San Francisco 49ers 2024 free agency tracker: Maliek Collins acquired, Arik Armstead released

This is a running analysis of the San Francisco 49ers’ moves and key departures during the initial wave of free agency. The legal tampering window began Monday at 9 a.m. PT and the NFL’s new league year, when teams can formally sign free agents who played elsewhere in 2023, began Wednesday at 1 p.m. PT.

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March 15: The 49ers signed the 28-year-old cornerback, as confirmed by his agent. Before the 2023 season, Yiadom had been a journeyman who’d managed unspectacular results with the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans. But he registered a productive 2023 season for the New Orleans Saints. He started the final seven games of the season and delivered a Pro Football Focus coverage grade of 80.4, which ranks No. 16 of qualifying cornerbacks. The 6-foot-1 Yiadom has the potential to be, at the very least, quality DB depth for a 49ers defense hungry for more capable bodies on the outside.

March 15: The 49ers signed the former Green Bay Packers linebacker, who was an All-Pro in 2021, according to the NFL Network. Campbell, 30, has seen his tackling and coverage performance erode since then. He allowed a passer rating of 129.5 into his coverage in 2023. His missed tackle rate was 9.9 percent, up from just 2.8 percent in 2021. Campbell has also missed eight games over the past two seasons. But it’s important to note the 49ers aren’t bringing in Campbell to be a featured piece of their linebacker room. They signed him to augment it, since Dre Greenlaw is recovering from an Achilles tear. The 49ers had initially thought they’d be signing Eric Kendricks, another former All-Pro, for this role. But he backed out and went to the Dallas Cowboys instead, so Campbell became the 49ers’ choice.

March 15: The 49ers agreed to a one-year contract with Lucas, 27, who has spent the last two seasons with the Detroit Lions. Lucas plays nickel cornerback, but he’s mostly been known as a special teams ace, especially a punt-coverage gunner. He was teammates with Brandon Aiyuk at Arizona State.

March 15: The 49ers are expected to re-sign guard Jon Feliciano to a one-year deal, a team source confirmed. The 49ers have wanted to bring back Feliciano, who overtook Spencer Burford for the starting spot at right guard. He proved to be a good fit in the 49ers’ scheme, posting the fourth-highest Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade of any guard. He also registered above-average marks in pass protection. Feliciano suffered an elbow injury that knocked him out of the Super Bowl and seemed to hurt the team’s pass protection down the stretch of that game. The 49ers now have all five starting offensive linemen from last season under contract for 2024, setting a floor for the position. With many offensive linemen commanding big contracts in free agency, the 49ers might turn to the NFL Draft to raise the room’s ceiling.

March 15: The 49ers are expected to re-sign linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, who’s been with the team since 2019. A team source confirmed the news. Flannigan-Fowles played 173 snaps on defense last season, but his primary contributions come on special teams. He delivered 351 snaps there for the 49ers. This move won’t stop the 49ers from searching for veteran linebacker depth. Dre Greenlaw’s Achilles injury encouraged the 49ers to pursue Eric Kendricks at the position, but the veteran ultimately signed with the Dallas Cowboys instead.

March 14: Armstead is reuniting with general manager Trent Baalke after the Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to a deal with the big defensive lineman, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini reported. Baalke drafted Armstead in the first round in 2015, and he was the 49ers’ last remaining player drafted by Baalke. At age 30, Armstead is still an excellent player when healthy. But he’s dealt with knee and foot issues the last two seasons, which have either put him on the bench or diminished his play. Because of that the 49ers asked him to take a significant pay cut. Armstead refused and asked for his release, which occurred Wednesday.


Jaguars signing former 49ers’ Arik Armstead: Sources

March 14: The 49ers need a new return man after McCloud agreed to a two-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons, the NFL Network reported. McCloud was an improvement over Richie James and the team’s previous return situation. But he didn’t break the 49ers’ longest punt-return-touchdown drought that dates to 2011. And his gaffe in the Super Bowl was one of the game’s defining plays. After a punt struck the back of teammate Darrell Luter Jr.’s foot, McCloud tried to pick up and run with the bouncing ball and lost it to the Kansas City Chiefs in the process. They scored a touchdown on the next play.

