Where 49ers stand at start of NFL free agency


Running back Carlos Hyde’s time with the 49ers is coming to an end.

Hyde is expected to sign a three-year deal with the Cleveland Browns worth more than $15 million with $6 million in the first year, reports the NFL Network.

The 49ers were not heavily involved in trying to retain Hyde at those numbers.

Hyde appeared in 50 games in four seasons with the 49ers, gaining 2,729 yards and 21 touchdowns. He never produced a 1,000-yard season after taking over for Frank Gore as the featured back in 2015.

The 49ers drafted Hyde in the second round with the No. 57 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

The 49ers have been looking for a running back who can make more plays on his own and be a versatile weapon coach Kyle Shanahan can use to dictate mismatches.

And on Wednesday morning, they reportedly agreed to terms with former Minnesota running back Jerick McKinnon on a four-year contract worth $30 million.

The 49ers could also use a draft pick to select a player from a deep draft class of running backs to be the main back ahead of Matt Breida. The 49ers this week re-signed Raheem Mostert, a top special-teams player, to a one-year contract. Also, Joe Williams, a fourth-round pick last year, will have an opportunity to compete for a roster spot, beginning in the offseason program.

The 49ers filled two of the team’s biggest roster needs with the signings of former Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and an agreement with guard-center Weston Richburg, who is expected to sign a five-year contract on Wednesday. Richburg spent his first four NFL seasons with the New York Giants.

If the 49ers sign another cornerback, the player is expected to be more of a bottom-end-of-the-roster player. The 49ers are scheduled to meet with DeShawn Shead, according to the NFL Network. Shead (6-2, 212) started 15 games for the Seahawks in 2016 before sustaining an ACL injury in a January 2017 playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Shead was released as the Seahawks honored a promise to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent. Because Shead remained on physically unable to perform through the Seahawks’ sixth game of last season, his contract would have “tolled.” If Seattle had not released Shead, he would not have gotten credit for a season and the Seahawks could have kept him under the same one-year, $1.2 million deal under which he worked last season.

Richburg appears to be the 49ers’ main target for improvement to the interior of their offensive line. The 49ers were never believed to be interested in former Carolina guard Andrew Norwell because he was not viewed as a good fit for Shanahan’s system – a scheme that relies heavily on the ability of the offensive linemen to move.

The 49ers have not been players on the wide receiver market. The team could still look for a role player, but the 49ers appear to like the group of wideouts already on the roster, a cast that includes Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, Kendrick Bourne and Aldrick Robinson. The 49ers can be expected to draft a wide receiver, too.

The 49ers may have liked former Jacksonville wide receiver Allen Robinson, but not at the reported $14 million-a-year price it will take the Chicago Bears to sign him.

Hyde will not be alone, when it comes to 49ers free agents not re-signing with the club. The only one of the 49ers’ free agents the club appears active in attempting to re-sign is inside linebacker/special-teams player Brock Coyle, who started a career-high 10 games in his first season with the 49ers.

Among the 49ers’ other free agents who are available on the open market are safety Eric Reid, defensive linemen Aaron Lynch and Tank Carradine, cornerback Dontae Johnson, guard Brandon Fusco, and tight end Logan Paulsen.

The 49ers last week declined the option on veteran edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, making him an unrestricted free agent, too. There are not many available options available in free agency, so the 49ers could look to the draft to bring in another player to rush the passer. General manger John Lynch also spoke recently about the need for the 49ers to develop their own pass-rushers, including Eli Harold, Cassius Marsh and Pita Taumoepenu.

Contact Us