The San Francisco 49ers will be in a good position in free agency for the first time in several years. The 49ers now have a potential franchise quarterback in place in Jimmy Garoppolo, and they still have cap space to make a room for marquee players available in free agency this offseason.
According to Peter Panacy of Niner Noise, the 49ers will likely prioritize acquiring a cornerback in the offseason. And if San Francisco wants to get closer to being a Super Bowl contender again, Panacy said that the 49ers should at least make a run at Chicago Bears corner Kyle Fuller.
Trumaine Johnson of the Los Angeles Rams and Malcolm Butler of the New England Patriots are also being linked to San Francisco. While Butler and Johnson will be an upgrade to what the 49ers currently have, Panacy insisted that Fuller should be their top priority, citing his 69.0 allowed-quarterback passer rating, which is better than Johnson’s 79.8 and Butler’s 96.6 ratings, according to Pro Football Focus.
Panacy believes Fuller will be a perfect partner for second-year cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. However, he also admitted that the 49ers should be willing to break the bank if they really want to steal the 26-year-old cornerback from the Bears.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network revealed on Tuesday that the Bears used the transition tag on Fuller, signifying their strong desire to keep the Maryland native in Chicago. Other interested teams can still sign Fuller to an offer sheet, but Chicago will have the rights to match to keep him in Windy City.
If the 49ers miss out on Fuller, they can consider other free-agent corners or use one of their picks to get a promising prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft. They can then focus on addressing other position needs.
And if San Francisco decides to pursue a wide receiver, Panacy named Allen Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars as an ideal target for the Niners. He is convinced that the 24-year-old can still make an impact for the 49ers despite missing all but one game last season due to an ACL injury.
Robinson turned heads during the 2015 NFL season when he recorded 1,400 receiving yards with 14 touchdowns. He could be a perfect target for Garoppolo if he can duplicate his performance two seasons ago. As for the injury concerns, Panacy said that there is a strong chance for full recovery because of his relatively young age.