Ranking San Francisco 49ers' Best Remaining Free Agency Options

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Ranking San Francisco 49ers' Best Remaining Free Agency Options
Michael Conroy/Associated Press
A wide receiver like Kenny Britt could help alleviate some of San Francisco's wide receiver needs.

With the flurry of moves made at the beginning of NFL free agency in 2014, the San Francisco 49ers have remained relatively quiet, aside from a couple of key acquisitions.

In a way, this is to be expected from a team that has not historically made a lot of big splashes in the free-agent market in recent years.

What acquisitions general manager Trent Baalke did make have tended to be supplementary in nature and rarely included players that filled an immediate need.

Some of that has changed in 2014.  San Francisco has already brought back some of its own free agents—kicker Phil Dawson and cornerback Eric Wright come to mind.  In addition, external acquisitions include safety Antoine Bethea and cornerback Chris Cook.

These transactions and more—listed on San Francisco's transaction list per CBS Sports—allow us to develop some insight into how Baalke and the 49ers' brass is attempting to assemble a roster that can generate just as much, if not more, productivity in 2014.

Before moving any further, let us establish what the 49ers have going for them. 

First, this team is already laden with talent.  Anyone who has watched San Francisco over the past three seasons can tell you that.  Second, the 49ers have a plethora of draft picks to be utilized in the 2014 NFL draft—11 total per 49ers.com after sending a sixth-round pick in exchange for quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

Lastly, the 49ers do not necessary have a lot of immediate needs for this roster.  Entering the offseason, it would have been a good assumption that San Francisco needed to add a wide receiver, cornerbacks and a strong safety.  Depth acquisitions would help as well.

Some roster changes have already solved these needs.  Bethea most likely solves the need to replace Donte Whitner at the strong safety position, while Cook alleviates some need at corner.

Further additions via the draft are also expected to add not only potential impact players, but also to provide the necessary competition come training camp.  The team's vision on how it will approach the draft will have a direct impact on what free-agent moves the 49ers make going forward.

Yet the 49ers could very well be in the market for some additional free agents. 

In this slideshow, let us evaluate six potential fits for San Francisco from the list of free agents still available.

To help determine the criteria, we must first establish the need.

With cap space a concern in 2014—and beyond—the 49ers are not likely to dump a ton of money on any free agent in particular.  So we must assume a targeted free agent would be acquired at a bargain price, or one that would suit San Francisco's financial needs.

Additionally, the 49ers will not target a free agent they feel will not add something to the team. 

Sound vague?  Yes, it is.  But the fact is that the current regime of Baalke and Jim Harbaugh love to add players that will give the 49ers something extra.  Does this mean necessary depth or does the acquisition force further competition at a specific position?


Look for each free agent to have his own X-factor of sorts, be it the added competition or perhaps a role player that fills a specific need.

It may also be worth taking a look at a free agent or two that fits a position the 49ers feel cannot be addressed via the draft.  Yet with so many picks at their disposal and many deep positions within this year's draft class, it is almost impossible to predict how San Francisco will act.

Finally, before taking our look, let us grant some of the pending needs San Francisco still has before the 2014 season.  They could still use help at wide receiver and it would not be surprising to add another cornerback. 

More depth along the defensive front is always good, as are contributors on special teams. 

Let's get started.

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