NFL Offseason Previews: San Francisco 49ers

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NFL Offseason Previews: San Francisco 49ers


The NFL offseason is upon us, and teams will begin working to craft their 2023 rosters in the coming months. In this series of offseason previews, we will look at what each team has to work with and their biggest needs. Today we continue with the San Francisco 49ers offseason preview.

As a reminder, here are dates to keep in mind for the 2023 NFL offseason:

  • March 7: deadline for teams to use the franchise tag
  • March 13: legal tampering period opens
  • March 15: NFL free agency begins and the new league year starts
  • April 21: deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
  • April 27-29: NFL draft
  • May 1: deadline for teams to exercise 5th-year options on 2020 first-round draft picks
  • July 15: deadline for franchise tag players to sign an extension

You can find previous team’s offseason previews here: Bears | Bengals | Browns | Lions | Packers | Steelers | Vikings | Ravens |

2022 Summary

Back-to-back NFC Championship games for the San Francisco 49ers is an excellent way to enter the offseason. Losers of back-to-back NFC Championship games? Not so much.

After Trey Lance went down with a season-ending injury in Week 2, San Francisco could have self-imploded. Instead, the 49ers had an insurance policy in Jimmy Garoppolo. They also stayed aggressive and traded for running back Christian McCaffrey.

When Garoppolo went down with a season-ending injury, it was Purdy time. Mr. Irrelevant helped take the 49ers to the NFC title game. But when Purdy went down with an elbow injury on San Francisco’s opening drive, the 49ers ran out of magic.

The Eagles cruised to a victory, ending the 49ers’ season one win shy of a second Super Bowl appearance in the Shanahan era in San Francisco.

Key Positional Needs

Here’s where the 49ers need to find help this offseason:

  • IOL
  • CB
  • DL
  • S
  • EDGE

Key Free Agents

Here’s a look at the 49ers upcoming key free agents:

  • Azeez Al-Shaair (LB)
  • Mike McGlinchey (RT)
  • Jimmie Ward (S)
  • Samson Ebukam (EDGE)
  • Emmanuel Moseley (CB)
  • Jake Brendel (C)
  • Jimmy Garoppolo (QB)

Salary Cap & Draft Capital

Here’s a look at the salary cap room and draft capital that the 49ers have to work with this offseason:

  • Current draft picks: 99 (3), 101 (3), 102 (3), 157 (5), 166 (5), 173 (5), 216 (6), 224 (7), 249 (7), 255 (7)
  • Cap space: $8.3M 

Offseason Outlook

For as good as the last two seasons have been in San Francisco, getting over that NFC title game hump will be the goal again in 2023.

The belief is that Brock Purdy will have the edge over Trey Lance under center if both are healthy come training camp. Either way, it’s a great problem to have if you’re the 49ers.

The not-so-great begins to come into play when we look at the offseason assets the 49ers have to improve their roster. The 49ers have just one top-100 draft pick, which is 99th overall. Therefore, significant improvements will have to come via free agency. However, San Francisco has only $8.3 million in cap space today and a long list of free agents to be.

Oh, and at some point very soon, they will have to give Nick Bosa a massive contract extension. This will limit what the 49ers can do spending-wise on the open market.

Still, they have two viable options at quarterback, and dynamic playmakers like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle are under contract for 2023.

If you’re looking for more offseason reading, Sam Hoppen at 4for4 (our sister company) is previewing each division:

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.