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49ers now reset offseason needs with Williams locked up

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Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch

Trent Williams, Kyle Juszczyk and Jason Verrett never left.

Center Alex Mack and edge rusher Samson Ebukam are ticketed to join the 49ers as free-agent acquisitions.

So what’s next at the opening of the NFL free agent signing period?

Because of the lowering salary cap, some veteran players are going to be disappointed. After the initial wave of signings, there figures to still be an abundance of proven veteran players to be available, most likely on one-year contracts.

At this stage, the 49ers have only two starting positions in doubt. Oh, they could add other players in the draft or free agency, but they have starting-caliber players at every spot on offense and defense.

The only positions with a large degree of uncertainty are at defensive tackle in base situations and at nickel back.

Nose tackle D.J. Jones and nickel back K’Waun Williams are among the 49ers’ top-remaining free agents still available with the new league year scheduled to launch Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Another need is at slot receiver, where Richie James and, potentially, Travis Benjamin and Jalen Hurd could be options. The lagging market for receivers could work to the 49ers’ advantage as they look to add a pass-catcher for the offense.

After all, with such players available as Kenny Golladay, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Will Fuller, Curtis Samuel, T.Y. Hilton and Willie Snead, it is not out of the question the 49ers might be able to land a proven commodity to team with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.


The 49ers need to add more depth along the defensive line. Currently, Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead are locks to start at defensive end on base downs with Javon Kinlaw holding down one of the defensive tackle positions.

Kevin Givens, Kentavius Street and Darrion Daniels are interior players who could factor into the rotation on base downs. Armstead has found his niche moving into an interior position on passing downs.

Bosa and soon-to-be-signed Ebukam are edge rushers. Dee Ford’s status might not be known for a while as he rehabs from a back condition that kept him out for the final 15 games of last season.

Kerry Hyder Jr., who led the 49ers with 8.5 sacks last season, is a free agent. He is likely drawing free-agent interest from the New York Jets.

Defensive line depth is needed, along with a little more help at wide receiver and cornerback.

RELATED: How 49ers' free agency moves impact Jimmy G, QB plans

The 49ers’ action at quarterback is also worth watching.

Jimmy Garoppolo is most likely returning as the starter — unless something unforeseen were to happen with, say, Deshaun Watson.

General manager John Lynch has stated the 49ers are determined to strengthen their backup spot. Josh Rosen and Josh Johnson are the other two quarterbacks currently on the 49ers’ roster.

Andy Dalton (Chicago), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Washington), Jacoby Brissett (Miami) and Tyrod Taylor (Houston) are no longer available.

Chicago Bears free agent Mitchell Trubisky is still available. The 49ers have reason to be interested ... but only at the right price.

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