49ers 2015 free agency live blog: Day 2

This is the live blog for Day 2 of free agency. I will update this with 49ers’ news and analysis.

March 11:

7:15 Reggie Bush will visit the 49ers today, per Matt Maiocco. The Raiders signed Roy Helu yesterday. The Raiders arguably have better running backs the 49ers.

7:20 The 49ers will release Stevie Johnson if/when Torrey Smith passes his physical today, per Ian Rapoport.  I think the 49ers’ new WR trio (Boldin, Smith, Simpson) is better than their old WR trio (Boldin, Crabtree, Johnson). What do you think?

9:08 Would Reggie Bush be a better addition than Indiana running back Tevin Coleman? Or Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford?

9:12 Would Reggie Bush be a better addition than Justin Forsett? Forsett is averaging 5.1 yards per carry in his career, and he has 991 fewer touches in the NFL than Bush.

9:45 The 49ers have $18,393,724 in cap space, according to Spotrac. They have more than enough cap space to sign a starting cornerback. They can afford Chris Culliver, but that doesn’t mean they should re-sign him. There are other good free agent cornerbacks who will be cheaper than Culliver, cornerbacks like Brandon Browner and Alan Ball.

9:56 The Torrey Smith signing probably means the 49ers won’t draft a wide receiver in the first two rounds up the upcoming draft. Instead, the 49ers can draft an offensive lineman, a running back, a cornerback, an outside linebacker or a Nickel inside linebacker in the first two rounds. By “Nickel inside linebacker,” I mean someone who can replace Chris Borland on passing downs.

10:08 If the 49ers sign Reggie Bush, they still should draft a running back because they need someone who can carry the load if Carlos Hyde gets hurt. Neither Bush nor Kendall Hunter can carry the load. Boise State running back Jay Ajayi would be an excellent pick.

10:14 The 49ers might have to give Chris Culliver more than $10 million per year to re-sign him. The Eagles gave Byron Maxwell $10.5 million per year, and Culliver graded much higher than Maxwell on Pro Football Focus last year.

10:23 The 49ers have 40/1 odds of winning Super Bowl 50. Other teams that have 40/1 odds: The Panthers, the Dolphins, the Saints and the Chargers.

10:40 The 49ers have more than enough cap space to sign Adrian Peterson or DeMarco Murray, fyi.

10:55 DeMarco Murray and Carlos Hyde would make a terrific one-two punch.

11:33: Choose the best move:
1. Signing DeMarco Murray
2. Signing Adrian Peterson
3. Drafting Jay Ajayi in the second round
4. Drafting Karlos Williams on Day 3.

10:57 The Cowboys won 8 games in ’13. Then they drafted OL in Rd 1. Then they ran the ball 508 times and won 12 games.

Could the 49ers do that?
8:46 Trent Baalke spoke to a few beat reporters and me in the 49ers’ media room this afternoon. I will transcribe the interview first thing in the morning.

This article has 313 Comments

  1. This year’s WRs will be better than last year’s, whether the #3 is Simpson, Ellington, Patton, or DGB. It’s simple math: Crabtree was terrible last year, and Smith will open up the field. If the field is opened up, Kaepernick will see a lot more running lanes.

    As for your RB question, I don’t know enough about Latavius Murray to say whether he or Hyde is better, but I’d rather have (healthy) Hunter than Helu. And anytime you refer to the 49ers running game, you need to figure in the presence of Kaepernick, who, like Wilson in Seattle, will make the running game that much more explosive/effective. I’d rather see Karlos Williams from FSU (6’1, 230 lbs., 4.48 40) than either Bush or any other draft picks.

    1. I like Karlos Williams as well. The issue I have with him is he runs very straight. This past season he lacked explosion through the line. Which is why towards the end of the season the Seminoles went with the freshman back. I will say Williams does have the body type that can make him successful in the NFL.

  2. Do the 49ers need to sign a FA CB? If they do, and picking from the list of available guys, I’d have to choose Cully over the rest. He’s big, fast, and young, and he can still get better at tracking the ball. He’ll just have to work at it. What the 49ers do NOT need is a guy at or near 30. The youth movement is upon them, and they have Brock, Johnson, Ward, Reaser, and Acker, and can probably get Cook back for a lark.

    On another front, Nick Fairley is still available.

      1. If Culliver was going to get that money, wouldn’t there be news that another team is interested in him ala Byron Maxwell. I think we should get Brandon Browner. We’re going to need a tall CB that can lay the wood.

        1. Exactly cubus. At this point it is looking like the market for Culliver isn’t that hot, so shouldn’t need to spend as much as that for him.

      2. Not a chance I’d pay Culliver even close to that, but we don’t know what the market will bear. If it’s too much, don’t spend.

      3. Culliver isn’t getting 10+ mill a year. PFF or not, Maxwell is seen as the better CB. Doesn’t mean it’s true, but that is the perception. Culliver will likely get closer to th 7-8 range max.

  3. I don’t like the idea of signing Bush or Forsett. RBs are dime a dozen, and I’d rather spend a mid-round draft pick on a RB with a low salary and that will be on the team for the next 4 years as well.

    He reminds me too much of LMJ. We need another bruiser like Hyde to be a backup, in case Hyde goes down. If Hyde gets injured, and all we have is Hunter/Bush, it kinda changes our complexion on offense.

