Free agency question

Which non-49er would you most like Trent Baalke to sign during free agency, and why?

  1. I think Will Blackmon or Emmanual Sanders would both be great fits in San Fran. A deep threat receiver and a veteran, physical cornerback.

    1. I don’t know why everyone keeps wanting to grab big physical CBs like Seattle. That’s not the only way to win, and oh by the way, their receivers are not big. So how does getting big at DB help us beat them anyway?

      All we need to do is find CBs that fit our defensive philosophy in terms of how long they need to cover based on how soon our our D-line and OLB needs to get to the QB.

  2. If they are after a stop gap CB then guys like Rashean Mathis, Drayton Florence or Will Blackmon are definitely worth a look. Charles Tillman too, though he’s coming off a down year.

    I’ve mentioned Chris Cook previously as a guy that was a wrong fit at Minnesota and may flourish in a more man-heavy scheme, but as razor pointed out he’s a bit of a mental case and injury prone. So probably not a goer.

    If they are willing to spend the $$ then Sam Shields is worth a look too, but he’ll likely get good money elsewhere.

    I don’t really see a WR option in FA that is worth pursuing outside of Boldin. They are better off going the draft option.

    At safety, if they can’t keep Whitner then Bernard Pollard is worth a look.

    1. Oops forgot the why part. I don’t know how he grades out in coverage but he’s 6’1″ 214′lbs and had 92 tackles last season, so I’m not concerned with his ability to come up and stop larger running backs. He ran the same 40 time as Whitner but is quite a bit larger.This will be the second year in a row that I’ve asked for him to replace Whitner.

      Ideally I’d like the 49ers the sign Clemons to play SS and draft Ward and move him to slot.

      1. Yeah, I must admit I had just assumed Clemons was on reasonably big $$ last year and might be out of their price range. But he was paid $2.75M last season, so somewhere around $2.5M to $3M might do it. Cheaper option than Whitner.

  3. Don’t set yourself up into thinking the Niners will sign some big free agent! It just will not happen! That’s not Baalke’s style! They won’t spend big on free agents unless it’s to sign their own! That’s why I refuse to get excited for free agency to roll around again! I’ve been burned too many times into thinking we’ll make a big splash only to be disappointed!!

  4. Jacoby Jones the WR from Baltimore. He is a big play threat at WR and he also is a great return man. He would fill two big needs for us and he should be affordable.

    1. What exactly has he proven? That big hair rocks?

      He’s fast, but he’s never had more than 28 catches in a season, or more than 440 yards. You’re not replacing Boldin with that, and if they resign Boldin why would they sign Underwood when they have a guy in Patton they have expressed optimism about and there are lots of good prospects in the draft? He’s not much of a STs contributor either, so don’t really see the fit.

      1. No one said that he would be replacing boldin! Boldin will sign an extension very soon.. I believe razor was referring to adding him for cheap with boldin.. Underwood is blazing fast and has to be accounted for with a safety over the top.. He is a better version of Ted ginn… When you look at numbers you need to take into account the situation he was in .. The bucs are terrible and on top of that they have Vincent Jackson and mike Williams who tend to get a lot of looks! The niners need a couple more WRs including boldin… Draft one and take a flyer on a guy who can stretch the field!!!!

        1. Why? They seem to like Patton as the #3 and they can draft a fast guy for less than what Underwood will cost. Why waste limited money on a 4th or 5th WR that doesn’t play STs? Use your draft picks.

          1. The issue is that we don’t know what the niners are going to do regarding the draft! Free agency is over by when the draft begins for the most part.. The niners can be thinking to trade the majority of there picks for 3-5 players! A WR, SS, and a corner or two and lets say a QB… Signing underwood who would be a cheap low risk signing.. Leaves us with crab, boldin, Patton, underwood, rookie WR and osgood maybe! That’s 6 WRs.. Plus there will prolly be 3-4 more added for OTAs and training camp… That’s why you take a flyer on a guy that has a unique skill set that we don’t have…

          2. The draft strategy will be partly determined by what they do in FA. If they go out and sign a bunch of WRs in FA, chances are they won’t be drafting a WR. But I just don’t see the point.

