Flush with over $95 million in cap room, the San Francisco 49ers are expected to be major players in free agency this month. Heck, the team has already spent more in free agency this year than it did last year. Note, free agency itself hasn’t even started yet.
With a new regime looking to rebuild what has to be considered one of the most talent-stricken rosters in the NFL, an active free agency period would help them get off to a good start.
Already linked to quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo on the trade market, the 49ers are now reportedly expected to make a serious run at Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
In no way should this come as too much of a surprise. One of the weakest areas on last season’s two-win team was the wide receiver position. Torrey Smith acted as the No. 1 receiver, but he failed to do anything of substance. After that, the 49ers had pretty much no real talent behind him.
Despite coming off two consecutive down seasons, Jeffery is expected to be the top receiver on the market. He will surely demand a huge payday. And interest will most definitely be there.
It remains to be seen if Jeffery’s recent suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs will limit his market, but that seems unlikely at this point.
Normally, a two-win team wouldn’t be an appealing landing spot for top-end free agents. That’s until we realize San Francisco hired reigning NFL Assistant Coach of the Year Kyle Shanahan to be their fourth head coach in as many seasons. He will surely be a draw for players of Jeffery’s ilk.
Chicago decided against placing the franchise tag on Jeffery following a 2016 campaign that saw him put up 52 receptions for 821 yards and just two touchdowns.