          1. I like his size, speed, vision combination and he impressed me in a couple of the big games I saw. Big school, big games. Also, he’s had some scrapes with the law but has since gotten married and started a family, so I think he’d be a safe bet. (But who knows!)

          2. I was thinking of another back. I like Ajayi also. He can play out of the spread, is big and tough, has soft hands, and quick feet. I’d be happy with either Ajayi or Williams, but I think Williams will be around in Rd 4-5, whereas Ajayi will likely be gone by the 49ers 3rd Rd pick.

      1. I agree Grant. Always prefer the draft over free agency. All these teams that overspend end up cutting these same players within 3 yrs and don’t win squat. Ajayi all the way

      2. Sorry Grant, but J-Train likes to run East and West too much. He uses his speed to run outside. That won’t translate well to the NFL. Coleman is the better choice.

          1. Very aggressive, one cut runner. Really like what I see from him. My only real knocks on him are he does run a little upright, and he could stand to show a little more patience sometimes.

            I see one ex-scout for the Bears has said he’s the best RB in the draft. He may ultimately be right. I do think Coleman is currently very underrated.

            1. @Scooter….That film clip on Coleman is impressive (as it is intentended), but I like his pad level, and as for that occasional ‘upright’, I think that is his vision downfield…he sure gets through the line in a hurry.

      1. I agree on this Grant. This is not a win now team but a building team. Murray or Peterson would start hurting Hyde’s development. If he’s really our future back then pick a 3/4th rounder to develop, contribute and to push Hyde. We also need that money in some other positions.

  4. “The 49ers have $18,393,724 in cap space, according to Spotrac.”

    I knew we had a fair amount of cap space available but I didn’t think it was this much. They did a great job of keeping T. Smith’s 2015 cap hit relatively low.

    They better do something with this extra space and not turn into one of those “cheapa$$” teams that keeps a fair amount of cap space but suck every year. With the Yorks you just never know.

    1. Cubus I do’nt believe that there are any “cheapass” teams any longer. I think the latest CBA stipulates that all teams have to be within a certain amount from the cap. Teams like the Bengals can no longer field teams only using half of the cap. I ca’nt remember how close to the cap max teams have to be but its pretty close. Teams can be cheap and save money other ways but not in the area of players salaries.

      1. OC: It is getting better, but an example is the Browns who rolled over $25 million from 2013 to 2014.

        As I understand it there is a 89% cash spending rule that applies over the four year span of 2013 to 2016. Cash spend and cap hit within a certain year are usually different, but tend to approach each other over time. Cash spend includes, for example, the complete amount of a signing bonus whereas cap hit prorates the signing bonus. So it is possible to have a lower cap hit than cash spend in a particular year – but again when totaled up over say a four year period, the numbers tend to approach each other.

  5. “10:14 The 49ers might have to give Chris Culliver more than $10 million per year to re-sign him. The Eagles gave Byron Maxwell $10.5 million per year, and Culliver graded much higher than Maxwell on Pro Football Focus last year.”

    Again, wouldn’t another team have already indicated interest. I think the unresolved legal problems are scaring other teams away. Culliver should be able to be signed for cheaper. Get Browner instead!

  6. Johnson looked pretty good late in the season last year and I am curious how Acker and Reaser pan out- didn’t Acker run a 4.3, is 6 1″ and play point guard? Seems like we have some possible depth for the future there.

    I was a big Culliver fan, but I let him go for anything north of $5 per year.

    Right now, I think we need speed at LB with not knowing more about Bowman’s recovery process.

    1. Agreed. We drafted 4 CBs last year, let’s get some use out of them. I would love to keep Cully, but not for that money.

      Though I think you are using Reaser’s 40, and Acker’s height. But if Reaser really does run a 4.3 and can put up 225 on the bench 22x, he’s one heck of an athlete.

  7. Another excellent off-season of cap and contract management by the Niners.
    I don’t see the Niners signing Cully for much over something like 4yr-$28M-$16 “guaranteed”.
    Baalke did in FA what Baalke does in FA — met immediate needs so that he can go BPA and/or focus on mid-term (1-2 years) and long-term (2-3 years) needs in draft.

    1. If he had similar production from last season throughout his career then he’d be worth it. Another example of the Chiefs overspending.

          1. Peterson is a freak. Remember how quickly he came back from that ACL?

            Murray would have a lot more carries if he stayed healthy throughout his career. Also check out the track record of RBs that had a similar amount of touches Murray had last year. There’s usually a fall off in production.

            1. Both guys would move the needle.

              If the Niners draft OL in the first round and sign Murray, they could finish 2015 with the No.1 rushing attack.

              1. No argument here. Splitting carries with Hyde would probably be a good situation for Murray. I still lean towards drafting a guy. Rookie RBs are generally ready to play. A guy like Ajayi, Langford, or Karlos Williams could contribute right away. And would be on a cheap contract for 4 years.

    1. I say Peterson.
      Much of Murray’s success should be attributed to the Oline.
      AP is a rare talent.
      Still…neither will happen.

            1. Even those who advocate signing him wouldn’t suggest a lengthy contract so age isn’t really a huge concern.
              I’d sure rather play with him than against him though.

        1. The Niners can sign Murray, draft an OL, but you forget they have a better pure passer in Tony Romo. If Murray can run out of the pistol, then we have something to report!

    2. Neither. Peterson would cost a ridiculous amount and he’s close to 30. Murray meanwhile has the curse of having too many carries last season. Every back that was rode on like he was failed to produce afterwards.

