The San Francisco 49ers fell just a few plays short of winning Super Bowl LIV, and they've directed their full offseason attention toward ensuring they get back to the big game in 2020.
San Francisco has done just about everything right on paper this offseason. It traded DeForest Buckner and drafted a replacement in Javon Kinlaw. It found a replacement for Emmanuel Sanders in Brandon Aiyuk. It traded for left tackle Trent Williams when Joe Staley retired, and it scooped up underrated speedster Travis Benjamin to help flesh out the receiving corps.
If the 49ers can find a way to retain running back Raheem Mostert after his trade request, they should once again have a championship-caliber roster in 2020.
However, the 49ers might not be done putting in work this offseason. For starters, San Francisco has the potential opportunity to improve their secondary.
While the 49ers ranked first in passing yards allowed last season, Adams would still be a sensible trade target. The reality is that Adams is a box safety who might be better in run support than as a coverage man, and that could benefit the 49ers greatly.
While moving the ball on San Francisco wasn't easy last season, teams did find some success on the ground—the 49ers ranked 17th in rushing yards allowed. Adding Adams could help shore up the second level of their defense.
San Francisco has had discussions with the Jets about acquiring Adams, too, according to Sports Illustrated's Corbin Smith.
"Per multiple sources, Seattle and San Francisco have both had preliminary discussions with the New York Jets about the availability of disgruntled star safety Jamal Adams, who reportedly has demanded a trade," Smith wrote.
The fact that the Seattle Seahawks have also inquired about Adams adds another level of intrigue to the situation. While adding the Pro Bowl safety would be a boon for San Francisco, keeping him away from a top division rival could be nearly as beneficial.
Of course, financially navigating a trade for Adams cold be tricky for San Francisco. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Adams could seek something in the $20 million-per-year range in a contract extension:
Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN
Jamal Adams’ future contract demands loom large in trade talks. If he wants pay among top defensive players - which one source whose team has looked into Adams believes - that’s well above $20M per year, while safety market is below $15M. Tough for a SS, no matter how good.
San Francisco has nearly $12 million in cap space right now, according to Spotrac, but that number could shrink soon. Star tight end George Kittle is eligible for his own contract extension, and it's likely to be a costly one.
According to The Athletic's Matt Barrows, the two-time Pro Bowl pass-catcher could command something in the $13 million-per-year range on a new deal.
"I recently spoke with someone in the know who said he thought Kittle ultimately would land a contract worth $13 million a year. That's not the spectacular deal some were envisioning for the 49ers' indispensable man, but it would still set the pace for all tight ends," Barrows wrote.
The good news for 49er fans is that Kittle's contract situation shouldn't keep him off the field in 2020. The Iowa product recently addressed his situation on a conference call for Gatorade's "Bea the Heat" program (h/t Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area).
"Being a captain, I want to be there for my team and I need to show the right leadership skills," Kittle said.
This seems to suggest that Kittle is eager to be on the field this season, even if it isn't on a new, more lucrative contract. While Kittle would undoubtedly enjoy a pay raise, don't expect him to hold out for one this year.