing a deal with the New Orleans Saints:

CBS Sports' Josina Anderson later reported it was worth up to $13 million, which likely qualifies for a mid-round comp pick, albeit one that could be offset depending on the 49ers' other transactions.

The formula used for determining comp picks is privately held by the NFL, and it takes into account contractual values, playing time and other key factors. So, it'd be difficult to ascertain whether or not Young is certain to count for another comp pick heading in the Niners' direction.

That said, in light of San Francisco giving up a third-round pick to acquire Young in the first place, it's very possible Lynch and Co. get a pick in that same round back in exchange.

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