    3. I wouldn’t sign either one. Major dollars that could be better spent elsewhere. Murray has also had problems staying healthy. Last year was the first time he made it through a full season.

  8. I asked this question yesterday and would really like an answer. Is there any possibility that Ahmad Brooks could move to ILB? I’m assuming that he comes to training camp in shape and lighter (maybe around 245 lbs). He did a great job in that role for a few plays in the Carolina playoff game, but those were goal line stands. In those plays playing inside versus outside was probably pretty much the same.

    1. Sure, he could make that switch, he’s played ILB previously. He can jump offsides from almost anywhere, no doubt. While he’s OK for a big guy dropping into coverage he’s not like a healthy Bow or (sniff) PWilly. Actually Moody might be able to sub as a Nickel backer.

      1. BT: I’m looking someone that can beat up on Jimmy Graham. I hadn’t thought about Moody. Moody is 6’1″ and 236lbs while Brooks is 6’4″ and in the 250 to 260 lb range. No, Brooks certainly wouldn’t be as good as Willis was in his prime.

        1. Moody a former DB who can run. I actually think Brooks could intimidate Graham more from SLB position even in rotation with Lynch. They’d line up over him and work him over. When he is split out wide none of our backers are going to match up Mano a mano.

              1. Maybe. But while posting on this blog during the SB I kept calling for NE to put Browner on C. Matthews. They finally did it and Browner shut down Matthews who was killing NE.

                And to be honest, I’m tired of the Seahags beating up on us every game over the last few seasons. It seems like every game we lose a couple of players to injury when we play them.

              2. Browner played great in the SB and should’ve been an mvp consideration. He did great after that switch, and his jam on the receiver enabled the pick.

            1. He’s got talent for sure and he’s effective. I don’t know that our offense can afford to give up 11pts a game though. All of us hate losing to the Hawks. We need to score points and improve offensively more than defense against them.

              1. I would have agreed with you prior to the Jimmy Graham signing. Wilson throws a good air ball and Jimmy’s going to be his new favorite target. Maybe not an exact comparison, but I’m reminded of how B. Marshall killed us in that Chicago game. For some reason Fangio refused to help Jimmy Ward.

              2. Sure Wilson. I’m not clear, though, on what your strategy is for playing against the Hawks now that they have Jimmy Graham.

              1. Sorry, should have scrolled down before posting that!, Browner was good in the SB, but I’d still worry. I also think with Seattle you could double Graham, their WR’s aren’t that great, It’s Wilson making them look good, deck Wilson, beat the Hawks (easier said than done I know), case in point, C Matthews in the SB lol.

              1. Okay, but I think you are forgetting about M. Lynch and Wilson. NO never had a “beast mode” and Brees while not incapable does not have the scrambling ability of Wilson. I also think we absolutely need to get more pressure on the opposing QB this year. Against Seattle, that would be of equal importance to beating up their receivers/TE.

              2. I agree Wilson’s scrambling ability makes him more dangerous that Bree’s and makes Graham a greater threat when a play breaks down. Ingram tore us up rushing for 120yds last season but Lynch is the best for sure. Browner is great and plays well. I just don’t see Baalke putting big money on him when he generally goes for cheaper DB’s like Cook as veterans. He spends his money on young DB’s. Thanks for the friendly interchange.

  9. In his press conference today while defending his acquisition of Bradford Chip K. said he wasn’t the only one who liked him, and that Philly was offered a #1 for him this morning. Curious.

    1. What!!? Where has all of this love for Sam Bradford come from all of a sudden. He’s played all of ten games, I think, over the last two seasons.

    2. I call BS on that one.
      Chip’s just covering his butt.
      All he needed to say is that Bradford will fit his offense and that’s it–it’s his call, period.
      Commen sense would indicate to me that if Philly was offered a 1…then STL must’ve been offered a 1 as well.
      And if they were, why wouldn’t they have taken it?

      1. Package them with some picks. Or see which one is worth more then package them with some picks. To get Mariota he has to get in the Top 10. He’s going to give up a lot but that’s the only reasoning I can come up with.

      2. Chip said today that there’s no way he’d mortgage the team’s future to move up that far; so I guess there’s a +/- 40% chance he does.

        1. Sounds right to me.
          He got Bradford to run his spread attack.
          And IF Bradford can stay healthy, the offense is perfect for him and should flourish.

  10. Updated fan mock(ie not what I predict Baalke will pick):(1)Niners (unlikely) luck Shane Ray DE is still on the board and we run to the podium with envelope;(2) Stephane Anthony LB pon filled;(3)Jeremy Langford RB or David Johnson Alt;(4)Tre McbrideWR;(4b comp) Ronald Darby CB;(5)Imoan Claiborne CB;(6)Zach Hodges OLB;(7)Zack Zenner RB/FB(7) staying with Conner Halliday QB.

      1. Hightop-
        Leo Kottke?
        And no kidding he just came up on my random music scramble as I typed that.
        PS-too many mocks to comment on, but we read it.

            1. Hallelujah! I caught Leo here in P-Town a couple of years ago. He’s still great and engaging between songs.
              OregonNiner- not surprised you knew, I got that album for Christmas from my buddy’s sister who was attending OU at the time.
              You do realize we’re relics, right?

