5 mid-tier free agents 49ers must pursue (and can afford)

The Niners can't overspend on the free-agent market this offseason, but there are still some likable options who won't be too expensive.

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (L) vs Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (R)
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (L) vs Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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No. 3: Edge Bryce Huff (Jets)

Unfortunately, despite all the efforts to upgrade the defensive line over the years, the 49ers still need help this offseason, particularly in the outside edge-rushing department opposite All-Pro Nick Bosa.

It's been a patchwork effort, previously, that most recently included edges Clelin Ferrell, Randy Gregory and Chase Young, all of whom are pending free agents and may be difficult to re-sign. Tack on the failed development of the Niners' top pick from the 2022 NFL Draft, Drake Jackson, and it looks as if San Francisco will have to throw yet more assets at this need.

That's where edge Bryce Huff of the New York Jets comes into play.

Kyle Posey of Niners Nation described the need and fit perfectly:

"Finding a complementary edge rusher to Nick Bosa has been more difficult than one would think. Through the years, a player has produced — from Arden Key to Charles Omenihu — but there hasn’t been a player to play next to Bosa for two years in a row.

The Drake Jackson experiment was a short-lived one. Jackson struggled against the run, and his lack of strength has made him a liability to be an every-down player. Relying on a rookie when you’re a win-now team is a big ask.

The prudent thing to do this offseason would be to invest in an ascending edge rusher who can help you for multiple years. Enter Bryce Huff."

As Posey also noted, Huff has been more of a situational pass-rusher for Gang Green, but those players matter. Making the connection with a Niners-like defense under Jets head coach Robert Saleh helps, too, and Posey pointed out that the 25-year-old Huff could early just north of $9 million, annualy, following a breakout 10-sack campaign in 2023.

In short, Huff is on the ascent and could be that final piece of what's otherwise a potent San Francisco defensive line.