SANTA CLARA, California — A year after spending most of free agency on the sideline, the San Francisco 49ers had a busy start to the new league year as coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch begin a massive rebuilding process.
The 49ers agreed to contracts with seven free agents on Thursday: quarterback Brian Hoyer (two years), receiver Pierre Garcon (five years), linebacker Malcolm Smith (five years), Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk (four years), kicker Robbie Gould (two years), receiver Marquise Goodwin (two years) and blocking tight end Logan Paulsen (one year).
San Francisco is coming off a 2-14 season that matched the worst record in franchise history and cost coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke their jobs. Despite a depleted roster last season, the Niners only signed guard Zane Beadles and backup quarterback Thad Lewis in free agency in Baalke’s final season running the team.
It has been a far different strategy so far this year as the 49ers have started filling the approximately $100 million in salary cap room, highlighted by a quarterback and receiver who both have experience playing with Shanahan.
Hoyer made 13 starts for Cleveland in 2014 when Shanahan was offensive coordinator. Hoyer won seven of those starts and threw for a career-high 3,326 yards that season.
His presence gives the Niners an experienced quarterback as a possible bridge if they choose to draft one with either the second overall pick next month or one of their later selections. Hoyer will reportedly get $10 million guaranteed in the two-year deal.
One of his prime targets will be Garcon, who got a contract worth $47.5 million with $20 million guaranteed and $16 million paid in the first year. Garcon set career highs in 2013 in Washington when Shanahan was his offensive coordinator with 113 catches for 1,346 yards.
Garcon is coming off his second career 1,000-yard season, having caught 79 passes for 1,041 yards in Washington with three TDs. (AP)