  11. From Maiocco Twitter:

    “At Louisville pro day, WR DeVante Parker listed the 49ers among the handful of teams that had meetings with him. SF has No. 15 overall pick.”

    1. Trent Baalke was at the UofL-Florida State game. If he can make this happen it would be great. I’m also a fan of their LB/DE Lorenzo Mauldin.

    2. He missed the first half of the season and tore it up in the second half.
      I love this kid!
      Any idea what is injury was that kept him out of the first half?

      1. Foot Injury. He was literally unstoppable. He was the only true receiver they had. Defenses knew the ball was coming to him and could not stop him.

        1. Must’ve been fairly serious to keep him out for that long.
          Hope it hasn’t lingered.
          Foot problems can plague WRs i.e. Crabtree.

    3. Parker won’t make it to 15, they’d have to trade up for him. I’d love to see him in a Niner uni but it is unlikely.

  12. Grant: Your reasoning to sign Murray and draft an OL in the first round seems to be sound. Along with the new speed at WR, we could be formidable, IF CK is able to improve.

    1. The fact that Bush is coming in for a visit tells me that that scenerio is highly unlikely.
      Our big aquisition was TSmith.

    2. I agree Cubus.

      Grant – Is that $18mil cap number including Torrey’s hit and the release of Stevie???

      We have so much cap space it’s crazy. We need to reload majorly. I like the Torrey signing but I have to think Baalke is not done. Murray or AP would make sense. Our defense is obviously not going to be what it was, so let’s load up this offense.

      I also would hate to give Culliver $10 mil/yr, that would hurt for sure.

      1. There is no way Culliver is getting $10 million. In order to get that much from the 49ers there has to be someone else willing to pay that much. Have we heard of any interest? At that compensation level, I think we would have heard something. And even if it is $10 million, Baalke/Maraag will pass.

        1. The only team I have heard there is interest from is the Vikings. The Jets were showing interest but then signed Revis.

          It doesn’t sound like Culliver is going to be getting massive offers.

          1. I suspect the niners have an offer on the table for Cully, and once all the smoke clears he’ll take it…. I say somewhere close to that Rogers deal a few years back.

  13. Grant, the Cowboys-related question is interesting, but which lineman in the first round and I am assuming you mean Iupati’s spot?

    What about Brandon Thomas’ prospects to replace Iupati? Could he already be that guy to whom you’re referring and shouldn’t the focus be on getting someone like Duke Johnson to pair with Hyde in a zone-blocking/stretch running scheme under Foerster?

    Assuming even a modest improvement from Kap in the pocket along with lots of playaction and bootleg action off of the zone-stretch, we could field a very dangerous passing and running offense.

    What say you?

    1. Thomas didn’t practice last year, he was injured. Let him develop on the bench for one more season, then take over for Boone in 2016.

      1. Exactly.
        He’ll have to restructure wherever he goes, methinks.
        (Please Football Gods, do’nt let him go to Arizona!)

      1. One thing about all those injuries last year is that a number of 2nd tier guys got some live game reps. Really helps going into the next season.

    1. I’ve seen it suggested before for him or Gurley and it could be a good option depending on how the board shakes out, but I’d rather get somebody later at a better value.

      1. Exactly.
        Why take a RB that high unless they’ve already written off Hyde?
        They’re not so good that they have luxury picks.
        They have needs, and RB isn’t their greatest one.

        1. I think rb is the biggest need on offense. We have 2 centers, one of which can play guard instead, and brandon thomas. The other person i could see trading back in the first round for is j strong

    1. Reported to camp over weight and out of shape.

      Played like it most of the year.

      Got benched twice for insubordination because he was not getting as much playing time as he wanted in the last third of the season.

      His cap number far out reached his current playing ability if 2014 is the measuring stick.

      He made plays in 2012 and 2013 that he couldn’t make in 2014.


  14. Grant or anyone,
    when these FA’s like Bush come visit, what approximate percentage has Baalke closed the deal? I know it gets complicated due to agents over pricing their clients and all of the back and forth negotiating. But it seems like Baalke does pretty good when he gets guys in, or am I wrong?… Kurt Warner said no, Peyton Manning did not come visit, they went to him.

      1. Well, the interviewees can get an idea of what kind of offer they’ll get by where the Niners put them up. If they comp you Motel 6 you can pretty well figure………

    1. So about overpaying for Torrey Smith….

      He was and so was Maclin and Johnson. The WR market was weak this year.

  15. BS alert!!! I just listened to Dolphins owner and GM try to sell how wonderful a PERSON Ndamukong Suh is. What a tremendous teammate he is and his charity donations etc etc……What a crock of $hit man! Hey Suh, money doesn’t buy character!

  16. One thing about Suh’s new contract: his next 3-game suspension for dangerous play will cost him a wheelbarrow-load of Benjamins!

          1. Interesting. You want to get rid of a guy that we know is a fit for the 49ers in Brooks because you believe he won’t be happy being a backup and want to replace him with a guy that is a natural fit for a 4-3 and played disinterested last season despite being a starter?

            1. I did not know that he played disinterested last season Scooter. It hard to say whether it was that or the fact that it was Bucs’ scheme. My thinking is that Tomsula and Tarver could work with him to realize his potential. Plus we don’t know if Brooks is still a fit for the 49ers. They’re sticking with a 3-4 but are supposed to be more aggressive with blitzing, and I think Lynch fits better in regards to that.