            If the 49ers resign Boldin they have their top 3 WRs in Crab, Boldin and Patton. Keep in mind the 4th WR barely sees the field for the 49ers. The 4th WR needs to play STs, or he’s a waste on game day.

            You can argue that Underwood could compete to be the #3, but that doesn’t make much sense to me when they can draft a speedy WR to compete with Patton for that 3rd spot. As I said, save yourself some money and use your draft picks for a guy with some speed that can play as the #3/ #4 WR this year and in the future be a starter. Something Underwood is unlikely to ever be.

      2. Scooter, Scooter, Scooter…..18.3 per catch ranking him top three among active wide outs. Affordable, and a legitimate deep threat for Kaepurnicus. A rookie is an unknown commodity. Pretty much somes up my train of thought.

        1. My point is that what’s the risk with adding him? He would be signed for 1 year and if a rookie out performs him you cut him loose.. A 26 year old wideout who can stretch the field similar to mike Wallace! Except your paying him 1 mil maybe a little more… No brainer!!!

        2. If they get him for the vet minimum, sure, let him compete. But if they draft a WR in the first 2 rounds I doubt he even makes the team. No STs value means he has to one of the top 3 WRs on the team or he’s not suiting up on game day.

          1. Yep. In 7 starts + 5 other games as the #3, he put up 24 catches. He’s not a good WR.

            Use your draft picks. Good WRs are available in the draft this year, make the most of it.

          1. I don’t believe Williams ever had that much production did he? 18.3 yards per catch, ranking him top three among active wide receivers. 24 for 440 and 4TD’s

          2. Razor,

            I thought “stats were for losers.” Maybe that line only applies when you disagree.

            Anyway, I spent a good part of the week watching every Bucs game from 2013 and that’s the comparison that comes to mind.

            Don’t expect that type of production from him should he be brought in.

            At best he would be #4 if Boldin is brought back which means he might play 5-10 plays a game.

          3. I thought “stats were for losers.” Maybe that line only applies when you disagree.

            I’d pay to see the response Justin Smith gives you to your above smug statement. After All, he is the one that I got that line from. Who am I to disagree….

            I merely cited the stats because you said they were about equal in production, and I presume about equal in coughing up the football.

            At best he could make the team and provide cheap insurance(like Geico)against injury or another bust receiver that Baalke drafts….

          4. Didn’t state they were equal in production. Underwood was a guy who didn’t even dress until injuries forced him into the lineup. Sound familiar.

          5. It looked to me like he was able to get behind coverage and make some plays for that inept coaching staff and rookie quarterback.

            About equal is what you said. Without specification, I took that to mean production, speed, height, weight, etc….

            You do not believe he could beat out Patton?

          6. No chance in h— would he beat out Patton.

            Once Williams went down the Bucs had Vincent Jackson, Underwood, Kevin Ogletree, and Chris Owusu at WR.

            From that group only Jackson is worthy of a roster spot in SF.

          7. So despite saying the 49ers need a small fast receiver like Cooks to go up against the Legion Of Boom{Champion Edition}, it’s your opinion that a rookie, Patton or Vincent Jackson are better candidates to help out in that regard? Jackson would cost way too much btw….

          8. Better than Underwood? Yes.

            Jackson is under contract.

            Put it this way. Underwood would become this year’s version of Austin Collie. Training camp fodder.

          9. Considering they cut him 2 years ago my guess would be no.

            Remember, “stats are for losers” unless Razor wants to use them for his argument. In that case they are valid.

          10. Smugness aside razor, Jack is right. Underwood isn’t good. He wasn’t even on a roster to start the season – the Bucs brought him back as an emergency fill in when guys got injured.

            He’d be no better than signing Marlon Moore, Lavelle Hawkins or Austin Collie.

          11. He’s faster than every guy you mentioned…but when Hammer compares him to Dahl….that scares me away. I will heed his word, unlike he did mine when I warned him about the Dahl.

          12. He’s no faster than Ted Ginn. and Ted Ginn is a better WR. But when Ginn was at the 49ers he did diddly aside from return punts. Which is about a diddle more than what Underwood would do.

  5. It would surprise me if the 49ers do not use their first pick in the upcoming draft on either Odell Beckham or Brandin Cooks.

