in a flurry of free agent action that might give former GM Trent Baalke a stroke, the San Francisco 49ers aggressively pursued free agents in a manner the organization has not done in years, signing skilled offensive players to kick-start the turnaround of this franchise.
After Jeremy Kerley agreed to a 3-year, $10.5 million deal last week, Pierre Garcon is now headed to the Bay Area and is reported to be getting $16 million in his first year. After the news of Garcon broke, another report indicated that forner Buffalo Bills WR Marquise Goodwin would sign with the 49ers and that the 49ers would make Kyle Juszczyk the highest paid fullback in the NFL.
But the most significant news among the free agent frenzy on Wednesday was the 49ers signing QB Brian Hoyer to a 2-year deal. Hoyer joining the 49ers not only reunites him with Kyle Shanahan, but provides some texture toward the direction the 49ers are likely to take.
Since Hoyer has a 2-year deal, the 49ers seem less likely to trade for Kirk Cousins or Jimmy Garoppolo, and Hoyer’s presence as an efficient stop-gap to the franchise QB increases the chances that Lynch and Shanahan will look to the draft for their quarterback of the future.
The 6-year luxury of Lynch and Shanahan’s contracts allow them patience to find their signal caller. While it’s possible they could use their number 2 pick on a QB, they are just as if not even more likely to wait until later rounds for QB in this draft or maybe even next, though they will certainly draft quarterbacks this year and likely next.
In their new trio of free agent wide receivers, the 49ers now have a serviceable, efficient core to get the passing game going and open up the running game. While some have argued about the value of Garcon’s front-loaded contract, he seems to have received more than most would have expected. Marquise Goodwin has the potential to be a home run hitter on deep balls, but he’s never caught a high volume of receptions. In Kyle Juszczyk the 49ers are getting someone who has been described as having a Swiss Army knife-like skills set and the potential to be a fan favorite.
At the end of a busy Wednesday of NFL free agency in 2017, Lynch and Shanahan showed that they are not waiting to make things happen and willing to get aggressive to upgrade the 49ers offense, and times they are a changing for good in Santa Clara.