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Matt Maiocco discusses how 49ers might prioritize free agents



© Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

There are a host of decisions facing the 49ers this offseason, with quarterback suddenly — again — at the top of the list.

But there are limited options at that position, most of which are already pretty clear.

It begs the question of what San Francisco will do elsewhere. A number of free agents are up, but none of whom are stars, per se.

NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco joined KNBR on Monday and broke down how he thought the 49ers might handle some of the more prominent names set to hit free agency.

  • Jimmie Ward:
    • Maiocco thought the 49ers would’ve prioritized him, but isn’t sure he’ll want to return after being moved to nickel (a fact Ward brought up constantly).
    • “I can’t imagine Jimmie was thrilled that he was, in essence, demoted from a starting free safety and a top 100 player in the NFL to being a nickelback,” Maiocco said.
  • Mike McGlinchey:
    • Don’t expect him to return, given how difficult it is to find quality offensive linemen.
    • “I can’t imagine that McGlinchey will be re-signed,” Maiocco said. “I know we can poke a lot of holes in his game, especially from a pass rush standpoint. But whenever starting offensive linemen, especially tackles, become available on the open market. There is such bad offensive line play around the league, I think he will be highly sought after. And so I would expect him to sign a pretty good contract with some other team and then that would open the door for Colton McKivitz probably to take over at right tackle.”
  • Robbie Gould: “I don’t know what he wants to do,” Maiocco said. “Does he want to get closer to home? What does the team want to do? Would they franchise him again?”
  • Jimmy Garoppolo: “I don’t envision Jimmy Garoppolo coming back,” Maiocco said. “But then I didn’t either last year, neither did he, the team, or anybody else.”
  • Charles Omenihu: “Omenihu I think is somebody that they would love to have back assuming that their instinct, or their thoughts initially on the misdemeanor domestic violence accusation, assuming that kind of turns out the ways I think they anticipated it turning out.”
  • Emmanuel Moseley:
    • Because of his ACL injury, he could be affordable to the 49ers. If he played a full season, he probably wouldn’t be available.
    • “I thought he was setting himself up to be perhaps the most highly sought after cornerback on the market,” Maiocco said. “He’s still a young guy, and he’s a really good player. And when he tore his ACL, it was horrible news for the 49ers, horrible news for him, of course, but I think what it does do is it opens up the possibility that he can return on a one year prove-it deal and kind of remake his stock to the point where he can become a big time guy next year.”
    • Maiocco wondered if the impressive postseason play of Deommodore Lenoir could give the 49ers pause in trying to re-sign Moseley, if his price tag is high.
  • Azeez Al-Shaair: “[He] is another guy thatl, I think once they re-signed Dre Greenlaw, or gave him the contract extension, that kind of signaled that, if there’s another team is out there and they envision Al-Shaair as an every-down linebacker — which, I’m sure a lot of teams would — I don’t think that he’ll be back,” Maiocco said.

The 49ers are currently projected to have around $16 million in cap space, but that doesn’t account for cap carryover from this season, or the likely first-year savings that will occur when Nick Bosa signs an extension.

The pillars of the organization in Trent Williams, Fred Warner, George Kittle, etc., can all be restructured to create cap space.

Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Catch Tolbert & Copes weekdays from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.