The San Francisco 49ers introduced seven freshly-signed free agents Friday afternoon at a press conference at Levi’s stadium.
What makes this group interesting is that several of the new additions are familiar faces to new 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Heading into the offseason, 49ers general manager John Lynch said the organization asked themselves:
“Let’s find if there’s people who are out there that fit what we’re looking for.”
The newly revamped San Francisco coaching staff and front office apparently got right to work. Three of the seven additions have played under Shanahan either in a Redskins or Browns uniform within the past four years.
Receiver Pierre Garcon and tight end Logan Paulsen played under Shanahan during his tenure as Redskins offensive coordinator from 2010 and 2013. Garcon had a career year in 2013 with 113 pass receptions for 1,346 yards.
When asked what made San Francisco stick out as far as organizations to play for, Garcon answered:
“Kyle Shanahan was one of the main points, and the weather year round was another good point. … (Kyle) expects me to come in and help implement that offense and make it work. That’s my job and his job is to teach it. I gotta put it out on the field and make plays for the team.”
Paulsen also noted his relationship with Kyle Shanahan that helped bring him to the Bay Area:
“Personal relationships are a big deal in the NFL and when you have one with a guy like Kyle, it’s extremely important to capitalize on that.”
Brian Hoyer, who was backup quarterback for Chicago last season, also had a career year under Shanahan’s system in 2014 while starting six games under center for the Bears. That year, Hoyer threw for more than 3,300 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The new batch of talent is a staggering upgrade from only a year ago, when San Francisco was only able to land two total free agents. The signings also reflect the energy of the new coaching regime and front office put in place by 49ers ownership.
49ers general manager John Lynch said:
“I think we were very strategic sitting down with where we felt we needed to improve our team. But then let’s not do it just with any player. Let’s find if there’s people who are out there that fit what we’re looking for … I think that’s one thing we’ve done extremely well.”
Shanahan also noted that the 49ers are not improving their roster, especially at quarterback:
“We’re never done trying to improve our team. We’re going to try and improve our team every single day. And the biggest step is the first day of free agency. We’ll continue to look.”