              Bring him in on a one-year ‘prove me’ deal and let him compete against Lynch Elite. If he stumbles, then release him and sign another backup.

              1. first crabtree is better than torrey smith((crab hasent been the same tore his achilles) now you wanna bring a 4-3 dend in a 3-4 scheme smh o boi.

      1. Not a good fit.

        I was just pointing out the Buc’s consistent failure in signing FAs to big contracts(Goldson, Nicks, etc.)

        1. Grime, I wasn’t referring to your comment. I was talking about mids cause he said he would be a good addition. I just don’t think it’s a fit at all.

          1. I know. I was responding to Mid as well. I hadn’t refreshed so I didn’t see your comment until after I posted and, clearly, I agree with you.

    1. This from PFT:

      “Pears, 33 in June, has started 55 games for the Bills the past four seasons, but was throughly abused in pass pro and as a run blocker last season, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 76th-ranked guard out of 78 qualifiers.”

      Better than Martin??

    2. “Pears, 33 in June, has started 55 games for the Bills the past four seasons, but was throughly abused in pass pro and as a run blocker last season, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 76th-ranked guard out of 78 qualifiers” No thank you.

      1. Kauai, Rocket, George – Lol you guys are kool cats…….Hey what’s up with the entire nation thinking the Niners suck now and they’re rebuilding? Don’t they know the biggest problem (Greg Roman) is outa here? Niners are rejoicing not rebuilding.

  17. Boldin, Smith, Simpon best collection of Niner wrs in years Mr. Baalke. Problem this is not 2012, 2013, 2014. Apart from that..

    1. Whats your point. Its not those years. This team has officially moved in another direction. Apparently those offenses werent good enough to get it done. New year, new regine!! Get over it people

  18. Maiocco:

    “Former Baltimore Ravens receiver Torrey Smith passed his physical and officially sign a five-year contract with the 49ers, the team announced.”

  19. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported this afternoon that Murray personally reached out to the Eagles, perhaps with designs on facing the Cowboys twice per year. Murray feels slapped in the face by Dallas, which rode him into the ground in 2014 on a career-threatening workload, before offering him a deal worth just $5 million per year. The level of Philadelphia’s interest is not known, but Murray might be willing to go there on a cost-friendly deal to spite the Cowboys.

    Baalke just might be able to get Murray for $12M for 2 years. He’s motivated to get out of Dallas.

  20. A good running game hides a multitude of sins on defense and the passing game.

    Greg Cosell recently said there is such a shortage of college quarterbacks from pro style offenses, teams might start drafting running backs higher in the near future.

    – Signing DeMarco Murray: Worth considering. I agree. He’d be a great compliment to Hyde.

    – Signing Adrian Peterson: No.

    – Jay Ajayi in the second round: Works for me. Might be able to trade back in the 2nd and still get him.

    – Karlos Williams on Day 3: Only if the 49ers are truely changing to a zone running system. His length and upright running would have a hard time in the current system. His character issues must be deemed fixed.

    1. I would go after Adrian Peterson if we can’t obtain Murray.
      I know that Peterson will never live down what he did to his son and he will carry that in his heart for the rest of his life, but people have been given a second chance for much worse.

      I’m not as forgiving when an adult hurts a child that can’t defend him/herself, but AP was suspended for most of the season. Peterson has also shown sincere contrition and has been allowed to continue his NFL career by the commissioners office.
      I would be cautiously vigil of AP going forward, but I would also be willing to give him a second chance.

      1. I just don’t understand this conversation that’s been running today on the blog. What are the realistic chances that any kind of serious play is made for either one of those two RBs? I don’t see how they fit the budget or TB’s m.o. I wasn’t sure he’d go hard for Torrey, but he kept the costs in line.peterson and Murray have high $ expectations I suspect.

  21. Why all the need for a running backs when we have Hyde as a starter? Waste a top three draft pick this year or next year for someone who might just get a few hand offs or put Hyde on the bench! We need OL who will allow for Kappernick lack of ability look off the receivers; anything under 3 seconds is not enough time to have our QB look good. I say the draft in the first three rounds should have Balke drafting an OL,DL, CB or an edge rusher. Running back in the fourth rd. at the earliest!

  22. Matt Maiocco ✔ @MaioccoCSN
    Boldin on Kap’s deep ball: “At times, we just didn’t call it. But I definitely think he has the ability to throw the ball down the field.”

  23. Cam Inman ✔ @CamInman
    Former #49ers G Mike Iupati, at intro presser w/ #Cardinals, said he played through a broken foot last season (per @Cardschatter)

  24. Apparently it is now official that Stevie Johnson has been released… although we have heard this before!

    Apparently he could be back though.

    Matt Barrows ✔ @mattbarrows
    As foreshadowed this morning, WR Stevie Johnson has been released from #49ers. Team, player both open to his return but at right price.

    1. I don’t see the point in signing Johnson back to the team when we have Ellington and Patton starving for playing time. The only way those two receivers can get better is to get some quality PT. They won’t get that opportunity playing behind Boldin, Smith, Johnson, and Simpson.

  25. Boldin on what speed means for the team (from Matt Maiocco):

    “It all plays a part in the big picture. When you have Torrey outside stretching the field and me working intermediate, it gives Vernon a chance to go one-on-one. And to be honest with you, I don’t think any safety or linebacker can run with Vernon one on one. Hopefully, we can take advantage of that.”

