49ers free agency tracker day two: Dee Ford contract restructured

The San Francisco 49ers lost two players and gained one Monday, the opening day of the open tampering period, which kicks off free agency.

San Francisco lost left guard Laken Tomlinson and defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

Tomlinson had played nearly every snap at left guard since being traded to the 49ers from Detroit in 2017. He received a three-year deal worth $40 million, $27 million guaranteed, and a max value of $41.2 million from the New York Jets. Tomlinson will reunite with former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur who was the passing game coordinator during his time with the 49ers.

D.J. Jones agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos on a three-year, $30 million deal with $20 million fully guaranteed. Jones struggled to stay healthy during his time in San Francisco. Last season was the first time in Jones’s career he played every game.

Without Jones, the 49ers have weakened their run defense while strengthening their pass rush. Comparing the performance of Jones in 2021 to Javon Kinlaws’ rookie season in 2020, both players had similar snap totals. However, Kinlaw’s pass rush numbers outpace those put up by Jones this past season.

San Francisco made a splash signing for their secondary, adding former Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward. According to Ian Rapoport, it is a three-year, $40.5 million deal.

Ward fits the 49ers prototype for outside corners. He is big (6’1”, 195 pounds) with long arms and a strong tackler who is at his best in man coverage. In 2021, Ward allowed only 18 receptions on 46 targets when singled up on a wide receiver.

The signing of Ward may foretell the 49ers plan to replace K’Waun Williams. One option would be for Emmanuel Moseley to slide into the slot with Ward and second-year cornerback Ambry Thomas outside. San Francisco did this with Carlos Rogers and Chris Culliver under Vic Fangio during Jim Harbaugh’s tenure with the team.

The only knock against Ward is his health. Over the past two seasons, he has missed seven games.

6:17 – According to ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates, the 49ers have restructured the contract of Dee Ford. The move created $4.96 million in cap space for San Francisco while adding three voidable years.

This is a good move. The 49ers could have released Ford with a post-June 1 designation and saved $2.4 million against the cap, however, these savings would not hit their books until that time. The restructure allows San Francisco to double the savings now, while moving dead money into the future when the salary cap will be increasing with new television revenue coming in.

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