1. Chase Young, EDGE
The one player that most 49ers fans will have a keen eye on who's slated to hit free agency this offseason would be Chase Young. Young, the former No. 2 overall pick, was acquired at the trade deadline for just a third-round compensatory pick from the Washington Commanders and had a strong impact on the defense.
Sure, Young may not have filled up the stat sheet, but the eye test told you everything that you needed to see. The 49ers defense recaptured its mostly dominant form after the addition of Young and we saw the likes of Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead really take off in a major way once he was in the fold for this defense.
But now comes the time when the financial constraints could really come into play. Though Young may not have totally lived up to the expectations of being the No. 2 overall pick, he's undeniably a plus asset when healthy at a premium position. That means he's going to get a hefty payday this offseason and deservedly so.
With how confined the 49ers are by the cap, it would take some real cap gymnastics from the 49ers to see him sticking around. Moreover, the simple truth of the matter is that they would likely get a third-round compensatory pick for losing Young in free agency, meaning they were able to rent him and make a Super Bowl run at no cost at all.
That seems like the type of chess they like to play in San Francisco and is undeniably the most likely route they go this offseason, letting another team pay the premium for Young in free agency.