3 best players the 49ers must target during 2022 NFL free agency

The San Francisco 49ers previously fell short in their bid for a Super Bowl appearance after succumbing to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game. Despite the tough outcome, the 49ers still exceeded expectations and have a lot to look forward to, especially as they will most likely have a new starting QB next season.

Currently, the team is still handicapped as they are $ 7.8 million over the cap space for 2022, per Spotrac. They will surely have to clear cap casualties and restructure their players’ contracts before making significant moves in the offseason. Given that, the players listed below were considered with respect to the team’s current cap space situation.

With that said, let’s take a look at the three best names that the 49ers can target in the upcoming NFL free agency.

San Francisco 49ers Free Agency Targets

3. James Daniels

San Francisco’s offensive line has produced strong performances throughout the 2021 season. However, one of the holes that they need to address would be the right guard position which is currently being manned by Daniel Brunskill.

The unit will surely elevate if they can find a more skilled RG who can complement Trent Williams, Tom Compton, and Laken Tomlinson into their starting lineup. A player that they can potentially target is James Daniels from the Chicago Bears. He started his career as a left guard but eventually had greater outings as a full-time right guard last season.

His versatility in playing both guard positions will also come in handy for the 49ers as their starting left guard in Tomlinson is bound to attract many suitors in free agency. Without a doubt, James Daniels will only get better once he sees more action on the field moving forward. At the age of 24, he is surely a young talent worth investing in and can serve as a cornerstone of the 49ers’ offensive line for the years to come.

2. DJ Reed

Cornerback DJ Reed spent the first two seasons of his career with the 49ers before relocating to the Seattle Seahawks in 2020. Last season, he had a solid campaign as he notched 78 combined tackles, 10 passes defended, and two interceptions in 14 games played.

Now set to become an unrestricted free agent, Reed could potentially find his way back to San Francisco for next season. The 49ers are currently running thin in the cornerbacks position as there is no certainty that Jason Verrett will be brought back for 2022. Emmanuel Moseley would definitely need a running mate which a much-improved DJ Reed can fill in moving forward.

Aside from the lack of depth in the unit, his familiarity with the system in place will also serve as a huge advantage for him in the event that he returns to his old team in the upcoming offseason.

1. Calais Campbell

Aside from the offensive line, the 49ers’ defensive unit has also been a force to be reckoned with in 2021. However, one of their key linemen in DJ Jones is now set to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. There is no certainty that he will be back as he may seek a bigger contract elsewhere.

With that said, the 49ers can turn to veteran pass-rusher Calais Campbell to bolster their defensive line next season. He has yet to slow down as he completed another productive campaign for the Baltimore Ravens in 2021. The 35-year-old tallied 49 combined tackles, 12 QB hits, and 1.5 sacks in 15 games played.

Despite his advanced age, Campbell continues to showcase his ability to stay on the field over the past few years. His versatility of him in the trenches as well as his veteran presence of him will surely be a welcome addition to the 49ers’ defensive line being led by Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead.

At this stage of his career, Calais Campbell might be looking to join a contender on a short-term contract which he can potentially find with the 49ers. If the team gets to acquire him in the offseason then their defensive unit can continue to put up solid outings and successfully limit opposing offenses next season.

Emmanuel Ogbah, Miami Dolphins

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