(KPIX) — The whirlwind of NFL free agency is over, and teams are looking toward a modified version of the draft. Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group told KPIX sports director Dennis O’Donnell last night on Gameday that both teams did a solid job managing their respective rosters during the jam-packed week.
The 49ers were hoping to keep their Super Bowl roster together as much as possible, and they were able to do that with a few exceptions.
The trade of defensive lineman DeForest Buckner to the Colts caught everyone off guard including Inman.
“I was definitely surprised,” he said.
The 49ers were essentially victimized by Buckner’s success. The former first round pick was the anchor of the 49ers dominant defensive line, and would have cost the team dearly. Indianapolis signed him to a massive five year deal that will pay him $21 million annually.
“Buckner played so well that he price-pointed himself out of the 49ers plans,” Inman said. “They weren’t going to make him the second highest defensive lineman in the league.”
The team elected to re-sign Arik Armstead who is a more versatile player and landed the 13th overall selection from the Colts.
If the 49ers don’t trade that pick, Inman feels they will target a receiver to replace Emmanuel Sanders who signed with the New Orleans Saints over the weekend.
Sanders played ten games for the 49ers, caught over 500 yards worth passes in 10 games, and was about a foot away from hauling in a ball that might have gone for a go-ahead touchdown in the Super Bowl.
“The 49ers weren’t giving Sanders that kind of money,” Inman said referring to the two-year deal worth $16 million he got from New Orleans. “They needed to save some of that for George Kittle.”
Inman suggested that 49ers coaches are anticipating a leap in production from Deebo Samuel to help fill the void left by Sanders. Samuel had 702 yards in his final 11 games of 2019 — including the postseason.
As for the Raiders, Inman gave the Vegas-bound franchise a A- for adding nine players; six of them on the defensive side of the ball.
“I like where the Raiders are heading,” Inman said. “I just don’t like that they are heading to Vegas.”
Allegent Stadium in Las Vegas is still on track to be finished by the start of next season.
Inman added: “What does starting on time mean in today’s society?”