      1. Address it with other picks, and/or restructure Rogers or just re-sign Brown. I guess the 49ers will give Culliver a shot to prove himself against one of those guys.

      2. I’d rather use the money you want to spend on Underwood to sign a vet CB like the ones I outlined previously. And if they can’t re-sign Whitner then Clemons or Pollard are worth looking at on 1 or 2 year deals.

        6 picks in the first 3 rounds, assuming they get a 3rd round comp pick. Plenty of scope to get a talented CB and safety, but would you want to stake your season on any of them starting? I’d prefer they had some veteran insurance. On the other hand, if they start the season with Crabtree, Boldin and Patton as the top 3 WRs I’m alright with that. Use your limited funds available on areas that aren’t set, not on a 4th/ 5th WR that will barely see the field.

    1. You might be dead on grant! I see that way of thinking! A speed guy who can stretch the field like an underwood! For give vet min I would still bring him in…

          1. Razor,

            Drafting one WR in the first round who was a bust is not a track record. It was a mistake but labeling Baalke this way for one mistake is extremely unfair. The only other WR’s he’s drafted have been Ron Johnson in the 6th round and Patton in the 4th last year. Hardly an indictment of the mans ability to draft WR’s imo.

          2. The envelope complicated the mistake. What about all the ones he missed on? Would you consider that an indictment of something?

          3. Rocket, Baalke’s poor track record with receivers extends beyond Jenkins. The unit as a whole is weak, take away Crabtree and it’s disastrous, seriously. The inability to find quality free agents or draft choices or develop the players already on the team falls on his shoulders. Maybe he’s put good players on the field but hasn’t hired the right coach to get the best out of them, who knows bottom line is our receiving core is weak and as general manager that’s his responsibility.

          4. Every GM has misses Razor and you can’t look at a few guys he didn’t take to form a judgment unless you plan on doing it for the entire league.

            2012 was not a good draft but it wasn’t set up to be much of a draft when they only had two picks in the first 3 rounds. Baalke has made some mistakes but every GM does and the key is to make sure the hits outnumber the misses in the higher rounds. Baalke has had more good than bad, and is among the top of the league in drafting since he took over.

          5. CFC,

            Rocket, Baalke’s poor track record with receivers extends beyond Jenkins. The unit as a whole is weak, take away Crabtree and it’s disastrous, seriously. The inability to find quality free agents or draft choices or develop the players already on the team falls on his shoulders. Maybe he’s put good players on the field but hasn’t hired the right coach to get the best out of them, who knows bottom line is our receiving core is weak and as general manager that’s his responsibility.

            I disagree. Again there is little to go on in regard to his track record with WR’s. He brought in Braylon Edwards who proceeded to injure his knee and was ineffective. Josh Morgan and Crabs were a pretty good team until Morgan was injured. Manningham was having a good season until his injury in 2012. I’d say they did ok bringing in Boldin last year. Truth is he hasn’t drafted enough WR’s to suggest he is inept at evaluating them, and the FA’s have had injury issues which is beyond his ability to control.

            The development and use of the WR’s is on the Coaches, not Baalke. As we saw this year a little used and ineffective WR in SF (Ginn) did quite well with another team. You have to take style of offense into account when judging WR production.

        1. He’s had five first round draft picks and four of them are Pro Bowl caliber.
          1. Anthony Davis
          2. Mike Iupati
          3. Aldon Smith
          4. A.J. Jenkins
          5. Eric Reid.

          The Jenkins pick was terrible, as was the entire 2012 draft, but Baalke has done a very good job of loading this roster up. The other thirty teams are licking their chops when the Niners and Seahawks have to make cuts during training camp.

  6. I would pass on Underwood. If he can’t garner much playing time for a miserable team like the Bucs he would not make a small dent on our team.

    I personally don’t see us signing a FA WR. But if the team is desperately determined to sign a FA agent WR who has a respectable NFL track record that could be a good fit, I would look at Emmanuel Sanders or Golden Tate (yes, that Golden Tate).
    But again, I don’t see the team going that route (no pun intended).

