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Greg Papa explains what has him ‘flat out concerned’ about 49ers’ first two days of free agency



© Brett Davis | 2022 Oct 16

The 49ers have made a few high profile signings in the first two days of free agency, but they’ve also lost a ton of players.

That can happen when you have 22 players on the open market. Of those 22, the 49ers have already lost nine, including Mike McGlinchey, Samson Ebukam, Charles Omenihu, Jimmie Ward, Emmanuel Moseley, Hassan Ridgeway, Azeez Al-Shaair and Daniel Brunskill.

The 49ers did sign a star in interior pass rusher Javon Hargrave, and another quarterback in Sam Darnold, but the loss of so many important contributors has 49ers play-by-play announcer Greg Papa worried.

“I’m flat out concerned that the 49ers lost a lot of depth off the roster,” Papa said on his KNBR radio show on Wednesday. “You don’t want to be like the Rams and have Aaron Donald and wind up losing people around him and you’re just not the same team. They went for star power bringing in Jalen Ramsey and Bobby Wagner. Obviously Cooper Kupp, and Allen Robinson and [Matt] Stafford.

“The strength of the 49ers team last year was strength in numbers to borrow the Warriors line. They were deep. The were two deep on the d-line. Nine, 10, 11 guys, they were deep. And the offensive line. Where if you suffered an injury at left tackle, right tackle, guard. You can see how they played two right guards, they were really deep.”

The good news for the 49ers is they have a ton of draft picks — 11 in this year’s draft — that they can use to try and fill some holes on the roster. They also have something like $14.6 million in remaining cap space according to Spotrac, so there is still room to make some additions on the open market.

Papa believes the Niners are the favorites in the NFC, but the margin for error has shrunk.

“They’re still deep in the running back room,” Papa continued. “They’re not as deep at tight end right now, with a few free agents in limbo. The secondary is not as deep. So I think you have star power…to still be considered the front runner in the NFC, but I worry about injuries. This team gets hurt, this league gets hurt, this sport gets hurt.

“I think they’re the best team in the NFC, but I worry about the depth, and that’s what they are going to have to build the remainder of free agency and with those 11 draft picks they have.”

Catch Papa & Lund weekdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.