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49ers have edge on Leonard Floyd at reasonable price


Finding a way to use the Bosa brothers as backup on the defensive line was a great idea for fantasy football.

In reality, 2024 NFL free agency Getting Leonard Floyd The reported $20 million over two years seems like a winner in terms of both common sense and business sense.

Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter, whose last contract prohibited the franchise tag, was thought to be the 49ers’ top target, bringing in Joey Bosa to pair with Nick or perhaps Khalil Mack. Both of the Chargers’ players are under contract; Bosa is owed $15 million in 2024 and $17 million in 2025, and Mack is owed $17.50 in the final year of his deal.

We’ll see what Hunter brings, but he’ll likely greatly outnumber Floyd. And it’s impossible to know what Joey Bosa and Mack would want in terms of contract upgrades if they were traded or released as free agents.

Floyd comes with the speed to be a truly situational runner. He is 31 years old but hasn’t missed a game due to injury since 2018 and had 10 1/2 sacks off the bench for Buffalo last season. That was the most since Brandon Staley, who had 10 1/2 as defensive coordinator for the Rams in 2020 and now serves as a defensive assistant on the 49ers staff.

The 49ers didn’t stop with Floyd. They also agreed to terms with Carolina forward Yetur Gross-Matos, a 25-year-old second-round pick out of Penn State in 2020, on a two-year deal worth $18 million. Gross-Matos emerges as a more developmental player than Floyd, considering he has only played a full season once in four seasons and has 13 career sacks.

The end zone where Brian Burns was traded from the Jaguars to the Giants, receiving a five-year, $150 million deal, and Jonathan Greenard (Vikings; four years, $76 million) and Bryce Huff (Eagles; three years, $51 million) Considering the market makes money on big deals, Floyd’s deal is a short-term, immediate production-based acquisition for a team that is either in the Super Bowl or a step away from it in four of the last five seasons.

Here are eight other observations as the negotiating period in free agency got off to a flying start on Wednesday, with no officials signing until the start of the new league year.

— The door was finally officially closed on Monday on the Kirk Cousins-Kyle Shanahan reunion, which has been speculated since they worked together under Mike Shanahan in Washington in 2013.

The 49ers were all but folded after deciding they were going to hit the lottery with Brock Purdy, as Shanahan may or may not have had his eye on Cousins ​​by that point. Cousins ​​broke the bank by signing a four-year contract worth $180 million with the Atlanta Falcons. He will receive an average of $45 million per season, with $100 million reportedly guaranteed.

All of this for a point guard who will be 36 in August, already has limited mobility, and is about to dislocate his Achilles tendon.

The scary part for the 49ers comes next season when Purdy becomes eligible for an extension. See Cousins’ contract numbers? A year from now, Purdy could match or exceed those numbers by the 2024 season. Then it’s a completely different game in terms of building a squad.

— Keep the fates of Arik Armstead and Aaron Jones in mind the next time you hear a coach or GM extolling virtues like character, integrity and a team-oriented mentality. The 49ers’ defensive tackle and Packers’ running back have been deified by their respective organizations to the point that they become too expensive or don’t fit the scheme. They are now looking for a new home.

Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group

Running back Aaron Jones (33) catches a pass from Jordan Love (10) during a playoff game against the 49ers on Jan. 20 at Levi’s Stadium.

— Running backs on the move — Saquon Barkley from Giants to Eagles, Josh Jacobs from Raiders to Packers, Devin Singletary from Giants to Vikings. and Austin Ekeler from the Chargers to the Commodores. None of them will come close to Christian McCaffrey’s $16 million average salary.

And McCaffrey has a bargaining chip. He was jumped by Deebo Samuel last year in terms of APY (annual average) and could be passed by Brandon Aiyuk this season assuming an extension is on the way.

— Tight end Charlie Woerner (three years, $12 million) headed to Atlanta to take what he learned from George Kittle and go out on his own and show he can do more than block. Woerner or no Woerner, the 49ers need a second tight end threat to go alongside Kittle, and it’s impossible to know if 2023 picks Brayden Willis and Cameron Latu are ready for that.

— The open market looks better than corners from a safety perspective; The 49ers are looking for both if they can’t bring back Tashaun Gipson. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (Detroit), Kamron Curl (Washington) and Justin Simmons (Denver) are available. Ji’Ayir Brown and recovering couple Talanoa Hufanga.

As for cornerbacks, Xavier McKinney received $68 million over four years from Green Bay, essentially signing free agents in this post-Ted Thompson era. Look for the 49ers to extend Deommodore Lenoir and find another corner in the draft or a free agent.

— A second-round offer ($4.9 million) to Jauan Jennings means the team that signs him is unlikely to receive an offer due to having to give a second-round pick to the 49ers. That means putting his money where his mouth is for a player who exemplifies a commitment to physicality among wide receivers.

— It seems natural for Sam Darnold to come to Minnesota to replace Cousins. If that’s the case, the 49ers brought back Brandon Allen. But if Darnold survives the game of quarterback musical chairs, there are worse jobs than being Purdy’s backup.

— History shows there is a lot of skepticism when it comes to the Raiders and free agency, and just last year they hit their wagons on Garoppolo. Pairing defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (Miami) with Maxx Crosby looks like a masterstroke from a distance.

But things aren’t always what they seem with the Raiders. They won 12 games in 2016 after signing Rodney Hudson the previous year and then Kelechi Osemele. But their history is full of wasted dollars like Tyrell Williams, Sean Smith, Gibril Wilson, Lamarcus Joyner, Maliek Collins, Cory Littleton and others.


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