    1. Grant really hit the nail on the head last year after the trade for Johnson when he said the 49ers now had three WRs that provided pretty much the same skill set.

      While I liked the move for Johnson at the time, in retrospect they really did need a guy to stretch the field and open things up for everyone else. Torrey Smith is that guy.

    2. Well hopefully Vernon is playing like he wants to.. Last year he just did not seem like he wanted to be out there.

  26. From Rapoport:

    “More free agent carnage RT @NFLSTROUD: The #Bucs are preparing to release S Dashon Goldson once they complete a deal for S Chris Conte.”

    Should we, at the right price?

      1. They and Washington are the poster boys as to why you don’t go big in free agency signing a bunch of stars at once. Dream team NFL? Anybody remember philly? Ouch. Haynesworth with wash was a great deal… Lol

  27. Seems to me, if I’m Baalke, I’m going for broke. If Niners suck, he’s gone. Flat gone. To me there r three players in the draft that can put us above Seattle. Pick#1 – Trae Waynes, or Danny Shelton. Trade back into first and grab Jaelen Strong. If we take Waynes, we get an elite cover corner who reminds me of Richard Sherman. He will immediately cut the field in half against Seattle (terrible outside WR). Danny Shelton plays on Seattle’s most glaring weakness after the graham trade; center. With his ability to push the pocket, Lynch will struggle to find yards inside. Coming back into the first to get Strong gives us a WR ver similar in strength and style to Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin gave the Seahawks fits in the playoffs this year as a rookie.

    I believe one of the first two and Strong would put us in a great position to beat the Hawks this year. Let’s see how smart Baalke really is. Really, he has nothing to lose.

    1. Trae Waynes will be good, but I only want to trade up for him if he’s going to be a (true) “shut down” corner.

      By True Shut Down”, I mean a player that can cover a teams #1 or #2 receiver with no safety help. It means a defense can have an extra safety to stack the box or play the lurk role. A huge advantage.

      I’ve seen a few highlights, but they only show the ends of plays. What I want to see is his backpedal, and ability to close separation.

      Anyone know of good youtube footage of Wayne covering the whole route?

        1. O-line is on the list too. I like Scherff at LG, but Marcus Martin or Thomas might fill in very well in that spot. That would leave us with Boone as the Swing Tackle with only a year on hos contract. (Thomas might be swing tackle at some point).

          1. I like Scherff as well, but he does not fit Baalke’ physical ideal of looking for players with long arms.
            But the kid is a ball’r and that will get him drafted in the top 12-15.

  28. I don’t see the point in signing Johnson back to the team when we have Ellington and Patton starving for playing time. The only way those two receivers can get better is to get some quality PT. They won’t get that opportunity playing behind Boldin, Smith, Johnson, and Simpson.

    1. Boldin isn’t getting younger, if he goes down this season it would be nice to have johnson another possession reciever ready to go and balling.

      1. I think Patton could sub for him at Z and Ellington & Simpson at X and slot. I think many times Torrey and Vernon line up on the same side; harder to Double ’em.

      1. I understand the logic of resigning Johnson. I just hate the idea of Patton and Ellington wasting away on the bench not getting any game reps

        1. Chris….I understand your concerns about young players ‘atrophying’ and share them as well….I guess that all we can hope for is a better rotation that should keep those others ‘fresh’….none of those guys is young, Harbaugh should have been breaking them in slowly but he chose to wear his starters down the whole game. Bad management IMO

  29. Some tweets from Matt Maiocco (the first one is big):

    1)Baalke: OLB Ahmad Brooks will be on the 49ers this season.

    2) Baalke: The 49ers have had no contact with or any interest in signing Greg Hardy.

    3)Did Mike Iupati play with a fractured foot last season? “Not to my knowledge,” 49ers GM Trent Baalke said. “That’s news to me.”

    4) GM Trent Baalke: No team has called the 49ers about Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers have not called or talked to any team about trading him.

    1. 1) At a reduced salary, that’s a good thing.
      2) Not surprised given his troubles. Doesn’t fit the scheme anyways. 4-3 DE.
      3) If it’s true that he had a broken foot and didn’t tell anyone, Arizona should be concerned. Otherwise, Balke’s BS-ing.
      4) Never believed this from the start. Wouldn’t surprise me to see them taking a QB a little earlier than usual though.

  30. And from Cam Inman on Twitter (via PFT):

    49ers RE Justin Smith is “still sorting” through his retirement decision.
    GM Trent Baalke has no plans to force Smith’s hand. “Justin Smith has earned the right to announce his playing status on his own time,” Baalke said. Baalke also added that Smith will either be all in or all out in 2015. Previous reports had suggested Smith could return mid-season.

  31. It’s hydes turn. I believe he will be a beast.
    Draft day. Take Waynes with the first pick, an Olineman early second.
    Get your money together and sign Hardy. Just get it done. Take the suspension of you have to. Make him a 49er.
    There I’m set.

  32. Demarco Murray scores a TD for every 33.3 attempts. Adrian Peterson scores a TD every 23 attempts.

    Now I know we’re talking about a new philosophy and set of coaches but last year the 49ers averaged 29.4 rushing attempts per game. If we signed Peterson we’d get at least 1 rushing TD a game with Murray it would be 1 every other game. Based on those averages. Of course you do also have to consider that not one single back gets every carry. However at 23 attempts per TD Peterson is still far more likely to score each week based upon his career average then Murray.

