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Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

We’re on defensive coordinator watch for the San Francisco 49ers. Things have been quiet. A little too quiet.

Deebo gifts 49ers teammates one-of-a-kind memento from 2023 season

While the media was interviewing players on Tuesday, Samuel quietly went from locker to locker dropping off a memento of the 2023 NFL season’s end to each of his offensive teammates.

When running back Christian McCaffrey turned around after speaking to the media, an autographed white No. 19 jersey had been placed in his locker. The same gift was delivered to tight end George Kittle during his session.

This is not a new phenomenon. After the 2022 season, Samuel was seen delivering a red autographed jersey to quarterback Brock Purdy. The receiver was not as stealthy this go around, arriving when the quarterback was done talking so the two could exchange an embrace as well.

49ers’ Biggest Keys To Having Successful NFL Offseason

The NFL draft will be the most valuable player acquisition method for the 49ers this offseason.

San Francisco likely will not make major moves in free agency because of its lack of salary cap space.

Four of San Francisco’s picks are in the top 100. It has two picks in the fourth and sixth rounds as well as one each in the fifth and seventh rounds.

A year ago, the 49ers landed Ji’Ayir Brown and Jake Moody in the third round, which marked the start of their draft participation.

Brock Purdy, Deommodore Lenoir, Elijah Mitchell, Talanoa Hufanga and Jauan Jennings all turned into success stories from Day 3 of the NFL draft in the last three seasons.

San Francisco’s staff needs to use that same eye for talent to add depth across the middle so that the franchise is best equipped to return to the Super Bowl.

49ers can Take Their Time Hiring a Defensive Coordinator

I fully expect the 49ers to take their time with this. I’m sure Shanahan already had an idea of some coaches he’d like to interview before Wilks was fired. But now he can do deeper dives and explore more. The last thing he wants is to not be sure and consider all options. Otherwise, he will have another Wilks situations on his hands.

The tough questions that Shanahan faces are whether or not he should hire within this time, and if he doesn’t, then does he allow the new coordinator to alter the defense? With Wilks, he was trying hard to learn and adapt to the 49ers’ system. He never was quite able to fully comprehend it, which is why you saw fall back on his straightforward blitzes that he is known for.

It really all depends on who the 49ers hire. If they do find an external coach, then this where time is on their side to carefully study and interview their candidate to see if altering the defense benefits them. Or, if the new coach can be adept to the structure that is already in place. Luckily, it sounds like Shanahan isn’t headstrong on either direction.

Trade Idea: Could Commanders Deal for 49ers’ Ward?

In trading for San Francisco 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward, the Commanders could add stability to the back end without paying top dollar – at least in terms of draft capital. Part of having a surplus of cap space is taking advantage of the opportunity of others’ cap misfortunes. Whether that’s trading for players at a lesser price or scooping up cap casualties, veteran reinforcements shouldn’t be too hard to find.

“The 49ers have just $570,837 in projected cap space,” Kristopher Knox wrote. “ Ward, who is in the final year of his contract, is set to carry a cap hit of $17.9 million.

“Ideally, Washington would secure the 27-year-old for minimal trade compensation by agreeing to take on some of the $17.2 million in dead money remaining on his deal … The Commanders have the financial flexibility to make it happen.”

49ers news: Report suggests 2024 salary cap could near $250 million

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, recent reports hint at a higher-than-expected salary cap.

For now, multiple sources have indicated that the teams expect the 2024 cap to be in the neighborhood of $242 million and $243 million,” Florio wrote. “Another source, in response to that number, had this reaction: ‘More.’”

“More” would be advantageous for the 49ers, who aim to maintain their talented roster while preparing for future financial obligations, notably quarterback Brock Purdy’s contract extension negotiations next offseason.

Providing an update, Florio added, “Another source, with a proven record of accuracy in these matters, says it will be closer to $250 million than to $243 million.”

Maybe that signifies a figure around $247 million, which is closer to $250 million than $243 million. Perhaps it will be more. We may learn the final salary cap number during the NFL Scouting Combine next week, where negotiations will likely be finalized. Teams must comply with the salary cap by the start of the new league year on March 13.

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