5 pending 49ers free agents who (probably) won't return in 2024

San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (99)
San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (99) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
3 of 5

No. 3: 49ers tight end Ross Dwelley

It might not be as extreme as was the case with cornerback Dontae Johnson. But backup tight end Ross Dwelley somehow always seems to find his way back onto the team every year despite San Francisco lessening his role ever since 2020.

That year, Dwelley posted a career-best 245 yards on 19 receptions while filling in for an injured George Kittle, the 49ers' All-Pro tight end who'd otherwise headline that position with no challengers.

Since then, though, Dwelley has been mostly a non-factor, and the Niners have continued to seek out other bodies to back up Kittle.

Dwelley keeps coming back, though. And he did so again on another one-year deal.

However, 2024 could easily mark the first time in his career when he doesn't re-sign with San Francisco, particularly in the wake of the team using two draft picks on tight ends last April, a Round 3 pick on Alabama's Cameron Latu and a Round 7 pick on Oklahoma's Brayden Willis.

It might even be tough for Dwelley to hang onto a roster spot this year, let alone being re-signed a year from now.