This is the live blog for Day 1 of free agency. I will update this with 49ers’ news and analysis.
8:20 Dan Skuta is expected to sign a 5-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Pro Football Talk.
This hurts. Skuta was the 49ers’ best backup outside linebacker last year — even better than Ahmad Brooks. Skuta is a good run defender, a good pass rusher and a good special teams player. He will be a solid starter for the Jaguars.
Now, outside linebacker becomes a position of need for the 49ers.
8:30 The 49ers still are the front-runners to sign Torrey Smith. Why aren’t the Raiders trying to outbid them? The Raiders have more cap space than the 49ers and the Raiders need a deep threat receiver, too. They should be able to make Smith an offer he can’t refuse.
8:35 This surprised me:
Jerome Simpson’s 2013 stat line: 48 catches, 726 yards, 15.1 yards per catch.
Torrey Smith’s 2014 stat line: 49 catches, 767 yards, 15.7 yards per catch.
I always assumed Smith was far superior to Simpson as a deep threat. The stats say they’re both good deep threats.
9:10: Remember, Chris Borland is NOT the “heir apparent” to Patrick Willis. Willis was a three-down linebacker against every team in the league. Every single one. Borland is a two-down linebacker at best. Don’t be surprised if the 49ers pull Borland off the field on passing downs and use a Dime defense — six defensive backs.
9:15: Borland lunges and lays out to tackle running backs by the ankles near the sideline. Willis made those tackles standing up while breathing down the running back’s earhole.
9:24 Frank Gore will sign with the Colts according to Adam Schefter. The deal reportedly is worth $12 million over 3 years, with $7.5 million guaranteed. That’s about what the Eagles would have paid him. Gore is a much better fit in the Colts’ under-center two-back running game, than in the Eagles’ shotgun zone-read offense. Gore made the right move.
2:34 Adam Schefter announces the 49ers have signed Torrey Smith to a five-year deal. That means the 49ers most likely will not draft a wide receiver in the first few rounds of the upcoming draft. Instead, the Niners can focus on the offensive line and the linebackers.
5:02 The 49ers are interested in Reggie Bush, and he’s choosing between them, the Saints and the Patriots, according to Ian Rapoport. The 49ers can do better than Bush. He was terrible last season, he seems to get injured every year and he’s 30. Roy Helu would be cheaper and better.
5:53 The 49ers will not cut Blaine Gabbert, according to Josina Anderson. If he makes the 49ers’ final roster, 2015 probably will be the 25-year-old quarterback’s final season in the NFL.