49ers offseason was neither great nor terrible, and that's fine

49ers offseason was neither great nor terrible, and that's fine

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 08: (L-R) General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan look on during San Francisco 49ers practice ahead of Super Bowl LVIII at Fertitta Football Complex on February 07, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

The 49ers didn't do a ton during the 2024 offseason. Their most notable roster movement was the departure of defensive lineman Arik Armstead and the fact they didn't move either one of Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel. Beyond that they largely stood pat with a team that was the No. 1 seed in the NFC last season and lost the Super Bowl in overtime. Some analysts view the 49ers' offseason as a strong one since they're still in position to compete for a Super Bowl. Other analysts believe the lack of movement counts as a losing offseason for San Francisco. So which one is it?

Two different publications ran some variation of NFL offseason winners and losers pieces. ESPN's Seth Walder gave a grade for each team's offseason, while Mike Jones of the Athletic wrote about the offseason winners and losers.

Walder gave the 49ers a B for how they replaced Armstead and for not getting rid of one of their top two wide receivers. His biggest gripe was that they reached on first-round pick Ricky Pearsall because he wasn't projected to go that early. It's hard to nitpick that assessment and a 'B' grade feels pretty fair.

Jones had a different view of how the 49ers went about the offseason. He marked them down as one of the NFL's losers because "the offensive line could've used a bolster" and because they lost Javon Kinlaw on the defensive line. He has questions about first-time defensive coordinator Nick Sorensen as well and whether the team's new-look defensive line can possibly replace Armstead and Kinlaw. Never mind that one of the main players responsible for filling in at defensive tackle, Maliek Collins, is not listed among the players the team added on the defensive front.

It's hard to argue with the offensive line point and it's one we've covered fairly extensively, but it'd be interesting to see specifically what moves Jones would've had the 49ers make to dramatically upgrade the line. Perhaps they could've drafted a player in Round 1, but general manager John Lynch made it clear there weren't any prospects they loved on the line at that spot. Without a ton of money to play with to go make splash signings, the 49ers had to make additions on the margins and on Days 2 and 3 of the draft.

The reality is the 49ers didn't have a stellar offseason, but it also wasn't bad either. They had a B- or C+ offseason, which is fine for a team that's coming off three consecutive NFC championship games and a trip to the Super Bowl. They didn't need to make a major splash. They needed to mostly run it back while trying to manage funds to ensure they can sustainably fit a massive extension for Brock Purdy on the books as soon as next offseason.

They also added pass rush help, secondary depth, wide receiver depth and offensive line depth, and overhauled their tight end room. They also brought in former All-Pro De’Vondre Campbell to fill in while Dre Greenlaw recovers from an Achilles tear.

Aiyuk's extension is the biggest offseason box left for the 49ers to check. If they fumble that, then we can talk about San Francisco being a loser of the offseason. If they get that deal done, then we may be able to move them into the category of "offseason winner." Regardless, the Kyle Shanahan-John Lynch tenure hasn't been defined by winning offseasons. It's been defined by a rebuild, tons of regular season success and deep playoff runs. Whether they win in March and April will matter far less than whether they win in February.

More Latest 49ers news

Ian Rapoport: 49ers do want Brandon Aiyuk, contract talks not dead

Brandon Aiyuk viral video much ado about nothing

Replacing Brandon Aiyuk wouldn't be easy for 49ers

This article originally appeared on Niners Wire: 49ers offseason was neither great nor terrible, and that's fine

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