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Why 49ers don't have candidates for franchise tag in 2021

NBC Sports

Among the 49ers’ list of unsigned players for the 2021 season are 26 veterans scheduled for unrestricted free agency.

The 49ers have used the franchise tag sparingly through the years, and the organization does not have any legitimate candidates this offseason, either.

NFL teams are allowed to designate franchise players from Feb. 23 through March 9 at 1 p.m.

The only scheduled free agent that would have warranted consideration for the franchise tag is left tackle Trent Williams, who has stated his preference is to re-sign with the 49ers.

Based on a salary cap expected to be around $181.5 million per team, the franchise tag for an offensive lineman this offseason will be $13.6 million. That figure is considerably less than what Williams is likely to receive as an average on a multi-year contract.

But as part of a contract Williams restructured after being traded from Washington last year, the 49ers are prohibited from tagging him as their franchise player, anyway.

The 49ers other top scheduled free agents are fullback Kyle Juszczyk, defensive linemen Kerry Hyder and D.J. Jones, and defensive backs Jason Verrett, Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams and Jaquiski Tartt.

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But it makes no sense for the 49ers to apply franchise tags on players who they can undoubtedly sign for less money.

The tags for Juszczyk (approximately $8.5 million), Hyder ($15.8 million), Jones ($13.7 million), Verrett, Sherman and Williams ($14.8 million, apiece) and Tartt ($10.4 million) are all more than what it will cost annually to sign any of them to multi-year contracts.


Prior to applying the tag to kicker Robbie Gould in 2019, the 49ers had not used the tag on anyone since safety Dashon Goldson in 2012.

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