49ers offseason plan includes keeping 2019 roster intact

49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers clearly went into this offseason with one primary goal in mind. That goal was to keep as much of the 2019 roster intact as possible.

As the age-old proverb goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The San Francisco 49ers evidently embody philosophy more than most and they’ve made that clear in their offseason strategy.

After falling just short of the franchise’s first Super Bowl title since the mid-90s, the 49ers have gone into this offseason with a plan to keep the majority of their roster from 2019 intact.

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And in all honesty, can you blame them?

The 49ers hosted one of the most stacked rosters in the entire NFL last season with star players at nearly every position. From their star-studded defense to their over-achieving offense, the 49ers’ roster is one of the most impressive in football.

And given their moves thus far, they plan on keeping it that way.

San Francisco’s first move of the offseason was the re-signing of star defensive lineman Arik Armstead to a massive five-year, $85 million deal. It was a well-deserved extension for a player who put together a breakout season in 2019.

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On top of that, the team announced the re-signing of the likes of offensive tackle Shon Coleman, defensive end Ronald Blair and center Ben Garland. Of course, we can’t forget safety Jimmie Ward who — much like Armstead — was rewarded for his stellar 2019 campaign.

The 49ers haven’t made any major additions — in fact, they haven’t made any at all. San Francisco is one of just two teams to have not made a single external signing this offseason — the other being their Super Bowl opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs.

However, they have seen two players find new homes — one of which will undoubtedly be their biggest and most controversial move of the offseason. The first of which saw blocking tight end Levine Toilolo sign on with the New York Giants.

But that’s not the subtraction that most fans will be discussing.

Shortly after inking Armstead to his new monster deal, the 49ers sent superstar defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the No. 13 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

It was a contentious move, but one that was only made out of necessity.

Needing cap space for future extensions to players like George Kittle, the 49ers sent Buckner packing and received a great packaged in return — a package they certainly wouldn’t have gotten for Armstead.

It was a move made possible given all of the capital already invested into their defensive line. That doesn’t make it sting any less, but it does help rationalize the decision.

That extra first-round pick could be used in a variety of ways, but perhaps the most intriguing would be to target one of the top first-round receivers.

Either way, it’s safe to say that whoever is selected with that pick — provided they don’t trade down — will be their most notable pick-up of the offseason.

With the exception of Buckner, the 49ers seen content on rolling into 2020 with virtually the same roster as last season. In this case, you could just replace Buckner with a first-round caliber prospect and a few more draft picks.

But other than that, there will likely be few differences between the two rosters.

That certainly isn’t a bad strategy given their already stacked roster, they’ll just be hoping for similar success from the same crop of players in 2020.

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The 49ers surprised many with their stunning success in 2019. And in 2020, they’ll be looking to repeat that success with virtually the same roster.