    As I mentioned last week, I’m no longer looking at attacking Seattle (our nemesis) with WR’s who can go deep on Seattle’ DB’s.
    I much rather attack the c-hawks with a short throws to TE’ (ala the Patriots) over the middle which in turn can cause their DB’s to sag and commit thereby allowing our outside WR’s to find some open creases on top.

    I have no problem with VD as our #1 TE, but I do have my qualms regarding VMac. VMac may become a good receiver over time, but I’m not sure he is going to run over any LB’s or Safeties in the short passing game.
    That’s why I would prefer someone like Jace Amaro (Texas Tech) who is a Mark Bavaro clone. Drafting a TE with our 1st pick would definitely be a blindside pick.
    But stranger things have happened.

    1. Good question MWN. Because we have Kaep, I would go with Steve Young.
      Montana had the ability to run when he had too, but he was not a QB with a running mentality.

      Steve Young became a QB with a running mindset who had to learn how to harness his penchant for running to become a pocket passer.
      Young’ process in becoming a top pocket QB is better suited to help Kaep.

  7. What are the chances they sign vontae Davis (spelling?) he could replace Rodgers/brown and would make a pretty good cb random with Davis, Brock, culliver. I don’t know how big of a payday that he is looking to get, but I think he would take less to contend for a Super Bowl and play with Vernon.

    1. It would also free up baalke to make a play for a wr or ss in the first instead of worrying about what to do with Rodgers based on which cb he is able to land.

        1. Way to go! There was also a brother duo, maybe even twins, in TC but I think only one made the final cut as a LB/ST guy and didn’t last. Sorry, I don’t recall the name.

  8. No need to draft a WR in the 1st round. There will be plenty of solid options come the second round. Move up to the 17th spot (via trade with Dallas again) and grab Calvin Pryor. Pryor is an absolute BEAST! Will probably rack up the fines like Whitner, but is very solid in coverage.

  9. if troy polamalu is released by pittsburgh. and we let donte walk..Draft a safety and let them learn from Polamalu for a year or two..

    Kenny britt has an attitude problem..but i bet a change of scenery would do him good..course he could turn into brandon jacobs wouldnt cost anything to cut him..and take a chance..

  10. Boldin (should be priority #1) I don’t mind them bringing back Wright & Cox & cutting ties with Rogers & Dahl.

    1. K. Benjamin WR (FSU) *may have to trade up
    2. D. Buchanan (SS) *may have to trade up

    I like these two for my first & second round draft selections. If Boldin is re-signed Benjamin can lay low behind him, Crabtree, & Patton to polish up his route running. They got WR C. Jacobs on the PS that can make a push for a spot as well. If “Hitner” isn’t re-signed (IMO) I really think Buchanan can be that guy to make us all forget that we lost “Hitner” same as how Reid/Goldson. One thing will be the lack of communication in the secondary. I think they’ll be fine though. Reid will be next in line to be the secondaries field general!!

  11. Vontae Davis, because he fills the 49ers’ second biggest area of need – cornerback.

    PERFORMED WELL: ProFootballFocus ranked Vontae Davis 3rd best cornerback overall and 2nd best cornerback in coverage.

    AFFORDABLE: I’m not sure what salary he will be asking for as a unrestricted free agent, but his salary was only $1,861,250 in 2013/2014. Carlos Rogers was actually one of the better cornerbacks in slot coverage, but overall did not have the best year, he is 32 years old, and is going to be a $8,094,531 cap hit (albeit, he is probably open to restructuring his contract). By bringing in Vontae Davis, they can cut Carlos Rogers, put that money towards resigning Anquan Boldin or Donte Whitner, and drafting a SS like Deone Bucannon to replace Donte Whitner in 2015. I am not sure who is going to play slot coverage, though. But other than that, the secondary actually looks young and pretty good.

    YOUNG: 6 years experience, yet still young at only 25 years old.

    POTENTIAL FROM DAY 1: Former 1st round talent.

    He didn’t play that well in the playoffs, but his best game during the regular season was against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. He played average against the Seahawks.

