Eric Weddle

Kyle Juszczyk suggests 49ers should pursue former teammate Eric Weddle


Kyle Juszczyk suggests 49ers should pursue former teammate Eric Weddle

A bunch of quality NFL players are about to become free agents, which means the 49ers, naturally, have been continuing their recruiting efforts.

We've seen 49ers players flirt with Antonio Brown and Earl Thomas on social media. Now, with the Ravens reportedly cutting safety Eric Weddle, fullback Kyle Juszczyk isn't wasting any time reaching out to his former teammate.

Juszczyk has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons, covering his first two years with the 49ers and his final one in Baltimore, which happened to coincide with Weddle's first season with the Ravens.

The season they overlapped in Baltimore, Weddle also was named to the Pro Bowl after starting all 16 games and totaling 89 tackles, four interceptions, one sack and one forced fumble. So, Juszczyk knows Weddle can do.

Weddle hauled in six interceptions the following season but none this past year. Still, he managed to make the Pro Bowl both times as a leader of one of the top NFL’s defenses.

The 49ers have had nowhere near one of the league’s top defenses over that same span, and certainly could use an influx of talent on that side of the ball, whether through free agency or the NFL draft.

[RELATED: How trio of reported free agents would fit 49ers in 2019]

Weddle, 34, is a bit long in the tooth, but he’s still likely to be one of the most sought-after players in what has become a robust free agent safety market. Depending on who the 49ers view as the best fit for their own system, Weddle could make a lot of sense.

NFL rumors: How Trey Flowers, C.J. Mosley, Eric Weddle would fit 49ers

NFL rumors: How Trey Flowers, C.J. Mosley, Eric Weddle would fit 49ers

Landon Collins reportedly wasn't the only player to learn he'd become a free agent in the coming days. 

Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley and New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers did not receive a franchise tag from their respective teams, according to multiple reports. On Tuesday, the Ravens also reportedly cut safety Eric Weddle

All three play positions where the 49ers' needs are abundantly clear, but would any of them fit in San Francisco? 

Trey Flowers

Flowers should have a flowery outlook on free agency. Bad puns aside, he just might be the best player available on the open market. 

The 25-year-old is a versatile player, who Pro Football Focus graded out as a top-10 edge defender over the last three seasons with an overall grade of 88.7. The football analytics site rated Flowers as one of the best run defenders at his position, and an average-to-above-average pass rusher. He has also been durable, playing no fewer than 14 games in each of the last three seasons. 

The 49ers were decent defending the run last season, but could clearly use help rushing the passer. They likely are going to draft an edge-rusher at the top of the draft, but one player won't solve what ailed them. Flowers will be expensive, but the 49ers have the salary-cap space and the need to bring him into the fold. 

C.J. Mosley

Mosley has been a starter since the Ravens drafted him No. 17 overall out of Alabama in 2014. He has recorded at least 100 combined tackles in four of five NFL seasons, and manned the middle of one of the league's top defenses in 2018.

But Mosley's hype doesn't necessarily match his production. Pro Football Focus found that Mosley graded out as one of the best run defenders at his position, but he wasn't as strong defending the pass. 

Still, the 49ers' linebacking corps is likely due for an upgrade. The 49ers will have to make a decision on retaining Malcolm Smith soon, and could use help at the position whether or not Mosley is retained. 

[RELATED: Our latest mock draft after NFL Scouting Combine]

Eric Weddle

At 34 years old, Weddle is the oldest of the players mentioned here. He didn't record an interception for the second time in the last five years, and had a career-low three passes defended. 

Yet, Weddle still has something left in the tank. He was a pivotal part of a Ravens defense that allowed fewer yards than any other team last season, and made his sixth career Pro Bowl. 

The 49ers need help across the secondary, and a ball-hawk safety would go a long way towards improving their turnover numbers next season. If 2018 was not just a down year, Weddle might not be that at this stage of his career.