  33. Chris Biderman @ChrisBiderman
    I asked Baalke if the Jimmy Graham trade changed the #49ers offseason approach. “Not unless you can find a 6’6″ safety.”


  34. “Under new offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, Baalke said ‘you will see some changes philosophically, but how much and how we use personnel, that’s what they’re meeting on now, 24/7.’”

    Thanks for clearing that up Trent.

  35. Did you read the article about Frank Gore on ESPN? I’m sad to see him go but happy he landed in Indy. Luck is coming into his own. If they draft a few more players to play D, and one good OL, then they are set. They have good coaching, play indoors, they just have to get past NE, which will be on the decline.
    I don’t think Gore is there to just run either, he’s always been great and picking up blitzes. Watch how they use him on passes in the flat too. Watch and learn KAEP!

    1. Fan,
      Agree with the comments regarding Gore.
      And of course, where would this blog be without you using any and every topic to take a shot at CK.
      No one will ever accuse you of ever being inconsistent bud ; >)

        1. Fan,
          Yup, I actually set it up prior to Harbaugh going to Michigan. It’s a helmet with a block letter M super imposed over a full stadium.
          The Big House will be an interesting watch in 2015.

        1. Looking at 5-tech’s I’d say #2 would be between Smith and Goldman for me. Not sure which way I’d go atm. I prefer Smith and Goldman to Armstead.

          Malcolm Brown is a decent DL but I think he’s more a 3-tech than a 5-tech. And Shelton, Phillips and Davis are more NT/DTs than DEs.

  36. IMO, by waiting out on Justin Smith,taking their time on Stevie Johnson release and by not releasing Brooks it tells me that Baalke is in no hurry to spend anymore money and is content with the team. I don’t see any major signings,hope I am wrong.

    1. Grant, if we didn’t have the upheaval we’ve had this off season would Willis still have retired? Could he have been swayed to play another season by the coaches that were let go?

    2. Grant

      Keep up the prolific work. Are you of the opinion that the 49ers have NO shot at the Super Bowl this year too? It sure sounds like it, from the tone of your article.

      But really, if the team hadn’t been decimated by injuries last season, it would have made the playoffs, and this offseason wouldn’t have played out this way.

      Gore is done. He will contribute to the Colts, but the Colts won’t win the Super Bowl. Gore is also not a leader. Never was. If he was a leader, he wouldn’t have been so selfish about sharing carries. His petulance when he was on the sideline was fervent and obvious.

      Don’t write off Justin Smith just yet. If he wanted to retire, he could have done it this week with Willis. No question Smith is a leader, but he might not be gone.

      Willis? There’s speculation somewhere that he wasn’t the biggest fan of Harbaugh, so it’s hard to say that he would have come back if Harbaugh had remained.

      Leadership? I’ll give it to Boldin, Torrey Smith, Joe Staley, Kaep; Reid, Bethea, Bowman.

      The team will be fine. Back to the playoffs in 2015.

    3. This kinda reminds me of the Ravens 2012 postseason when the lost Boldin, Lewis and Reed.

      Many of the same things were said about them, and they suffered through an injury riddled 2013 before getting it turned around this year.

      1. After winning the Super Bowl, the 1982 49ers went 3-6. The main culprit… they lost eight starters to injury.

        The 2014 49ers went 8-8. The also lost eight starters to injury… on defense alone!

        Players matter.

        Relatively healthy, the 49ers could be a surprise team of 2015. Bowman will be key.

      2. Good call Jack. I think the difference is that we seem to have the quality depth on defense, to hopefully recover this year. Its been pointed out that with all the injuries last year a lot of our young guys (Dontae Johnson, Borland, Moody, Dial, Lynch, Ward, etc.) were able to get some quality reps. Yes we lost a lot of leadership and experience, this is where Baalke’s draft expertise gets put to the test.

        I would like to see us add some secondary help, before we enter the draft. But this year will be very interesting regardless. It’s time for the next generation to take over.

        1. This training camp and OTA’s are going to be intense….new players, new system additions, new coaches in new places…it’s going to be exciting

    4. Other will step-up, they always do. Bethea is definitely one. Reid and Dockett also come to mind. I know Dockett has been known for trash talking, especially on the social media, but that doesn’t necessarily translate in the locker room or on the field. I think another leader that might step up is Borland, MLB is a position of leadership, he’ll be in the mix also.

      Just because those guys have been the leaders for quite sometime, doesn’t mean they’re aren’t other leaders on the team. They just haven’t been given the chance, yet.

  37. The 2012 draft should be contributing right now big time. If we had at least 2-3 players from the draft on the team starting or playing regularly , we’d be in way better position to compete this year. We’d be able to bundle picks and move up to get key replacements to our studs. Oh well……

  38. From Walter Football:

    “Also working out yesterday was Colorado-Pueblo signal-caller Chris Bonner, a favorite of mine. By all accounts, Bonner was terrific as only four balls hit the ground. Everyone I spoke with mentioned his rifle arm and his accuracy. Bonner will be working out again during the San Diego State pro day.”

    Bonner is the late round developmental QB I hope the 49ers take.

    1. 835 attempts in two seasons is a lot, was that a spread offense? Nice Td/Int ratio, I like my QB prospects completion % to be in the 60’s but with all those attempts nearly 58% is decent. He seems thin for his height. I didn’t see his age but since he’s a senior he’s in the 21-23 range most likely so he’s about done developing. That frame will need to bulk up to withstand NFL hits.

