As a team, the San Francisco 49ers don’t have a ton of areas in which they need to improve upon. After a 31-20 loss in Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Niners will head into their 2020 offseason looking to sharpen every aspect of their game after coming up short in against the Chiefs.
San Francisco’s general manager, John Lynch, said in his final press conference after the Super Bowl that his team “would love to keep” every player on its current roster, but in today’s NFL, that’s simply not possible. “To not finish the deal, it hurts. That will stick with us for a lifetime,” Lynch said about losing the Super Bowl. “But, to me, it’s about what you do going forward.”
One thing the Niners are likely to do moving forward is sign All-Pro tight end George Kittle to a massive contract, along with defensive standout DeForest Buckner. “We’re committed to finding a way to be better. We’d love to keep everybody,” Lynch said, adding: “This team is special. There’s a special feel to it. We hope that’s the case. It’s probably not likely, it just doesn’t happen in this league.”
Will Emmanuel Sanders Be a 49er in 2020?
One area in particular the 49ers may seek to improve is the wide receiver position. They traded for wideout Emmanuel Sanders this past season, but Sanders is a free agent in 2020, and he will likely be signing somewhere else. His current estimated market value according to Spotrac is just over $10 million a season. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell thinks Sanders will be scooped up by the New York Jets this offseason, noting his past ties to Jets coach Adam Gase in Denver.
Barnwell also predicted veteran wideout AJ Green will sign a 4-year contract in 2020 — with the 49ers.
AJ Green to the 49ers: How Much Does Gas Does He Have Left in the Tank?
The primary concern surrounding Green is his recent injury history. Green missed the entire 2019 season after having surgery to repair ligament damage in his ankle, and he also missed half of the 2018 season after he underwent surgery on his toe.
Green’s market value has taken a hit over the last few seasons, and he is projected to make just over $9.5 million a year moving forward. That would make him an affordable option for this 49ers team.
Green has 8,907 yards on 602 receptions with 63 touchdowns over his eight seasons in the league. He was selected to seven Pro Bowls in eight years, and even after his recent injuries, he could be a formidable offensive weapon when healthy. The star wide receiver will be 32 years old this July, but he still likely has a few solid years left in him. If Green were to replace Sanders in the 49ers lineup, he would provide a definite boost to their current corps of receivers while also forcing opposing defenses to game plan for him.
At $9.5 million a year, he would also be an affordable option for a team looking to improve on its Super Bowl run.