3 ways 49ers can overcome loss of Dre Greenlaw in 2024

In an ideal world, Dre Greenlaw makes a quick offseason recovery from the Achilles injury suffered during the Super Bowl.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57)
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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49ers option No. 2: Promote Dee Winters, Jalen Graham

Cap issues could ultimately force San Francisco to part ways with both Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles and Oren Burks, but it appears as if the 49ers have prepared for that outcome with contingency plans.

Last spring, the Niners used two day-three picks on linebackers Dee Winters and Jalen Graham in the NFL Draft. While neither was a major impact player on defense for San Francisco, there has been a successful pipeline for rookies to proverbially "cut their teeth" in year one before taking on a bigger role a year or two later.

Winters, who appeared in 15 regular-season games for the 49ers last year, appears closer than Graham.

Depending on how the Niners feel about the former, Winters may ultimately be the go-to option to replace Dre Greenlaw at the outset.