by Daniel Miller – Blogger and Analyst
Well 49er fans the last 3 seasons have been a dark chapter in our proud franchise. We went from appearing in 3 straight NFC championship games to now missing the playoffs for 3 straight seasons. Although we have had little to cheer for in the past couple seasons there is a new wave of optimism for our franchise to return from the ashes.
We have seen an owner in Jed York change his behavior and hire a superbowl champion John Lynch as our GM and top assistant coach on the market Kyle Shanahan as our newest head coach (4th in 4 years). If that wasn’t enough to be optimistic about we do have the 2nd overall pick and nearly $90 MILLION TO SPEND THIS OFFSEASON. We now have the draft and free agency to reload our once dynamic and most talented roster which has been depleted to scraps. HERE IS THE TOP 5 FREE AGENT TARGETS FOR 49ERS REBEL TALK FOR OUR TEAM.
WR ALSHON JEFFREY (PLAYED FOR BEARS IN 2017)
49ER REBEL TALK PROJECTED VALUE: $15-16 Million Per year
This may be an easy selection for anyone that searches top players of this class, however we have not had a dominant #1 receiver since T.O. left. Alshon Jeffrey is a matchup nightmare at 6’3’’ with great hands and ability to catch the ball vertically. In a division with big corners who can high point the ball in the air (Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson) we need a guy who can challenge them every play. Although he has had injury problems missing 11 games in the last 2 seasons he is a 27 year old vet who is young enough to invest one more big free agent contract.
DT DONTARI POE (PLAYED FOR KANSAS CITY IN 2017)
49ER REBEL TALK PROJECTED VALUE: $11-13 Million Per Year
Some fans reading this will be scratching their heads at this selection after the 49ers have invested 2 first round picks in a pair of Defensive Lineman the last two seasons (Buckner and Armstead) but Poe offers a piece to the puzzle that is needed to sure up what would be the best defensive line in football. Poe is a Defensive tackle who burst onto the scene during his scouting combine performance in which the small school prospect (Memphis) ran a sub 5 second 40 yard dash paired with a 44 rep bench press of 225 pounds. He is a top nose tackle prospect but I believe with Aaron lynch and Armstead at the end positions we can pair Poe (6’4’’ 350 pounds) with Deforest Buckner (6’7’’ 290) and create the most vicious and impenetrable fronts in the NFL. Poe is an athletic big man that can not only stop the run and plug a major hole the 49ers had last year but also can create pressure on the QB to help a young secondary.
LB DONT’A HIGHTOWER (PLAYED FOR NEW ENGLAND 2017)
49ER REBEL TALK PROJECTED VALUE: $12-14 MILLION PER YEAR
With the pedigree and physical ability of Dont’a Hightower this is a no brainer for a defense that once had the best linebacker combo in football (Willis and Bowman). With Dont’a being able to not only stop the run but also cover running backs and tight ends out of the backfield we can take miles off of Bowman and see these two lead our defense to one of the best in football. With Bowman playing the inside linebacker position we can use Hightower in the outside linebacker position and rotate them both to capitalize on the abilities each of them have as top linebackers in the NFL.
WR KENNY STILLS (PLAYED FOR MIAMI 2017)
49ER REBEL TALK PROJECTED VALUE: $6-8 MILLION PER YEAR
Another wide receiver? Yes, another wide receiver. With the recent cut of Torrey Smith we need to overhaul the entire receiving core to help whoever will be the QB of our team in 2017. If we can pair a big receiver in Alshon Jeffrey (or a player in the draft) with a speedster in Kenny Stills, who can run any route on the field, we can have a dynamic 1-2 punch that can challenge the versatile defensive backfields in our conference. Stills did have issues with dropped passes early in his career, but has improved during the course of his time at Miami.
QB JOSH MCCOWN (PLAYED FOR CLEVELAND IN 2017)
49ER REBEL TALK PROJECTED VALUE: $11-12 MILLION PER YEAR
Okay now you all think I am off my rocker! What is this guy from Denver smoking? To be honest this is a move that I have been thinking about for a while. With the price tag of Kirk Cousins being too steep (reported 2 first round picks) and a QB class in this year’s draft that features underdeveloped readers of defenses for a high pick, we need a veteran that can come in a play well while not having a huge ego to pass the torch to a young QB that I think we should draft this season NOT IN THE FIRST ROUND (stay tuned for our Combine recap and special podcast). Mccown has played for teams that have been lacking of talent to say the least in games that weren’t in good situations. He is 2 years removed from a 13 td and 1 interception season with the Bears in which he played 8 games with a 67% completion percentage. If we can reunite him with a good receiving core, paired with a good run game, and a creative QB friendly offense called by Shanahan; I believe we can rekindle that magic he showed during the 2013 campaign
TOTAL PROJECTED COST PER YEAR $63 MILLION PER YEAR FOR ALL 5 PLAYERS!! WE STILL WOULD HAVE $27 MILLION TO SAVE!!!
Daniel Miller is a former college football player and has been an analyst for 49ers Rebel Talk since 2016