LB Eric Kendricks

March 13: A little more than 12 hours after agreeing to sign with the 49ers (see below), Kendricks changed his mind and decided to go to Dallas instead. There he’ll reunite with Mike Zimmer, who once was Kendricks’ head coach with the Minnesota Vikings and who now runs the Dallas Cowboys’ defense. The 49ers will resume their search for a veteran linebacker who can possibly fill in if Dre Greenlaw (Achilles) is not ready at the start of the season.



Kendricks switches from 49ers deal to Cowboys

March 13: The 49ers agreed to re-sign Givens, who played 398 defensive snaps for them last season, to a one-year deal. Givens is the third defensive tackle the team has landed in the last two days — the 49ers agreed to terms with Jordan Elliott and traded for Maliek Collins. He’ll have to fend off third-year player Kalia Davis for a spot in the rotation, but Givens’ experience in the defense gives him the edge.

DT Arik Armstead

March 13: The 49ers did, in fact, release Armstead shortly after the start of the NFL’s new league year at 1 p.m. PT. Armstead will be designated as a post-June 1 cut, according to a team source, which will ultimately open up about $18 million — but this money (his 2024 salary and assorted bonuses) won’t come off the books until after June 1. Armstead needed to remain on the 49ers roster until after the start of the league year in order to designate him as a post-June 1 cut and the team also made attempts to recoup compensation via trade, but could not work out a deal.



49ers release DT Arik Armstead

March 13: The Chicago Bears plan to sign Pryor to a one-year deal, according to The Athletic’s Adam Jahns and Kevin Fishbain. Pryor was a right tackle only for the 49ers in 2023. He was active for 15 games but played only 42 offensive snaps. Still, his departure leaves the 49ers light at tackle where Trent Williams and Colton McKivitz are the starters and Jaylon Moore is the top backup.

March 13: The fullback agreed to a restructured contract that will save the 49ers $1.75 million in 2024 salary-cap space. The Athletic’s Jeff Howe confirmed the news. Details of this maneuver aren’t yet available, but Juszczyk will remain the highest-paid fullback in the NFL. His original deal included a non-guaranteed base salary of $5.75 million for this season, so a simple reduction to $4 million would open up $1.75 million in cap space. But the 49ers could’ve also used other maneuvers, such as a signing bonus conversion paired with void years, to lower Juszczyk’s number. Either way, the 49ers cleared up important space. They’re right against the limit and must be cap compliant when the new league year begins at 1 p.m. PT.

DT Maliek Collins

March 13: In a move that likely signals the end of Arik Armstead’s 49ers tenure, the team dealt a seventh-round pick Wednesday to the Houston Texans for the veteran Collins, league sources confirmed to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini. In eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders and Texans, Collins — who will turn 29 next month — has 25 1/2 sacks. He matched his career highs last season for Houston with five sacks and 48 pressures. Over the bulk of his career, the 6-foot-2, 310-pound Collins has been one of the league’s better interior pass rushers — with his one season with the Raiders in 2020 serving as an exception. He had a career-low pressure rate of 4.6 percent that season, according to TruMedia. He was at 10.7 percent last season with Houston.



49ers trading for Texans’ Collins: Sources

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Eric Kendricks will help fill the void as Dre Greenlaw recovers from his torn Achilles suffered in the Super Bowl. (Ryan Kang / Getty Images)

LB Eric Kendricks

March 13: The 49ers found their linebacker to help fill the void while Dre Greenlaw recovers from the torn Achilles he suffered in the Super Bowl, as they agreed to a one-year deal with Kendricks, a league source confirmed. ESPN was the first to report the agreement. Kendricks played last season with the Los Angeles Chargers — under new 49ers assistant head coach Brandon Staley — after spending his first eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He was a first-team All-Pro at linebacker in 2019. Kendricks, 32, has eight straight seasons with 100-plus tackles. He finished with 117 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks last season. The Chargers released him last week, which means his signing will not count against the 49ers in the compensatory pick formula.

