3 under the radar free agents to watch for the 49ers

Texans, Duke Johnson, NFL, AFC South, 49ers
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers derailed quite a bit in 2020, but their surplus amount of injuries certainly didn’t help their case. The 49ers could bounce back and be the Super Bowl contenders that everyone knows they can be with a strong offseason this year.

San Francisco has been unsure about their future at the quarterback position with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm and the team could look to upgrade in some form or fashion this offseason. The team has been linked to several signal callers including Deshaun Watson and Teddy Bridgewater and that could surely add some serious value to their organization.

The 49ers are playing in one of the most intriguing divisions in 2021 in the NFC West, where literally every team seems to have a shot at making the playoffs. The 49ers need to get some upgrades in certain areas and they could use a great free agent class to do just that.

This is going to be one of the most entertaining offseasons in NFL history and the 49ers could be sure to make a splash.

Let’s take a look at three under the radar free agents that the 49ers could look to sign this offseason.

Number One: Duke Johnson, Running Back

The San Francisco 49ers have some good backfield talent, but due to a lengthy injury reputation and an overall need for skill players on offense, adding running back Duke Johnson doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

Johnson is as versatile as they come and adding some additional running back depth is never a bad thing. At 27, Johnson is a great receiving running back, which is an area of need for the 49ers.

He has made a career out of being a versatile receiving running back and he could look to take his talents to San Francisco this time around. Johnson has played in a total of 91 games in his NFL career, but his 459 career carries would give the Niners some fresh legs on the field.

Number Two: Josh Norman, Cornerback

The 49ers are currently slated to have seven cornerbacks hit the open market this offseason, which understandably puts the team in a sticky situation defensively. Adding a veteran cornerback in Josh Norman could surely help the San Francisco secondary.

Sure, you can make all the jokes you want to about Norman being the victim of a Derrick Henry stiff arm in 2020, but you cannot question the productivity Norman had. Despite only playing in nine games for the Buffalo Bills, Norman accumulated 24 tackles, two fumble recoveries, four passes defended, one interception, and one defensive touchdown.

Norman would be a rather cheap acquisition for the 49ers defense and he could have a huge upside with the team. Adding Norman this offseason makes a lot of sense.

Number Three: Jameis Winston, Quarterback

This one is a bold prediction, that’s for sure. If the 49ers really want to show that they’re serious about not wanting to move forward with Jimmy Garoppolo in the future, they could use some cap space to land one of the best free agent quarterbacks on the market.

Jameis Winston won’t be an easy player to pry away from the New Orleans Saints, unless they do indeed make a splash and land Seahawks’ signal caller Russell Wilson. Winston is very highly regarded as a member of the Saints and they fully envision him as their starting quarterback moving forward.

Obviously, that would all change if the Saints landed Russell Wilson, but the 49ers should certainly look to try to steal Winston away. The 49ers need a quarterback they can trust and there may not be a harder working quarterback than Winston.