    CB: Tramaine Brock, 25 years old, $2,000,000 cap hit
    CB: Vontae Davis, 25 years old, UFA
    CB: Chris Culliver, 25 years old, $1,538,719 cap hit
    SS: Donte Whitner, 28 years old, UFA
    FS: Eric Reid, 22 years old, $1,927,444 cap hit

    1. Davis will get a pretty big contract from someone in FA. The reason his salary was so low last season was because he was still playing on his rookie contract. He didn’t renegotiate a new contract with the Colts when they traded for him.

      He’s one of the top FA CBs available and is young, and will be paid as such. I doubt the 49ers can offer him the sort of money he can make elsewhere.

      1. Vontae could conceivably come in at a bargain price for an opp to play for a SB contender and of course play on the same team as his brother.

        Sometimes history has a strange way of repeating itself and right now the Seattle and 49ers competition resembles that of the 90′ c-boys and 49ers era.
        Just like now, Seattle beats the 49ers in the championship game they go on to win the SB. We all know that in the 90′ when the c-boys beat the 49ers in a championship game that they would go on the win in the SB.

        The one piece of the puzzle that helped get us over the c-boys back in the 90′ and win a SB was Deon Sanders.
        Now please, there’s no way I’m comparing Vontae Davis to perhaps the best shut-down DB to ever play the game, but when I look at how close C.Rogers was to tipping Wilson’ TD pass away from Kearse, I can’t help but to think if that pass would get completed over Vontae.

        Not to rehash recent wounds, but if Rogers doesn’t get beat on that play we’re hoisting Lombardi 6 because we would have spanked the Broncos in similar fashion as the c-hawks.

        If Vontae comes in at a very reasonable price he is our instant starter at Corner and perhaps our ticket to a SB, ala the Primetime effect back in the 90′s.

        1. No harm in contacting his agent and bringing him in for a visit like they did with Sean Smith last offseason. But realistically Vontae won’t be playing for the 49ers next season. Too many teams in need of a good young CB that have the cap room to offer him a good sized contract.

        2. any agent who would let his client sign for a chance to play with his brother and contend for a superbowl is guilty of malpractice….players have short earning lives and free agency is their chance to set themselves up for life after football..vontae davis ncan get big bucks from a team that contends for the superboiwl

      2. Vontae would be a nice FA pickup but he’s going to command too much for them to do it as Scooter said.

        All things being equal, he would be the kind of FA you bring in if you’re the Niners. Young up and coming player at a position of need, rather than an older player near the end. This team has all the experience it needs, now they just need to increase the talent level.

        1. rocket,
          I agree with Scooter’ and your position on Vontae, but my premise would only work if he is willing to come in on a bargain scenario.

          As a young player, he could sacrifice the big payday for a chance at a SB ring with his brother (don’t if two brothers on the same team have ever won a SB?) and build on a SB win for a huge payday down the road because he will still have youth on his side.
          Just a thought…

          1. AES,

            I love the scenario and would be ecstatic to see it happen, but players are about making bank, especially in the age bracket Davis is right now. You understand why it won’t happen as you said, but I love the idea.

        2. No chance. This is Vontae’s chance to set himself up for life. Second contract is the biggy. Why take a cheap deal and risk a serious, career ending injury when you can take good, multi-year money for another contender like the Colts?

      1. Falling how far? I only know Benjamin and Evens from the highlights.

        Benjamin seems more fluid then Evans. A more natural receiver. Great catching radius. Looks faster then Evans. On the other hand, Benjamin body catches way too much. Not surprised about the drops. Tends to hit the grass a little too easy after contact.

        Evans seems to have the better hands. Keeps his feet after catch. Leaves defenders sprawling like bowling pins. Smaller, but plays bigger Benjamin. He’s on 20 and will get even stronger. My only concern is he seems to lope along like a TE. Will he have enough speed?

        Both are raw. Which one will develop more in their fist two years? I’d be happy to see either one as a Niner.

        1. Yikes. Benjamin doesn’t look like a natural WR. He looks like an athlete lined up to play WR.

          Everyone is getting so wrapped up in how big these guys are and what incredible mis-matches they’ll present. But on film neither guy is particularly impressive.

