he San Francisco 49ers will start their playoff run with one of their top new players in place, defensive lineman Chase Young, the player the team acquired in a blockbuster deal at the NFL trade deadline in October. But how long Young will remain with a 49ers team facing salary-cap issues this offseason is a serious question. That’s something noted by Pro Football Focus, which suggests that the Tennessee Titans should make a strong run at Young when the offseason hits.

Certainly, when the 49ers made the deal for Young, it was known that his impending free-agency could make him a short-term addition. But he has played very well as a Nick Bosa bookend, raising the possibility that the 49ers would sacrifice in other areas to keep Young on.

Wrote PFF: “Chase Young is coming off the best season of his NFL career, garnering a 75.8 PFF pass-rush grade and racking up 66 quarterback pressures from 480 pass-rushing snaps. But it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to take a one-year, prove-it deal rather than sign a long-term contract with a lower ceiling. He was better with the Commanders than with the 49ers after the in-season trade but still recorded 28 pressures from 233 snaps with San Francisco in the regular season.”

It is possible that the 49ers can keep Young in free agency this winter—if the best he can do on the market it is a short-term deal that does not get the 49ers too deeply involved in a long-term commitment. PFF projects Young signing a one-year, $15 million contract for next season, which might be palatable for San Francisco.

Spotrac has Young fetching a deal in a similar range, at $13.6 million. But the contract site has Young getting a two-year deal for $27.3 million. The added year might scare off the 49ers.

Certainly, Young wants to stay in San Francisco. He was a college teammate of Bosa at Ohio State, and both he and Bosa have been excited by the reunion. The 49ers did not had a top-notch complement for Bosa all season, allowing offenses focus their blocking schemes on Bosa.

“Just having him out there is really good energy,” Bosa told reporters, per 49ers Web Zone. “He’s excited to go out there and play. He wants to get those important reps in the game. And we’re talking before plays, kind of talking about what we’re going to do, and when he causes pressure [or] I cause pressure, it seems like the other guy ends up cleaning it up.”

Young, for his part, truly appreciates the ability to play alongside Bosa. After an injury-riddled start to his career, it could make sense for Young to stick with the 49ers, rebuild his reputation where he has some comfort with Bosa, and hit the market again next season.

“When I got to O-State, Nick kind of catered to me,” Young told NBC Sports Bay Area earlier this year. “I think he knew how talented I was coming in there, how I could move and catch on to things as quickly as he did. I felt like he really kind of grabbed me and said, ‘Come here, I’m going to teach you how to be a great player.’”

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