San Francisco 49ers' best quality might take a huge hit in 2024

The San Francisco 49ers might have a ton of work to do within one of their position groups in 2024.
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The San Francisco 49ers have one of the very best rosters in the NFL, but one of their strongest position groups could take a huge hit in 2024. Things can change very quickly in the NFL, and that's even true for the best teams. The 49ers are just one game away from winning their sixth Super Bowl, which would tie for the most all-time.

Even if the Niners win on Sunday, they'll have a good bit of work to do to keep their roster at its elite level and to ensure they enter the 2024 NFL Season as Super Bowl contenders once again. On offense, the offensive line could certainly use a boost, and an addition at wide receiver could not hurt.

Defensively, the unit is again one of the top-three in football. However, the secondary needs some talent. Obviously, the inside linebackers are strong, and the duo of Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw is the best in the league. However, nothing I mentioned is nearly as dire as their defensive line, which could look extremely empty in 2024.

Yes, one of the best units in all of football over the last handful of years could end up taking a huge step back in 2024.

The 49ers have all of the following players on the defensive front as free agents in 2024:

Chase Young, Clelin Ferrell, Javon Kinlaw, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Kevin Givens, and Randy Gregory.

Futhermore, the 49ers are projected to be over the 2024 cap by about $4 million, so they will need to make some roster moves there. Well, a logical move could be to cut long-time DT, Arik Armstead. Armstead has played just 21 regular season games over the last two seasons and turns 31 in November. Cutting him saves the Niners $18 million on their 2024 cap, so they can easily erase their overage with this one move.

If the Niners were to cut Armstead, and if we removed all of their free agents, their defensive line would feature Nick Bosa, Javon Hargrave, and a bunch of other backup players. Sure, the 49ers could re-sign one of more of their defensive free agents, but Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch will have a ton of work to do within this unit in 2024.