The 49ers face some tough decisions in NFL free agency this offseason, and the following players are poised to hit the open market.
On the positive side of things, the San Francisco 49ers' core of players from this season's Super Bowl-losing squad is going to carry over to 2024.
And quarterback Brock Purdy will still count for only a minuscule amount of the team's salary cap, too. That's a plus, especially considering he will eventually cash in on a massive deal in the not-so-distant future.
On the negative side, though, the Niners aren't swimming in salary cap space. In fact, according to Over the Cap, they're $3.72 million over it. This means by the time the league new year rolls around in March, general manager John Lynch and Co. will have to not only trim some contracts by roster cuts, extensions and restructures, but they'll also likely have to let several pending free agents walk.
Including some notable players.
Here's the full list of San Francisco's players poised to hit NFL free agency this offseason.
49ers free agents 2024
Unrestricted free agents
- EDGE Randy Gregory
- EDGE Clelin Ferrell
- EDGE Chase Young
- QB Sam Darnold
- QB Brandon Allen
- DT Javon Kinlaw
- S Tashaun Gipson
- S Logan Ryan
- DL Sebastian Joseph-Day
- LB Oren Burks
- OL Jonathan Feliciano
- OL Matt Pryor
- OL Ben Bartch
- DL Kevin Givens
- WR Ray-Ray McCloud
- WR Chris Conley
- LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles
- TE Ross Dwelley
- TE Charlie Woerner
- DB Tayler Hawkins
Restricted free agents
- WR Jauan Jennings
Related story: 5 Niners who definitely won't be back in 2024
The failure of second-year pro edge Drake Jackson to mature into a quality pass-rusher led to San Francisco trading for both Gregory and Young prior to the NFL trade deadline, yet it's hard to envision either one of those two coming back on a bargain deal.
If fellow pass-rusher Clelin Ferrell departs, the 49ers will be awfully thin at defensive end and may be forced to allocate even more assets for the D-line in the NFL Draft (yet again).
That'd especially be true if Kinlaw, who performed well in what was his first fully healthy season in three years, doesn't return on what could only be a team-friendly re-sign deal.
Feliciano, who started seven regular-season games, could be a difficult loss. And the Niners may have to reinvent their return game if McCloud departs via free agency, too.
Jennings, meanwhile, is a tough choice to make. As a restricted free agent, San Francisco could offer him a qualifying tender, perhaps a second-rounder, which Over the Cap predicts will be worth $4.63 million. That actually might be a bargain for a key third-down weapon who arguably could have been Super Bowl MVP had the 49ers won that game, thanks to his one passing and one receiving touchdown.
If Jennings is tendered, though, it'd cut into the Niners' ability of re-signing a significant chunk of their other pending free-agent role players.