We're killing two birds with one post here. The charts below show what the 49ers’ depth chart will look like going into Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks and, barring even more injuries, the last stretch of the season.
It also identifies which players are due to be unrestricted free agents in March. Which is to say, the 49ers will have to make decisions at some prominent spots in the next three and a half months.
Asked about pending free agents last week, Kyle Shanahan he’s seen enough to know which he wants back but that he realizes that must be weighed against the cost of re-signing those players. He avoided citing players by name.
“A lot of the guys here I know for sure that are guys that I want back here,” he said. “I definitely have seen enough of that to realize that. But there is a business side to all of that stuff. There is a market and things like that. So you've got to be smart for your organization, for the player, and for the future in how we balance things.”
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LDE "Big End": Tank Carradine, Ronald Blair, Leger Douzable, Datone Jones
NT: Earl Mitchell, D.J. Jones
DT: DeForest Buckner, Leger Douzable, Sheldon Day
RDE "Leo": Solomon Thomas, Elvis Dumervil, Aaron Lynch, Pita Taumoepenu
SAM LB: Eli Harold, DeKoda Watson
WILL LB: Reuben Foster, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Elijah Lee
MIKE LB: Brock Coyle, Reuben Foster, Mark Nzeocha
LCB: Ahkello Witherspoon, Leon Hall
RCB: Dontae Johnson, Greg Mabin
NB: K'Waun Williams, Leon Hall
SS: Eric Reid, Dexter McCoil
FS: Adrian Colbert, Antone Exum Jr.
The strength of the team is up the middle: Buckner, Thomas (on passing downs), Foster and safeties Colbert, Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward are signed for next season. … Tony McDaniel had been serving as Buckner's backup at the so-called three-technique spot, but he was cut last week. Douzable mainly had been playing the defensive end spots but has experience at three technique as well. He'll be 32 next season, far older than the ideal free agent. But he's so versatile, so smart and so well-liked in the locker room, he should at least be considered … If Colbert has to sit out a game with his broken thumb, newcomer Exum would be the fourth different player to start at free safety this year. … Coaches did not want to part with Rashard Robinson (Jets) because his departure made the 49ers so thin at boundary cornerback. The flip side is that if there's an injury, the team will get to look at Mabin, who at 6-2, 200 pounds at least looks the part. ... Carradine is still on injured reserve but he is expected to be activated this week. He likely will return to his former starting spot some time in the next few weeks.
WR: Aldrick Robinson, Louis Murphy, Kendrick Bourne
LT: Joe Staley, Trent Brown
LG: Laken Tomlinson, Zane Beadles
C: Daniel Kilgore, Zane Beadles
RG: Brandon Fusco, Erik Magnuson
RT: Trent Brown, Darrell Williams Jr.
TE: George Kittle, Garrett Celek, Logan Paulsen
SWR: Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson
WR: Marquise Goodwin, Victor Bolden Jr.
FB: Kyle Juszczyk
RB: Carlos Hyde, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert
QB: C.J. Beathard, Jimmy Garoppolo
Of the group above, the only long-term building blocks are Brown and the two quarterbacks. Hyde's future with the team remains fuzzy. … Murphy and Bourne essentially filled in for injured Pierre Garcon in the last game. Both have excellent opportunities to put themselves in the wide receiver mix for next season. ... It’s a safe bet that Garoppolo will not become an unrestricted free agent. The 49ers likely either will place the franchise tag on him or sign him to long-term deal.
Tackle Garry Gilliam and cornerback Asa Jackson also are due to be unrestricted free agents. Both are on injured reserve.