          Evans gets a lot of catches on the back of Manziel scrambling around like crazy. Kudos to Evans for being able to work back to the football, but he didn’t often present Manziel with a target based off a standard route tree. He also has very little feel for the sideline, as I saw him a number of times let himself be ridden into a position that left him no room to get his feet in bounds after making a catch.

          Benjamin is incredibly raw. Some of the most rounded routes you’ll see, almost no hip-sinking in and out of cuts. At the next level he’ll struggle to create separation running routes like that – he telegraphs where he is going. Inconsistent hands. Poor awareness/ understanding of the position. And he’s a guy that benefitted from having one of the best QBs in college football, and a really good receiving core taking coverage off him (including the currently ranked #1 WR for the 2015 draft by CBS in Rashad Greene). A guys that size should be winning his fair share of battles one-on-one against college CBs. Nothing special about what he did.

          Personally I hope those two are gone in the first 15 picks. It means more talented players are falling.

          1. Scooter: Who do you like at WR?

            Maybe Baalke should buck the trend and get BPA at #30 and make “need picks” later.

          2. Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham and Brandin Cooks would all be good choices at #30, and I think there is a reasonable chance at least one of those guys falls to around mid-late 2nd as well.

            Davante Adams, Jordan Matthews, Jarvis Landry and Jared Abbrederis are also guys I like in 2nd/ 3rd round.

            Obviously Watkins is good too, but he’ll be gone early. Marqise Lee concerns me – I wouldn’t feel confident with that pick.

  12. If the 49ers don’t resign Boldin, I think they should sign Britt to a cheap 1 year prove it deal. He still has the potential to be a great WR if he gets his head straight.

  13. There’s a piece on PFT quoting Harbaugh as saying he thought Martin can succeed in the NFL. Jim was interviewed by the Wells investigators for background, since he’d been his college coach. Not much of a story but the comments were hilarious. There are the usual bunch of Harbaugh Haters, lead by some clown from Seattle. There are the Incognito apologists taking shots at Martin. There is the Phins Fan who says “Fine, give us a 2nd and he’s yours.” Right, a second, and you’ll expect to sell your used Ford Escort for $20 Grand too.
    Oh, and the best comments accused Harbaugh of tampering after being interviewed by the Leagues special investigator.

  14. Polls

    Which WR is a better prospect?

    Kelvin Benjamin
    Mike Evans
    You’re better off in a couple years asking whichever teams draft them because they won’t be coming to San Francisco, oops I mean Santa Clara.

  15. I’m a big fan of drastically unrealistic mock draft trades (made a few myself). My favorites go something like this….

    “Baalke is an idiot. All he has to do is trade the second and fourth round picks for Oakland’s first round pick, then grab Watkins. Then trade the extra third and seventh for the Texans first pick and grab Clowney. Then trade LMJ for Jacksonville’s 2014, 2015 and 2016 first round picks…”

    With all the mock drafts and commentary out there, we should have a contest for the most implausible draft trade scenarios.

    1. Brodie ..

      You can’t have absolutes .. without
      a few “what-ifs”

      as in … what if ..
      DaRai-duhs don’t wanna trade that pick ?

      Evidently, whomever called Baalke an idiot should
      (maybe) look in his own back yard .. first

    2. As I recall, a couple of years ago DS wanted to trade PWilly for Fitz, straight up, and considered the idea plausible enough for both teams to defend it ad infinitum. That one would warrant consideration.

      1. If I recall correctly last year there were a few people calling for trading every draft pick to move up to #1 and get Clowney. That has to be up there too.

      1. Razor….You and I both know that’s not going to happen. He’ll be getting starter money…and will be a starter for a long time…somewhere

  16. I would like to see the 49ers kick the tires on Pat Angerer. Yeah, I know he’s been injured a lot, but when healthy is a pretty good ILB. But he would probably be a cheap FA and could possibly compete with Wilhoite to replace Bowman until he heals.

