San Francisco 49ers Free Agency Predictions 2024: 49ers Sign Mike Onwenu and Danielle Hunter, Re-Sign Javon Kinlaw

    San Francisco has some key decisions to make in free agency. Here are three 49ers free agency predictions, led by signing OT Mike Onwenu.

    The San Francisco 49ers face some tough decisions with NFL free agency fast approaching. San Francisco reached the cusp of winning its first Super Bowl since the 1994 season but lost a close one to the Kansas City Chiefs. It is now tasked with remaining a contender in 2024 despite some key players hitting free agency.

    We run through three 49ers free agency predictions ahead of a pivotal time for the franchise.

    49ers Free Agency Predictions

    San Francisco has plenty of big deals on its payroll but still finds itself under the new record-high salary cap and could certainly maneuver itself into even more room if needed. The 49ers’ biggest need is at right tackle — after struggling at the spot — and continuing to maximize the talent across the board for the next couple of seasons is paramount as Brock Purdy continues to play on a cheap rookie contract.

    The draft will certainly be key in that regard, but there’s no substitute for signing proven veterans in free agency.

    Sign Mike Onwenu To Shore Up Offensive Line

    San Francisco’s biggest hole throughout the season was at right tackle, struggling to find a consistent option at the spot opposite of standout left tackle Trent Williams. It’s a need they could certainly look to address in the draft, but definitively shoring it up with a proven veteran could be appealing as well.

    That’s where Onwenu comes into play. The four-year veteran has played a key role for the New England Patriots since coming into the league, playing at either tackle spot and even guard at times. He has rarely been penalized with just 10 flags across his career and is ranked as PFN’s top available offensive tackle after playing right tackle for the Patriots last year.

    Onwenu’s services will certainly come at a price, but it could be worth paying for the 49ers if they want to be certain of their issues at the premium position.

    Sign Danielle Hunter To Replace Chase Young

    Upgrading its strength in rushing the passer is a likely priority for San Francisco as well after not having a ton of high-end production at the spot last season outside of Nick Bosa, who finished with 10.5 sacks.

    Adding a second bona fide edge rusher could certainly help in that regard, and Hunter has certainly proven capable of playing to that level across his eight-year career. He earned a Pro Bowl nod last season after racking up 84 tackles (54 solo), 23 tackles for loss, a career-high 16.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and two pass breakups, coming in as PFN’s fourth-best available edge rusher in free agency.

    Although some regression back to the mean is likely for Hunter, who is not getting any younger at 29 years old, adding his dependable production could be attractive to the 49ers if they look to move on from the up-and-down Young.

    Re-Sign Javon Kinlaw To Stabilize Defensive Line

    Kinlaw has not exactly been a first-round-pick type of difference-maker for the 49ers since being drafted by the franchise back in 2020, but he did show signs of growth with a solid 2023 season. He tallied 25 tackles (13 solo), four tackles for loss, a career-best 3.5 sacks, and three pass breakups on the year, ranking within PFN’s top 10 available free agents on the defensive line and among the top 100 overall free agents at No. 87.

    KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Top 100 Free Agent Rankings

    There could be enough positive signs there for San Francisco to bring Kinlaw back on a short-term deal that allows him to continue proving himself while playing a significant role up front.

    Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

    Related Articles