The 49ers should sign Larry Warford

Grant Cohn

First Trent Williams fell in the 49ers’ laps. Now Larry Worford could, too.

Williams is the best left tackle in the NFL -- the 49ers got him a for a third-round pick. All of a sudden, Warford is a free agent. How lucky can the 49ers get?

Warford is one of the league’s best right guards. The Saints released him Friday, didn’t want to pay him $12 million in 2020. Replaced him with a rookie -- Cesar Ruiz.

Big loss for the Saints. Big potential gain for the 49ers.

John Lynch should call Warford’s agent today and offer his client a contract. Warford has gone to the Pro Bowl each of the past three seasons and still is only 28. He specializes in pass protection. Has allowed just seven sacks the past three seasons. And pass protection at right guard has hurt the 49ers since Kyle Shanahan became the head coach.

When the 49ers go to hurry-up mode and the opposing defense knows they have to pass, the opponent usually puts its best defensive tackle across from the 49ers’ right guard.

Advantage: Defensive tackle. Every time.

We’ve seen the Rams put Aaron Donald across from the 49ers’ right guards the past few seasons, and we saw the Chiefs put Chris Jones across from Mike Person in the Super Bowl. Person couldn’t block Jones or stop him from batting down passes. Person was one of the main reasons the 49ers lost. Now he’s gone. The 49ers released him and replaced him with his backup, Daniel Brunskill.

Risky.

Why hope and pray for Brunskill to succeed at right guard, when the 49ers simply can sign Warford and not worry about that position any more?

The 49ers currently have $15 million in cap space, and they have to save some money for George Kittle’s contact extension. The Kittle factor makes signing Warford tricky. But the 49ers can back-load Kittle’s deal, meaning Kittle’s salary can start low and increase yearly.

The 49ers also can create almost $5 million of additional cap space by trading running back Tevin Coleman for a draft pick. They probably would receive no more than a late-sixth-round pick for him, but they should trade him anyway.

Make more cap space. Sign Warford. And strengthen the only glaring weakness remaining on the roster.

Pick up a freaking phone, John.

Comments (2)
No. 1-2
49er
49er

I would love to see this happen. It won't. Don't sell Brunskill short.

49ersfanatic
49ersfanatic

Nice idea Grant, but the niners can't afford another $10-$12M salary on the O-Line and still pay Kittle and retain Trent Williams. I have a lot of confidence in Brunskill.


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