  17. Which players are people most looking forward to seeing at the combine?

    For me the guys I’m really interested in seeing are:
    - All the WRs and CBs – with so many underclassmen this is the first chance to get any real measurables. I also love watching the WRs and CBs go through the position drills.
    - Calvin Pryor, Jimmie Ward, LaMarcus Joyner and Deone Bucannon. Bucannon should win the eyeball test, but I’m guessing he really struggles in the agility tests. He looks like he struggles turning on film I’ve seen. Joyner, Ward and Pryor are just players I like so interested to see if they test ok (i.e., don’t test terribly).
    - Dominique Easley (arm length). Looking at film it appears Easley has short arms. If it turns out his arms are anywhere near 32.5″ to 33″ in length then he becomes the DL I hope they take. Such an elite first step and constant penetration, but if he has short arms he’ll struggle to shed and make plays.
    - Jeremiah Attaochu and Ronald Powell. Attaochu looks explosive on film, I’m curious to see how he tests. And Ronald Powell is an intriguing guy given his injury history. He looks disruptive when he’s on the field.

  18. Why not take a chance on Danario Alexander from San Diego? He’s big, fast and averages 15 yards a catch. Yes, he has a knee issue but could come cheap with a lot of upside.

  19. With the Packers indication they plan on spending money this free agency, I’m betting that one of their most expensive purchases will be Mr. Hitner….

    1. Hmmm, I get the feeling the Packers will be after more of a ballhawk safety and move Burnett back to SS full time. 0 INTs from their safeties in 2013 is a pretty damning stat line…

  20. 30

    1. Cooks, Roby, and Pryor are all being classified as late first to early second round picks right now, so I don’t think we’d be able to get all three of them Razor.

  21. Someone said it earlier and I’ll second it. I’d go after Vontae Davis as my #1 priority in the Free Agency market.

    A lower profile free agent who will cost a bit less is Cassius Vaughn. Does anybody know how he graded out as a corner last year?

    1. So we can replace one high priced corner back with another? We’re not cutting Rogers because he sucks it’s because he’s too expensive.

  22. The standards of criticism of Baalke are a bit unrealisticly harsh, IMO. If one looks at the list of 1st Round draft picks by the Niners going back to say, 1970, you get a representative sample through several regimes. There are some hits and misses and and near-misses, including during The Genius’ reign. We still have a relatively small sample on TB.
    Going back through the more recent years that account for signing Free Agents we have a mixed bag of results; some of them bloody awfull. Some of them brilliant. Looking at this year and the approach TB takes, I expect no Big Splash signings. I think they prefer to build the roster by draft and to look for opportunities for immediate help in free agency, but not being determined to play there if the value isn’t good enough.
    I’m as disappointed in Fletcher-Rashaud Woods-Druckenmiller-Kentwan-AJJ-Kelley as I am impressed by Norton Jr-Millen-Dean-J.Smith etc.

  23. The three positions we’d be looking at are WR, CB, and S. We have semi in-house options at each of those positions, and resigning any of them will determine which non-49er FA’s we go after. And when we consider the depth in the draft, and our positioning to grab several top talents, it should first be determined how we want to position ourselves for the future.

    I believe Brown is the easiest to move on from. Brock is a starter, Culliver could be starting calliber, and Rogers (if needed and he restructures) is still an option to play the slot. There’s also a handful of good looking CBs in the draft. However, our secondary is our weak link. So if we decide to move on from Brown and cut Rogers, here are our options:

    A) use a top pick for a CB and sign a veteran Safety for stability in the secondary
    B) use a top pick for a Safety, but then sign an experienced CB
    C) address both positions via the draft


    A) probably not a whole lot of dropoff in production, perhaps even some improvement with added youth and speed at CB (especially if Culliver regains full form). Would the veteran safety be Whitner? Do we go with TJ Ward and make that our one, big splash in FA?
    B) this is where we’d make a splash with a Vontae Davis or Shields. Not likely, but feasible if it’s our one pickup. It would most likely mean a rookie Safety is playing opposite Reid and maybe even Boldin not being resigned
    C) this is the riskiest approach, but would provide the most cost savings and allow us to build a long-term core in the secondary. It would also leave plenty of money to address WR.

    And speaking of WR, again, this is where we determine how we want to position ourselves long-term. Boldin stabilizes things, but would someone like Emmanuel Sanders be more productive and fit in better long-term? If we skip on signing either of them, this is the draft that could provide the most opportunity to upgrade. And if we did, I’d say going with a Cooks/Landry/Beckham early, and then someone like Moncrief later….much different skill sets and body types.


