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3 Free Agents the 49ers Need to Sign With Cap Space From Dee Ford Contract Restructure

Larry Rupp
Three free agents the San Francisco 49ers need to sign with the cap space created from Dee Ford's contract restructure.
Three free agents the San Francisco 49ers need to sign with the cap space created from Dee Ford's contract restructure. / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers made a huge move to upgrade their secondary on Monday by signing cornerback Charvarious Ward to a three-year deal. That should only be the first step in mixing up a roster that still has major holes, though. The good news is that San Francisco is clearing some cap.

The 49ers have restructured the contract of defensive lineman Dee Ford through the addition of voidable years. That opens up almost $5 million in available cap space for the 2022 season. It's important to put that newfound cash to good use, so here are three free agents the team should sign.

49ers Free Agency

1. Kalif Raymond, WR

The 49ers top two receiving spots are locked up by Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, but finding a capable slot receiver for Trey Lance would would be smart. Kalif Raymond is coming off the best season of his career in which he posted 576 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns on 48 receptions with the Detroit Lions. The 27-year-old's ability to break tackles over the middle of the field is highlighted by his career average of 14.1 yards per catch. The wide receiver market is loaded with big names. That means Raymond continues to fly under the radar and will likely not cost much to sign.

2. Johnny Hekker, P

Starting punter Mitch Wishnowsky enters the 2022 NFL season on the final year of his contract and hasn't exactly been lights out punting the ball. The recent release of Los Angeles Rams' long-time punter Johnny Hekker should interest the 49ers for a number of reasons. Hekker is a four-time All-Pro and has played in the NFC West for his entire 10-year career. Head coach Kyle Shanahan also always has a few tricks up his sleeve and Hekker has proven he can pass the ball with ease during fake punts. While this move may not excite the fan base too much, it's one that could end up paying off in a big way.

3. Dante Fowler Jr., LB

It's worth noting that San Francisco finished tied for the fifth-most sacks in the NFL last season (48.0). They already have the pass rushing talent to compete, yet could benefit from adding some depth behind Nick Bosa and Fred Warner. The 49ers have found a lot of success in signing reclamation projects in the past and Dante Fowler Jr. fits that mold to a tee. The 27-year-old has posted just 7.5 sacks over the last two seasons following his breakout 2019 campaign in which he racked up 11.5 sacks. He is in need of a change of scenery and has enough upside to warrant a contract.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.