San Francisco 49ers: 8 Free-Agent Cornerbacks, Wide Receivers Who Fit SF's Style

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San Francisco 49ers: 8 Free-Agent Cornerbacks, Wide Receivers Who Fit SF's Style
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Yes—the best-fit free agent for the 49ers strikes close to home.

Ask the San Francisco 49ers brass if cornerbacks and wide receivers are their top free-agent targets and they’d likely answer in the affirmative.

Well, perhaps if you spike their coffee with sodium pentothal.

Nefarious truth-serum agents aside, the 49ers are rife with Super Bowl-quality assets. But they still require depth at a couple skill positions on both sides of the ball.

Those players also must fit stylistically within coordinators Vic Fangio and Greg Roman’s respective and highly complex systems.

Fangio and secondary coach Ed Donatell employ coverage schemes that include zone, man and numerous combinations of both. They need high-IQ corners who are versatile, tough and who can utilize sound tackling techniques—both against the run and pass.

Roman and head coach Jim Harbaugh also rely on wideouts who operate with ample toughness and intelligence. They must perform willingly—and proficiently—as run-blockers in addition to executing a comprehensive route tree with the ability for reading defensive weaknesses.

Possessing a Calvin Johnson-like body with speed to burn wouldn’t hurt either.

Okay, that is a considerably tall order. Free agency simply doesn’t afford an abundance of such talent.

Especially for a team that currently sits just $5.1 million underneath the 2014 cap, according to Spotrac (roster cuts, salary adjustments and the NFL’s as-of-yet released official cap figure will likely alter the 49ers’ spending capital for the better).

That said, there are viable depth options on the open market that have some of those requisite skills. A certain few even played for San Francisco last year.

Let’s highlight the eight free-agent cornerbacks and receivers who fit the 49ers’ football-savvy, blue-collar style best.


Note: Pro Football Reference provides player and team statistics, while advanced metrics derive from Pro Football Focus (subscription required). All salary information comes courtesy of Spotrac.

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