The San Francisco 49ers are set to have a ton of cap space this offseason to spend on free agents and players like Muhammad Wilkerson, Bruce Irvin, Jermaine Kearse, Eric Berry and Josh Norman could be potential targets for the team.
The 49ers have a number of their own players hitting the market as well, including Alex Boone, Garrett Celek, Phil Dawson, Anquan Boldin and Ian Williams and some of those players could be back on new deals. Trent Baalke has his work cut out for him this offseason, but after bringing in Chip Kelly and setting the team up with around $50 million in cap space, things are moving in the right direction.
2015 was a season to forget for the 49ers, as the team took a major step back after replacing Jim Harbaugh with Jim Tomsula. The step back was partially by design, but the team now has to find a way to get things going in the right direction after missing the playoffs. The 49ers were one of the best teams in the NFC the few years before 2015 and now Baalke and Kelly will try and get back to that consistency moving forward into 2016.
The 49ers can free up more salary cap space with roster cuts in the offseason and players like Jerome Simpson, Vance McDonald and Quinton Patton could be potential cuts. The 49ers likely will dip into the free agent market, but they also have some of their own players to take care of as well. Boldin had a solid season with 69 catches for 789 yards and four touchdowns and he likely is an option to return on a one-year deal. Celek did not put up crazy numbers this season, but he has the potential to be the starter moving forward if he returns.
Alex Boone is an unrestricted free agent and while the Niners likely want to bring him back, things will probably come down to money. If Boone asks for too much, the Niners could let him go this offseason. Reggie Bush dealt with injuries this season and may not return, while Phil Dawson is hitting the market after another strong season. Dawson is likely to come back, while Ian Williams is another top target for Baalke, as he was ranked as a top 10 nose tackle this season by Pro Football Focus.
Some free agent options for the team could include Muhammad Wilkerson, Bruce Irvin, Eric Berry or Josh Norman, as the Niners could use an upgrade on defense at a number of positions. If Boldin doesn't return, players like Jermaine Kearse, Rishard Matthews and Travis Benjamin could be potential targets. The team also has a decision to make regarding Colin Kaepernick, but with Kelly taking over as coach, there is a good chance that Kaepernick will get another shot to start.