When healthy, the 49ers believe they're still Super Bowl contenders.
That didn't happen last season as a decimated roster wound up going just 6-10 and missing the playoffs entirely one year after falling short in Super Bowl LIV. Key healthy players being back on the field will make a huge difference for the 49ers in 2021. Nonetheless, this roster will undergo some key changes this offseason.
Through free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft, general manager John Lynch will have to make the right moves to get this team back on the right path. Spotrac managing editor Michael Ginnitti made a long list of free agency predictions, and he has the 49ers making several intriguing moves.
Here are all four signings Ginnitti predicts for the 49ers, and what they mean for the team.
Re-sign left tackle Trent Williams
Contract: Four years, $72 million
This, along with signing linebacker Fred Warner to a long-term extension, has to be priority No. 1 this offseason for San Francisco. The 49ers can't use the franchise tag on Williams, and they will have competition for his services.
While this is a hefty contract, especially for someone who turns 33 years old in July, Williams is worth every penny. Williams played 14 games after missing all of 2019 and made his eighth straight Pro Bowl when healthy. He was named first-team All-Pro by Pro Football Focus but snubbed by the Associated Press for the same distinction.
The offseason begins by re-signing Williams.
Sign center Alex Mack
Contract: One year, $5 million
Mack is 35 years old, but this move makes a lot of sense. The 49ers could be in the market for a center by cutting Weston Richburg, and Mack has a history with coach Kyle Shanahan. He played in Kyle Shanahan’s offenses for one season apiece with the Cleveland Browns (2014) and Atlanta Falcons (2016).
He also expressed interest in signing with the 49ers this offseason to our very own Matt Maiocco.
“Kyle is an incredible coach,” Mack told Maiocco in early February. “He’s an incredible coach, great person, strong motivator and runs an offense that is something that I’d know really well and that I performed very well in.
“Yeah, that said, they (the 49ers) are a very enticing thing."
Sign cornerback Desmond King
Contract: Three years, $18 million
When the new league year begins next month, the 49ers could have a big hole at cornerback. Richard Sherman has made it clear he won't be coming back, plus Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley, K'Waun Williams and Ahkello Witherspoon all could hit the open market.
"[Desmond] King's had years that have popped off the page, but has seemingly been in decline the past two seasons, leaving his financial future a bit of a mystery," Ginnitti wrote. "This lower price tag could attract decent teams looking to grab value from him."
King still is just 26 and was an All-Pro in 2018. Between the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans last season, he had two sacks, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.
Sign receiver Breshad Perriman
Contract: Three years, $26 million
The 49ers appear to have two young studs at receiver in Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. But they need a third running mate.
With Kendrick Bourne set to hit free agency, San Francisco should seek more depth at the position. This could be where Perriman comes in.
"Statistically speaking, Perriman comps nicely to who John Brown was before joining Buffalo in an expanded role," Ginnitti wrote. "Teams looking for complementary wideouts could see him as a nice low buy fit."
Perriman, 27, had 30 receptions for 505 yards and three TDs with the New York Jets last season. He's a former first-round draft pick who would bring more speed to the offense right away.