2013 NFL Free Agency: 3 Players That the 49ers Should Pursue
I may be getting ahead of myself when you consider that the free agency period of 2012 is still going on, but I thought it would be interesting to name a few players I would like to see targeted next year.
By no means are these the only players that I want to see targeted, but they are the three that I'd be possibly most excited about.
Everything depends on the current roster, who is re-signed and who is not; because these predictions are based off of who I think will sign new deals and who won't.
The current 49ers roster is very deep and talented but every great team will lose some talent and it is vital to replenish it with other great players.
You just have to look at the success of 2011 free agency additions like Carlos Rogers to see the importance of that period.
T.J Lang, OG, Green Bay Packers
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I'm not saying that Alex Boone, Daniel Kilgore or anyone else won't make the right guard position their own; only that the options for the position are unproven and that T.J Lang is very good.
There aren't many 6'7" guards, and I'm especially skeptical about whether or not a great tackle prospect like Boone can cope inside.
Lang is a great pass blocker, which is to be expected when you play a vital role in protecting an Aaron Rodgers-led offense.
But Lang also has a mean streak in the running game and has perfect size at 6'4" and around 320 lbs.
He is also 25 years old and it's not very often that young offensive lineman like Lang become available in free agency.
Much like the 49ers, Green Bay are a great team and will likely make other players priorities to re-sign; thus leaving the door open for a team to pull the trigger on Lang.
Jairus Byrd, FS, Buffalo Bills
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As a huge fan of Dashon Goldson, I'm still a little concerned that he may not sign a new deal and thus leave a huge hole on the 49ers defense.
Byrd has been pretty good thus far in his NFL career, gong from being an All-Pro selection as a rookie to being pretty average in 2010 and then recapturing some form in 2011.
Just look at how a supposedly average player like Carlos Rogers thrived on the 49ers defense; is it possible for someone like Byrd to fail on that team?
I'm still hoping that Goldson re-signs but Byrd is easily the best value replacement who can also offer similar playmaking ability.
Alan Branch, DT, Seattle Seahawaks
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Improving your own team and reducing the talent pool of a division rival in one move would be really gratifying.
Branch offers great versatility as either a nose tackle or big defensive end.
At 6'6" and nearly 330 lbs, he is surprisingly athletic and would easily fit in with the run-stuffing defensive front seven the team already has.
Branch may not be a flashy player and may not even be a starter if Isaac Sopoaga is re-signed, but he would be an amazing rotational piece for the defense.
He is pretty young at only 27 years old and he would also offer some pass rushing ability; he had three sacks last year.
Who Else Do You Want Targeted?
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Any thoughts on future targets?