3 Low-Cost Free Agents the 49ers Need to Target With Limited Cap Space
The San Francisco 49ers entered the NFL offseason hoping to build off the recent success that's seen them make two NFC Championship Game appearances in the last three years.
Although they've made some moves already, the 49ers compete in the NFC West — one of the most competitive divisions in all of football — and vying for a playoff spot will be difficult. The good news is that there are still some affordable free agents remaining that San Francisco can target with its remaining cap space ($3.1 million, as per Spotrac).
Here are three low-cost free agents that the 49ers need to target with their limited cap space.
49ers Free Agency
1. Giovani Bernard, RB
The run game was a big part of the 49ers' success last season. They'll look for more of the same with Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon and JaMycal Hasty leading the running back room next season. Unfortunately, the trio had issues staying in the lineup last season. Mitchell and Hasty missed a combined 12 games due to injury while Sermon was a non-factor in the nine games he played. To add some extra insurance, the 49ers would be wise to bring in a veteran like Giovani Bernard. The nine-year veteran brings 127 games of NFL experience to the table and has only missed five matchups since 2019. He may be past his prime, but he's still a reliable pass-catcher who can change the pace when needed. With the RB injuries that San Francisco dealt with last year, adding a depth rusher like Bernard is a no-brainer.
2. Keelan Cole, WR
Outside of Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle, San Francisco doesn't really have any other pass-catchers to rely on. Even if the run game is the top priority, adding another wide receiver like Keelan Cole seems like the way to go. The 28-year-old wideout has never been a game-changer, but he was decent with the New York Jets in 2021. Cole played 58% of offensive snaps in 15 games last season, finishing with 28 receptions, 449 yards and a touchdown, as well as a career-high 16.0 yards per reception. Will adding him turn the 49ers into an instant Super Bowl favorite? Probably not. But there's nothing wrong with adding an extra pair of hands just in case the run game gets shut down.
3. Ike Boettger, OG
Laken Tomlinson's departure opened up a hole on the 49ers' offensive line. While San Francisco can't afford too many of the notable remaining guards, management may be able to get former Buffalo Bills OG Ike Boettger on a bargain deal. The 27-year-old played 15 games (10 starts) for the Bills last season, allowing one sack on 636 offensive snaps. He was an even better run blocker than he was pass blocker, which bodes well for the 49ers' rush-first mentality. He did tear his Achilles in December but he expects to be ready for the start of the 2022 NFL season. Taking his injury into account, San Francisco can likely land Boettger on a cheap 'prove-it' deal that offers a low-risk, high-reward solution to their O-Line woes.
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.