2022 NFL free agency: 49ers could target these six veterans

The 49ers’ top priority when the free-agent signing period begins will be keeping as much of the team intact as possible.

General manager John Lynch’s offseason to-do list includes trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to create $25.5 million in salary-cap savings that can be redistributed to other areas of the roster.

Down the road, much closer to the start of training camp, there could be multi-year contract extensions for wide receiver Deebo Samuel and defensive end Nick Bosa.

Six weeks before the 2022 NFL Draft — in which the 49ers have nine scheduled picks — they will get an opportunity to add some notable pieces in free agency.

The open negotiating period begins Monday at 9 am The free-agent signing period opens on Wednesday.

Here are some of the players the 49ers could target who would also fit into their budget:

QB Tyrod Taylor

The 49ers expect to trade Garoppolo this offseason and officially make the transition to Trey Lance.

They will still need a veteran backup as insurance and to provide assistance to Lance in any way possible. Tyrod Taylor, whose starting days are behind him, checks all the boxes.

Taylor comes highly recommended by new 49ers assistant head coach/running backs Anthony Lynn, previously the head coach of the Chargers during Taylor’s time there.

Taylor also has a similar playing style to Lance, which is a priority for coach Kyle Shanahan when putting together his quarterback room. Taylor is likely to receive a one-year contract at a reasonable rate.

CB Bryce Callahan

It seems unlikely the 49ers will spend big for one of the top cornerbacks, but who knows? They might surprise us all and make a run at JC Jackson, Stephon Gilmore or Carlton Davis.

More likely, however, is they will look for someone more affordable to enter the mix with Emmanuel Moseley and Ambry Thomas.

Bryce Callahan would be a good option. K’Waun Williams is scheduled for free agency. The 49ers consider him one of the best nickel backs in the NFL.

Where Callahan would be valuable is that he can not only play the slot, he can compete for a starting job on the outside.

That versatility would give 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans a lot more options. Callahan is coming off a knee injury that kept him out of action for six of the final nine games of the season. The 49ers must improve their depth, and Callahan would be a nice addition.

DT Harrison Phillips

The 49ers seem to be bracing for interior lineman DJ Jones getting a sizable contract offer as a free agent that will prevent him from returning to the 49ers. They need another rotational piece at defensive tackle, and Harrison Phillips could be a lower-cost option.

Phillips is known as a high-character person who could give the 49ers what they need as a run-stuffing lineman on non-passing downs.

It seems as if Arik Armstead will be moving full time to defensive tackle, and there are still enough questions about Javon Kinlaw to prompt the 49ers to add a veteran player for their D-line rotation.

BY Dante Fowler

At this stage of his NFL career, Dante Fowler is viewed more as a No. 3 edge player and not a starter. He is the kind of reclamation project who could have a lot of success under the tutelage of 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.

The 49ers need more edge rushers to team with Bosa and Samson Ebukam, and Fowler would fit in nicely on a one-year, prove-it contract as a situational pass rusher.

G Mark Glowinski

There are some questions about the interior of the 49ers’ offensive line, so adding a player such as Mark Glowinski would make a lot of sense and give the team more options and flexibility.

Center Alex Mack is 36. He is scheduled to make $5 million this season. Right guard Laken Tomlinson is likely heading for free agency, and he figures to command a nice contract from someone. Aaron Banks has put himself into position to compete for a starting job. Daniel Brunskill is versatile enough to go wherever he’s needed, including center.

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Glowinski is a good athlete. He is not a superstar, by any stretch, but he would provide the 49ers with more depth and some good options, depending on how the rest of the O-line depth chart shakes out.

WR Jamison Crowder

The 49ers have every reason to like their top three wide receivers: Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings. But what the team lacks is a true slot receiver.

Crowder is a specialist from the slot with reliable hands and enough short-area quickness to serve as an easy outlet for Lance on third downs.

Plus, Crowder would not be too expensive to the point where the 49ers could also select a slot receiver on Day 3 of the draft to add to the team’s depth and competition.

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