4. Sam Darnold, QB
Despite the fact that he's going into his age-27 season, Sam Darnold is still going to be considered by some NFL teams as a player with "potential" in free agency.
The 49ers' decision to bring him in this past offseason was a great one and I loved their process and thinking there. You get a former (recent) top-3 NFL Draft pick at the most important position and set him up with a great coaching staff. I think this has been a crucially important year for Darnold and he should be able to parlay his year in San Francisco into renewed interest around the league.
Will some team view him as a risk-reward option as a starter? That remains to be seen, but I expect Darnold to leave the 49ers in 2024.
5. Charlie Woerner, TE
The San Francisco 49ers have done a tremendous job of finding players who fit what they do well offensively, not only in terms of their star players like Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, but down to the role players like Charlie Woerner.
Woerner was a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Georgia, and although he doesn't contribute a ton in the passing game (just three catches in 2023), he plays a pretty crucial role as a blocker.
Although Woerner plays his role with the 49ers really well, he could perhaps look for an expanded role in the passing game elsewhere in 2024 NFL free agency.