June 19, 2024

The San Francisco 49ers face decisions on 21 impending free agents, necessitating choices on who to retain and who to let go. Due to salary cap constraints and varying player values, prioritization becomes crucial. Here are four free agents the 49ers should opt not to re-sign:

1. Defensive End Chase Young:
Among the impending free agents, letting Chase Young walk is a straightforward decision. While the 49ers have historically benefitted from midseason trades for defensive linemen, Young’s tenure with the team did not yield favorable results. Despite showing promise initially, Young’s performance declined over the season, rendering him ineffective. Additionally, his lack of effort became evident, making him a subpar contributor.

Chase Young’s impact on the field has been minimal, lacking effectiveness both in run defense and as a pass rusher. With the likelihood of Young seeking a contract beyond the 49ers’ financial means, a one-year deal around $8 million could be within his expectations. However, unless he significantly reduces his salary demands, the 49ers should not hesitate to part ways with him.

As for free safety Tashaun Gipson, the 49ers should transition towards a younger era at the position. While Gipson has been a reliable player for the defense and provided value as a free agent signing, his age, at 34 years old when the 2024 season begins, suggests it’s time for the team to move on. Investing playing time in a player who is not progressing further may not be in the team’s best interest.

However, the situation becomes more nuanced considering the readiness of Talanoa Hufanga. If Hufanga is prepared to step into a starting role alongside Ji’Ayir Brown, then Gipson’s departure becomes more feasible. Yet, if there are doubts about Hufanga’s readiness by the start of the regular season, the 49ers may consider retaining Gipson temporarily until Hufanga is prepared to take over. Nonetheless, the 49ers may opt to rely on internal options to fill the void until Hufanga is deemed ready, potentially leading to Gipson seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Similar to Chase Young, Randy Gregory’s tenure with the 49ers following a midseason trade did not live up to expectations. While Gregory initially showed promise and made a noticeable impact in the first few games, his performance dwindled over time, mirroring Young’s trajectory. Despite hopes for Gregory to return to his peak form from his time with the Dallas Cowboys, he failed to consistently deliver for the 49ers.

Despite Randy Gregory’s potential and the resources available to him, including working with defensive line coach Kris Kocurek and playing alongside Nick Bosa, he failed to significantly elevate his performance with the 49ers. While he provided some impactful snaps as a depth player, his overall contribution fell short of expectations. Considering his limited impact and potential availability at a reduced cost, the 49ers may opt to allocate their resources elsewhere.

Logan Ryan’s signing by the 49ers may have been influenced by circumstances such as Talanoa Hufanga’s injury, reflecting a tendency to favor experienced veteran players in the secondary. While Ryan’s tenure with the team was satisfactory, filling roles at safety and in the slot, there comes a point where the reliance on veteran players must give way to trust in developing young talent. The emergence of players like Deommodore Lenoir underscores the importance of investing in youth and trusting in the scouting and coaching staff to nurture their potential. Therefore, the 49ers may choose to part ways with Ryan, thanking him for his service and embracing the opportunity to develop their young secondary players further.

4 Free Agents the 49ers Shouldn't Re-Sign

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