    The way I see it, we either use FA to improve/stabilize the offense or to improve the secondary. We know what happens when Kaep doesn’t have targets, so I’d be tempted to bring Boldin back for that reason alone. But if Patton and Vance McDonald step up, and you add a sure-handed receiver via the draft, maybe it’s not a big deal. And by going that route, we can focus on upgrading our DBs…and ultimately it’s defense that wins games.

    In the end, I’d say TJ Ward, Vontae Davis / Shields, or Emmanuel Sanders would be my preference for non-49er FAs. Any of those signings, though, would require using the draft to fill other needs. There would be growing pains, but it may ultimately set us up better long term.

    1. Well, it certainly addresses one of our pressing needs. It also ensures a veteran presence for a team that could see a serious infusion of youth.

      The only real caveat, though, is that it limits what we do with the remaining cap space…and no real upgrades in the secondary via free agency.

      1. I think FO priority #1 this offseason is making sure Kaep has talented receivers to throw to. They can’t have the same issues as at the start of last season with just one starting calibre WR on the roster, and a bunch of nobodies.

        Resigning Boldin goes a long way to doing that, but still presents the same danger as last year – one injury away from having one starting calibre receiver, and not much else. Patton will have a year under his belt which will help, but he’s still something of an unknown quantity. So they still need to draft a WR early as well, that is ready to contribute if needed.

          1. If he is the QB of the future they can’t afford to stunt his growth by not giving him weapons to throw to. It will also be a ‘prove it’ year for Kaep – give him no excuses.

        1. The old saying is that there’s a lot of potential improvement between Rookie and 2nd years; in Patton’s and VMac’s cases, we can hope.
          Speaking of old sayings, I came across one today:
          “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake” – Napoleon Bonaparte
          Seems timely as Washington, Dallas, etc head into Free Agency, LOL!

          1. I actually expect both guys to be much improved this year, and would feel quite comfortable heading into the season with Patton as the #3 WR. But they still need depth in case of injury – depth that can step up and contribute if needed, not more Marlon Moore, Kyle Williams or Jon Baldwin types. Someone that can also return kicks and punts would be my ideal.

          2. Seam routes are tough to hit against defenses that are playing 4 deep. Especially when the safeties are as good as Seattle’s.

          3. It’s usually a press-bail on the outside with zone. They often leave Sherman alone on his side to handle his man which allows the safeties to sit right on top of the seam.

            It ends up being like a 4 deep on the back end with the LB’s playing cover 3 responsibilities.

          4. @Hammer

            The Seahawks’ base zone defense is a cover three, but they drop their linebackers and safeties under the outside corners, correct? Isn’t the best option to overload the deep seam routes?

    2. I think Boldin wants to avoid last years off-season “shock” when he discovered he was traded through congratulatory texts… while getting off a plane in Africa.

  24. Here is my latest draft simulation result, boy i would be jumping in joy if we could get all these players. I like all of them:


  25. along the lines of the tiquan underwood comments, i dont think that it is necessarily bad if you can get an unproven young player with potential on the cheap…maybe underwood takes off like ted ginn jr did in carolina…
    another guy who has flashed potential as a receiver, and possible big play threat, is joe morgan of the saints..i believe he is a free agent though he was injured last year

  26. @Hammer

    The Seahawks’ base zone defense is a cover three, but they drop their linebackers and safeties under the outside corners, correct? Isn’t the best option to overload the deep seam routes?

    You have time to answer and discuss further?

        WR TE
        QB HB

        In this formation from the bunch on the left, the WR runs a seven route, TE on the line runs the deep seam route, other TE runs a slant inside. The WR split wide right runs a go route, while the HB runs out flat. Do the 49ers run a similar play?

          1. It’s okay. You can get to four verticals from almost any formation if you only have a single man in the backfield.

            One way the 49ers like to run it is from trips formation with the running back coming underneath and across the formation as a checkdown.

          2. Any chance you can do a break down of plays the 49ers have used to attack this defense, and how a small, speedy wide receiver can help with those plays. Maybe suggest what plays Harbaugh might add to attack down field more if he were to get a player like Cooks….

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