5 cheap free-agent targets for 49ers this offseason

The Niners may want to explore some bargain-basement players in NFL free agency this offseason.

New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (84)
New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (84) / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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The 49ers won't have a ton of cap space in NFL free agency this offseason, but these five players could be had on the cheap.

There are going to be plenty of dream free agents the San Francisco 49ers would love to target when the 2024 NFL new year commences on March 13, most of whom will be priced well out of general manager John Lynch's comfort range.

Despite having cleared up some cap space already, Over the Cap currently has the Niners at $285,281 above the current league salary cap of $255.4 million. While Lynch and Co. can free up additional space by the way of player extensions, restructures and cap casualties, the hard fact is San Francisco can't afford to be big spenders this offseason.

That means most (if not all) of the 49ers' free-agent targets will have to be bargains.

Fortunately, there are plenty of B- and C-level free agents who'd be able to help the team on the cheap, and these five make plenty of sense for the Niners as they look to maintain their current Super Bowl window.

No. 5: Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (Patriots)

The New England Patriots don't seem likely to re-sign former San Francisco wide receiver Kendrick Bourne in 2024, namely due to their own regime change in the post-Bill Belichick era and because Bourne is coming off a torn ACL that derailed his 2023 efforts after just eight games played.

Bourne, who began his NFL career with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent back in 2017 and had a career-high of 800 yards with the Pats his first year there in 2021, might only get a one-year prove-it deal to showcase a full recovery.

The Niners make plenty of sense. Especially since OTC is valuing Bourne's 2023 campaign at an affordable $1.89 million.

Sure, San Francisco is planning on either tendering restricted free agent Jauan Jennings or offering him an extension. But if that falls through, the 28-year-old Bourne would be a viable backup option who is already familiar with head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense and was equally potent as a third-down weapon, just as Jennings is.