The San Francisco 49ers are looking to bolster their roster in the offseason in the hope of making a Super Bowl run next season. The quarterback woes is now a thing of the past with the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo, but they still need to surround their new signal caller with high quality targets.
The 49ers are expected to pursue a running back in the offseason. And according to Chris Biderman of USA Today, San Francisco should consider signing LeGarrette Blount if they decide to let Carlos Hyde walk away.
Blount will become a free agent after this season. While he failed to duplicate his 2016 performance this year, the 31-year-old is still expected to get a lot of attention on the market. He rushed 766 yards for two rushing touchdowns this season, and is one of the big reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles reached the Super Bowl.
Biderman said that Blount will be a good fit to the 49ers because he was also “huge weapon near the goal line and in short-yardage situations” during his stint with the New England Patriots last season. In 16 games in New England, where he played with Garoppolo, he tallied 1,161 yards for 18 rushing touchdowns.
Aside from Blount, Biderman also named New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis as an ideal target for San Francisco. Lewis, who rushed 896 yards with six touchdowns, will also become a free agent in the offseason. Like Blount, the 27-year-old running back is also familiar with Garoppolo, having played together in New England.
But while signing either Blount or Lewis makes sense for the 49ers, there are still calls for them to retain Hyde, who will hit free agency after this season. Hyde struggled during his first two seasons in San Francisco but scored six and eight rushing touchdowns in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
It remains to be seen if the 49ers will let Hyde go and pursue better options in the draft or free agency. But if 49ers legend Roger Craig will be given the chance to decide for the team, he will sign Hyde to a new deal. He told NBC Sports that Hyde is a good fit for the 49ers and could excel playing alongside Garoppolo.
“I think Carlos Hyde is an ideal running back for the team,” Craig said of Hyde, who had a team-high 59 receptions for San Francisco this season. “He can make it happen. He just needs to catch the ball more because I know they’re going to be throwing the ball a lot.”