UPDATE: Kendricks changed his mind and instead agreed to a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys.

DT Jordan Elliott

March 12: The 49ers are adding the former Cleveland Browns defensive tackle to a two-year deal worth up to $10 million. Elliott’s agent confirmed the news. The 49ers need to replace hundreds of lost snaps on the interior of the defensive line, and Elliott marks the first step in that replenishment process. Elliott has managed only modest numbers — five sacks so far in his career — but he’s a space eater who developed into a starter on a good Browns’ front over the past two seasons. Cleveland ran a Wide 9 front, the same alignment the 49ers use, under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Elliott also hasn’t missed a game due to injury in his NFL career. The 49ers’ focus on durable players continues.

The 49ers and Odum agreed to a two-year extension that keeps Odum under contract through the 2026 season, according to Odum’s agent, Matt Glose. The deal is worth as much as $10.8 million. With Charlie Woerner heading to Atlanta, Odum is the team’s top special teams player and he provides veteran depth at safety behind youngsters Talanoa Hufanga and Ji’Ayir Brown. Odum tore his biceps on Nov. 23 but returned late in the season and played 66 special teams snaps in the postseason.

March 12: Ferrell, who signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last offseason, is expected to sign with the Washington Commanders, league sources told The Athletic’s Dianna Russini. Ferrell, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 draft by the Raiders, started all 17 games of the regular season for the 49ers in 2023. His numbers weren’t flashy — he finished with 28 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks — but he was a sturdy presence at defensive end opposite Nick Bosa. He suffered a torn meniscus in the team’s Week 18 game that required surgery and forced him to miss the postseason.

March 11: Late on the first night of the legal tampering period, the Minnesota Vikings were expected to sign Darnold to a one-year deal worth $10 million, according to the NFL Network. Team sources confirmed the agreement to The Athletic on Tuesday morning.  Darnold joined the 49ers last season on a one-year deal and won the backup job in training camp over Trey Lance. He saw action in 10 games last season for San Francisco, mostly mop-up duty late in lopsided contests. His lone start came in Week 18 after the 49ers had clinched the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. In that game, he completed 16 of 26 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers had long expected him to be too expensive to retain as a backup for a second season. Early on Monday, they agreed to terms with Brandon Allen — the team’s No. 3 quarterback last season — on a one-year deal.



Vikings expected to sign QB Sam Darnold: Sources

March 11: New York Jets coach Robert Saleh was the 49ers’ defensive coordinator back when they drafted Kinlaw in 2020’s first round. Four years later, Saleh will get to coach Kinlaw again after he agreed to a one-year deal with New York, a league source confirmed. The defensive tackle overcame a tumultuous, injury-laden start to his career by delivering a solid 2023 season. His best football came late to earn this opportunity with the Jets. It’ll be interesting to see where the 49ers turn to supplement Javon Hargrave at defensive tackle.

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The 49ers added Yetur Gross-Matos to be part of their edge rusher rotation. (Steph Chambers / Getty Images)

March 11: The 49ers plan to sign the defensive lineman to a two-year contract worth up to $18 million, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. A significant chunk of Gross-Matos’ contract might be incentive-based, as he was mainly a rotational lineman over four seasons with the Carolina Panthers. But Gross-Matos has showcased the same versatility in the pros that the 49ers liked about him coming out of college in 2020. He’s been versatile enough to line up inside for a chunk of snaps, even with his long frame. And that flexibility can prove valuable for a 49ers team that’s looking for quality depth at the margins of its defensive line. Position coach Kris Kocurek wants his unit to attack in waves.

March 11: The 49ers tendered a one-year contract to Jauan Jennings, who’s set to be a restricted free agent. The 49ers tendered Jennings at the second-round level, which means their offer is worth $4.89 million. Jennings can negotiate with other teams, but the 49ers own a right of first refusal. If Jennings departs for more money elsewhere, the 49ers will receive a second-round pick. At the recent NFL Scouting Combine, 49ers general manager John Lynch said the team was interested in bypassing the tender process and signing Jennings to a long-term extension. The 49ers can still do that. The official extension of this tender might offer a handy parameter for a potential deal.