      I still see him as a UFA but wouldn’t disparage using a 7th on him.

      1. He does look lanky, so could do with some bulking up. I’d have no qualms with the 49ers using a 7th on him if they like him just to make sure they get him.

        I posted a review of him previously that showed how he’s got a pretty good feel for the pocket and moving in the pocket to avoid pressure while keeping his eyes down field. As Walter Football says he’s got a strong arm too, though from what I’ve seen he needs to learn to put more air under his passes – he line drives most of his throws atm.

        1. In the tubes I just reviewed, he has a nice arm, climbs the pocket and can throw on the move. Throws a nice bubble screen too.

          But he has lots to clean up. He holds the ball too low in the pocket, which adds motion (time) to his release. Its also a fumble concern. Stares down targets. Throws into crowds. Raw.

          In contrast, Kory Faulkner’s footage was far more polished, and he got cut in camp. Still a mystery why he didn’t stick.

    1. I say if we do draft an OL or CB at 15, we try to move up in the 2nd round to get him. That’s if he’s still there.

  39. The national press is all agog over the huge “guaranteed” money Torrey Smith is getting. Pundits from walterfootall to nfl.com are “grading” the 49ers a D- for this acquisition.

    If they bothered to even look, they would realize Torrey Smith’s contract is structured much like Kaepernicks. Smith’s getting $8.75M (fully) guaranteed, not $22. The signing bonus.

    The rest is a “rolling guarantee” tied to roster and other incentives.

    Torrey is by no means coming cheap, but the deal isn’t the head shaker national media make it to be.

    1. Andre Johnson signed a 21 million dollar contract. IMHO he is better than the one trick pony Smith is. It’s not a great signing at all. The organization paid to put something they thought would be positive in the headlines. They had to take the attention off Miller, Willis, Jim Harbaugh, their owner running his mouth about a questionable signing. So, they paid Smith to do that.

      1. Andre Johnson is the same type of receiver they already had in Crabtree and Stevie Johnson. The move for Smith was about creating space, which was something the offense missed last year.

        As Brodie pointed out above, the national pundits that are ripping the deal because of the $22mil guarantee aren’t doing their due diligence. We saw the same type of initial reaction to the Kaepernick deal a year ago.

      2. Matt,

        As others have said, Johnson is more of what we already had and is entering the twilight of his career. Smith may be a one trick pony, but that trick is exceptional and something sorely needed on this team. The contract is not what it appears and the people ripping it are either too lazy or set on a narrative, to read the actual details of it.

        Smith is the type of WR this team has needed for quite some time and it was a very good move imo.

      3. Andre Johnson is great. Certainly a more complete receiver. A good get by the Colts. I think the contracts are a bit of an Apples to Oranges comparison.

        Andre Johnson, 33 years old, 3-year Contract

        Torrey Smith, 26 years old, 5-year Contract

    2. I know exactly what you mean Brodie. I’m done with the media. Every move we make they try to put the most negative spin on it.

      Ironically, Grant has actually been a lot more positive in our moves than I thought he would be.

      I’m done listening and wasting my time responding to those idiots.

    3. Niners are toast in the national media’s current narrative. Dumpster fire. Its unpleasant for us but it doesn’t mean a thing. Worst team in the NFC one genius said. We’ll see.
      As long as Bow can get back near form SF should be competitive. Folks want to predict Niners in the cellar they can, the fellas can just quietly tend to their bidnez.

      1. I would love nothing more than for the niners to shut everyone up this year. But they’ve (jed/trent) put themselves here, so they’ll have to dig themselves out.

        I’m liking the new look of this offense, youth and speed seems to be the theme. The O-line is mostly intact, aside from Iupati, which we can address in the draft or let the competition play out between Thomas, Looney, and Martin. If Kaepernick can make some significant strides this season, we could have a very good year, offensively.

        Defense is a little more worrisome. Bowmanm has to come back at 100%. A Bowman/Borland combo will be exciting to watch. Lynch and Aldon will look strong coming off the edge. My concern now is the secondary, I’m hoping we’ll see a legitimate signing soon, maybe Culliver.

      2. And I laugh everytime I hear them speak on SF. They do absolutely zero homework on west coast teams and pretend they know what they’re talking about. The only one I listen to is Billick. He has integrity and does his homework before talking. This team is going to suprise a lot of idiots next season.
        And I’ll watch the same team play hard and win games like the past 3 out of 4 years.

  40. Grant, great article on bleacher report. I agree with majority of it. One thing I do not agree with is this line. “Kaepernick isn’t a leader, either. He is the guy who gets into shouting matches with opposing players during games.” Boldin is forever getting into shouting matches with opposing players.

    One thing many people who never played sports on higher levels do not take into account is the passion that is expressed on the field. Players are talking the entire game.

  41. If smith retires do we gain additional cap room?
    I think we sign a CB, then we sit on the cap room for a while and add some value pieces later when some of these FA asking prices go down. Not going to overspend now

  42. Baalke yesterday:

    “We’re working on a couple of other things still, and then you got a draft,” Baalke said. “I can see the thought process you may have, but internally we feel good about the group and where it can go.”

  43. I would love to get spiller on an incentive based deal. He is a better version of reggie bush. I like him and hyde combo

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