In the upcoming offseason, the San Fransisco 49ers will have to deal with some tough decisions. NFL free agency is not as simple as it seems. Over the years, bidding rosters does not always go with what the team wants. Sometimes saying goodbye to underperforming players while welcoming top contributors could backfire to the club if they don’t want to re-sign.
Entering 2022, it may be arduous for the 49ers as experienced players are expected to leave the club and not returning back. Out of the players, five, in particular, are Jeff Wilson Jr., K’Waun Williams, Raheem Mostert, D.J. Jones, and Laken Tomlinson.
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#5 Jeff Wilson Jr.
The free-agent running back, Wilson Jr. was the reason San Fransisco was able to pull off the victory against New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals in weeks seven and 16, respectively.
Over nine games, though the 26-year-old had a time when he tore his meniscus that made him sidelined, the Texas-born player managed to send 300 yards and two touchdowns in the first half of the 2021 season.
Wilson has gone from zero to hero. But now, the Niners may not have the chance to make him stay.
#4 K’Waun Williams
With the rising of age, Williams is one of the veteran players in the 49ers who played as inexpensive off-season punters. The New Jersey native has been with the 49ers since 2017 under John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan.
The former Cleveland Browns considering that he has made a fair performance along with his NFL career, now the cornerback will be looking upon his substantial pay at a more professional level.
Unfortunately, whether San Fransisco wants to grant his wish or not, the club seemingly aims for younger and potentially cheaper rosters.
#3 Raheem Mostert
Not a major part of the offense team, Mostert suffered a long history of injury which became questionable if the 49ers wants to re-sign this player. The running back suffered a knee injury back in Week 1 of the season which actually brought silver linings to Elijah Mitchell who got the opportunity to take over William’s position.
Adding another to the consideration, the former Chicago Bears will turn 30 years old before the start of the regular season.
The club was never too averse to spending money for running backs. Fans will always remember that game against the Green Bay Packers in the 2020 NFC Championship game where the now-29-year-old pushed 220 yards and four touchdowns which guaranteed San Francisco’s a spot in Super Bowl.
However, the problem now, let alone one reason, will a club wants to hire someone who has had lengthy injury history?
#2 D.J. Jones
The six-foot-tall defensive tackle Jones started his rookie year in 2017 where he played as a starter the following year. While also suffering ankle injuries, San Fransisco was comfortable putting him back on a one-year deal in 2021.
The sixth-round NFL Draft picks discovered his ability within a three-year span where he also sacked seven enemy players during his game. Obviously, it is likely that Jones is now lurking to find his biggest offer.
Good for him, but probably not so much for the Niners as it is possible that the team could not be able to afford Jones any longer.
#1 Laken Tomlinson
Just like Mostert, Jones and Williams, left guard Laken Tomlinson has been with the 49ers ever since 2017.
Now that the contract worth more than $10 million is due, the 30-year-old must compete in a bidding war where the Niners could either pick Tomlinson or players like Jones.