March 11: The 49ers found a bookend to Nick Bosa in Floyd, who’s coming off a career-high 10 1/2-sack season with the Bills. Floyd is 31 and will be one of the 49ers’ oldest defenders in 2024. But he hasn’t missed a game in six seasons and has had at least nine sacks in each of the last four seasons. He’s familiar to Kyle Shanahan and offensive line coach Chris Foerster, who coached against Floyd for three seasons when he was with the Los Angeles Rams, and he also spent time under new assistant Brandon Staley with the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers agreed to a two-year deal with Floyd.



49ers, Leonard Floyd agree to 2-year deal: Source

TE Charlie Woerner

March 11: The Atlanta Falcons signed the tight end to a three-year deal worth up to $12 million. His agent, Alex Essex, confirmed the news. He said that six teams offered Woerner, who grew up about two hours outside of Atlanta, a contract. The 49ers picked Woerner in the sixth round of the 2020 draft. He developed into a solid run blocker and good special teams player but caught only 11 passes for 120 yards over the past four seasons. The 49ers have long been looking for a tight end who’s a bigger receiving threat to pair with George Kittle. Woerner’s departure might factor into the compensatory formula to help the 49ers gain a later-round pick in the 2025 draft.

QB Brandon Allen

March 11: The 49ers re-signed Allen, who was their 31-year-old third-string quarterback in 2023. A league source confirmed the news. The team is presumably still interested in fortifying the backup QB spot behind Brock Purdy, though it’s unclear if Sam Darnold — who held that role in 2023 — will remain in their price range. Allen does fit into that cost structure, and the 49ers are happy to have a strong veteran presence back in the room to continue supporting Purdy. Allen previously backed up Joe Burrow in Cincinnati.



49ers welcome back QB Brandon Allen with 1-year deal to back up Brock Purdy

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Arik Armstead is set to be released after he and the 49ers couldn’t come to an agreement on a reduced salary. (Ryan Kang / Getty Images)

DL Arik Armstead

March 10: The 49ers are poised to move on from their longest-tenured player after the two sides could not agree to a deal to reduce Armstead’s salary, the third-highest on the team in 2024. Armstead, 30, has missed 13 games in the last two seasons and played on an injured knee in the 2023 postseason. However, the 49ers’ roster is wafer thin at defensive tackle and a reunion with Armstead is possible if he doesn’t get a better offer on the open market.



49ers release DT Arik Armstead

March 10: The 49ers agreed to a one-year deal with Bartch, who was set to become a free agent on Wednesday. The team signed Bartch, 25, off the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad at midseason and he appeared in five game (28 offensive snaps). Offensive line coach Chris Foerster said he liked Bartch’s quickness and his potential at guard and center, which is where he’ll compete with Nick Zakelj and others this offseason. Bartch suffered a serious knee injury in 2022 and Foerster said the offensive lineman still was rounding into form last season.

March 10: The New York Jets agreed to terms with Oliver on a one-year deal. The 49ers had signed Oliver last year to be their nickel cornerback, but he began to lose his grip on that role by the end of training camp. At season’s end, he was practicing a lot at safety, which is where the Jets envision him playing. The 49ers cut Oliver last month, freeing up $2.4 million in salary cap space.

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Colton McKivitz, a 17-game starter at right tackle last season, is now locked up through the 2025 campaign. (Ryan Kang / Getty Images)

OT Colton McKivitz

March 8: The 49ers signed McKivitz, a 17-game starter at right tackle in 2023, to a one-year deal worth as much as $7 million, his agent said. That means that McKivitz, 27, is now signed through the 2025 season. This doesn’t necessarily preclude the team from making a move on a tackle in free agency or especially the draft but his extension gives San Francisco some cushion at the position.

(Top photo of Maliek Collins: Troy Taormina / USA Today)

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