Baas faces uncertainty as RFA

If things go as many envision, left guard David Baas is in for a tumultous offseason with no assurances he’ll be back in the 49ers’ starting lineup.

 

Baas was the first pick of the second-round pick in the 2005 draft. He started all 16 games last season for the first time in his career. But he did not play at a consistently high enough level to convince the 49ers to try to re-sign him to a long-term deal.

 

Baas is a restricted free agent. The 49ers could have tendered him at the second-round level of $1.809 million for one season, which would give them a second-round pick as compensation if another team wished to sign him to an offer sheet.

 

Instead, the 49ers chose the lower tender of $1.226 million. So if another team signs Baas to an offer sheet and the 49ers decline to match the contract terms, the 49ers would receive a third-round pick.

 

In order to submit an offer sheet, a new club must have available the required choice, defined as its own or better choices in the applicable rounds, in the 2010 draft. Offer sheets may be submitted to an old club by no later than 8:59:59 p.m. (PT) on Friday, April 15.

 

It is doubtful Baas will receive much play on the restricted market. After all, a team would have to: 1) Work out a deal with him that’s lucrative enough that the 49ers would not match; and 2) Be willing to give the 49ers a third-round pick in the upcoming draft.

 

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In speaking to a couple agents at the NFL Scouting Combine, many in that line of work will be advising their clients who are restricted free agents to be in no rush to sign those non-guaranteed contract tenders.

 

Teams that strongly recommend their restricted free agents to sign their tenders to take part in the offseason program might be subject to legal action, one agent told me. But this strategy might backfire for the players who have not nailed down his spot with his team. Those players might run the risk of opening the door for a rookie or free-agent addition to take his job.

 

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Mike Iupati, anyone?

 

I don’t see the 49ers selecting Iupati in the middle of the first round unless they’re convinced he can convert to offensive tackle. The middle of the first round is typically considered too early to select an offensive guard.

 

Teams should be able to find starting offensive guards in the second or third rounds. But – assuming the 49ers get a starting right tackle in the first round – would they really want the challenge of trying to work two rookies into the starting lineup?

 

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Not many of the 49ers’ discards have gone elsewhere and thrived, but Atlanta guard Harvey Dahl is one exception. The Falcons claimed Dahl off the 49ers’ practice squad in 2007. While Baas was protected with a third-round tender, the Falcons placed a first-round tender on Dahl, who brings the kind of attitude to his game that the 49ers desperately need from their offensive line.

 

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The 49ers placed a second-round tender on outside linebacker/pass rusher Ahmad Brooks earlier this week. Brooks’ tender is for $1.759 million. The 49ers applied an upgraded tender to Brooks, so that bumped Baas’ “original-round tender” down to a third-round compensation.

 

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