For the 49ers after the 2020 NFL Draft, it could be ‘out with the old and in with the new’
And for the most part, the defending NFC champions will retain a good chunk of their starting roster on both sides of the ball heading into the upcoming season. For a team that went 13-3 during the regular season, won the NFC West, secured the top seed in the conference and steamrolled two of the three opponents it faced in the playoffs, that’s usually a good thing.
Yet the draft and the players brought aboard afterward reminds us of an age-old NFL reality: out with the old and in with the new.
Niners fans caught a glimpse of how this works during the offseason. Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who was going to cost San Francisco $12 million in 2020 and potentially much more on a new contract thereafter, was traded off to the Indianapolis Colts for the No. 13 overall pick in the draft.
The 49ers subsequently turned that selection into South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, getting his services on a cheaper rookie contract while freeing up a significant amount of cap space.
Essentially, in a roundabout way, Buckner lost his job with the Niners to Kinlaw. And there could be other notable changes, too, especially when looking at players coming back from last season and the rookies who now enter the fray.
Here are five returning veterans who could ultimately lose their jobs, and perhaps roster spots, after the team’s actions during and after April’s NFL Draft.