49ers 2015 free agency live blog: Day 1

This is the live blog for Day 1 of free agency. I will update this with 49ers’ news and analysis.

March 10:

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.

This article has 422 Comments

  1. I wanna tell ya, hey I think you oughta know
    The way you’re treating me, I feel I’ll have to go.
    I’ve heard the rumours and it seems they’re comin’ true
    do what suits ya, but then that’s nothin’ new.

    Do what you wanna do
    Oh what you put me through.
    How I suffer for your love.
    Say what you wanna say
    You know that you’re gonna pay
    For all the times that I’ve cried.
    You give me pain, but you bring me pleasure
    Get out of my life.
    You bring me pain, but you give me pleasure
    You don’t know what I like.

    You’ve got me tied up, dog upon a leash
    Instead of messin’ ’round, practice what you preach.
    Your days are numbered, my day’s arrived
    The way I see it, we’re dead or we’re alive

    1. Source: For the Win
      By: Chris Chase

      ARTICLE: The 49ers are going from Contender to disaster and it’s Jim Harbaugh’s Fault

      1. Colts haven’t kept a running back healthy in a decade. Good luck Gore.

        Harbaugh would have gotten ravens nose tackle for only a fifth. Front office snubbed the harbaugh family so the discount went elsewhere.

        If you aren’tggetting better, you’re getting worse. This team is getting worse and the team now has to pay to attract talent. No more discounts 22 million guaranteed T Smith….should have stayed out of the way baby York.

      2. Sam Bradford to Philly???…Obviously not the offense for him…The 49ers did not have the wherewithal to attain him–Kaepernick is a no fit for the STL. offense. However, Kap fits the Philly offense, he ran it in college…Possibly Chip Kelley asked Baalke for Kaepernick, so Kelley could draft Marriota
        (Kap mentors Marriota for 3 years), 49ers get a draft pick and Bradford in return who has been running the West Coast Offense for years in Stl. and fits the Geep Chryst/Steve Logan WCO???

  2. There was some speculation on here that Dan would follow Vic to Chicago. I never got that, since Trent was the guy who brought him here. Jax aint going to win many games, but Dan protected his earnings on his last contract by going to a team that could spend; and no State income tax boosts his earnings. Good luck, Dan.

    1. He was a great FA signing. As you know, came here to play special teams and back up ILB. Hats off to the coaches to switch his position and play him. He won’t be easy to replace IMO.

    1. you are on your own…

      you can’t even name one thing jed has done wrong, you are just following the uninformed…

      Jed York is better than 75% of NFL owners…….

      unlike most NFL owners Jed is paying for talented players….

      1. There is a way to get the Yorks out of the picture. There is a fairly well-known and re-quoted remark made by Denise a couple years back, she said that the one thing that would move her to sell the team(and she is in control, not John) was embarassment over off-field issues. So number 1 would be an Alinsky-style campaign of ridicule against the York family, Jed specifically, mostly on social media, it isn’t hard to come up with material.
        The other thing is just sit back and let Baalke be Baalke. Be happy he wants Simpson and Greg Hardy, and hope he ends up a 49er. Hope for more off-field incidents, short term pain, long term gain…

        1. I have a better idea for an act, George. Line up Jed to be your ventriliquist dummy. That way, we can get him to say the “right” things.

    1. George – I agree w/Michael, you’re killing it. I may need to back off on my attempts at humor and go the more serious route. :)

      1. Thanks, Crab. Please don’t back off. Some people may like my humor, but some probably think it’s ridiculous, which it is sometimes.

  3. another misinformation…..No, it does not hurt us….why?

    because paying skuta $20.5M for five years to be a back up is just plain stupid….

    1. It isn’t a bad insurance policy to have him on the bench behind Aldon. Is it wise to pay him 5yr/$20M, I’d say yes considering you can’t have any serious confidence that Aldon won’t get suspended or even be on the team in 2016. Skuta can also provide depth inside, if say, two ILB’s get hurt. You also have to worry a bit about Lynch and the proverbial sophomore fall off.

        1. The biggest “if” is believing that Aldon will avoid further arrests/suspensions for 5 yrs, lol. That’s “if” he signs to stay beyond this year. Let’s not forget, that’s also “if” Lynch plays as well as he did last year and keeps his nose clean too.

          Having an exceptional LB who can play any of the four LB positions AS A STARTER is worth the 5yr/$20M. Last year, 3 of the 4 LB’s missed a lot of games and even Brooks missed a couple. So there is significant value in having a 5th starting LB in a 3-4 alignment.

          Sorry to differ with you oneniner, but I think Skuta’s a keeper and worth the money.

          1. Just to clarify a bit, my comments take into account that Brooks should be gone (cap hit too large, bad attitude last year, etc).

    1. Just for the record, that was a retweet. Barrows didn’t say Boldin told him directly.

      Matt Barrows retweeted
      Jamey Eisenberg @JameyEisenberg · 2h 2 hours ago
      Just spoke to Anquan Boldin. He said Torrey Smith is going to the #49ers as a done deal. Said he helped with recruiting.

      1. The Boldin recruitment claim was repeated on NFL Net just now.
        Also on NFL Net: “…..the Faithful are panicking on social media.”
        That’s just silly; I’m also panicking on line and in my kitchen, LOL!

    2. I’m glad to hear that Boldin was instrumental in recruiting Smith. I was a bit concerned that there might be an issue with Smith getting a higher per year average compensation than Boldin (i.e. jealousy between WRs). After all, the #2 WR will most likely be getting more money than the #1.

        1. Not sure about that. What makes you think so? Maybe a better question is: What makes a WR the #1? Is it the money paid or the production on the field. If production, it would seem likely that Boldin will get more yards than Smith this next season. Maybe not, but there’s no reason at this point in time to think he will get less yards.

        2. Boldin is a possession receiver. A great number 2. Smith is a big play waiting to happen. Not so much with boldin. Smith opens everything up for everyone else. Teams have to roll there safety to his side. That for me are characteristics of a number 1. Now his production is more like a 2 but it’s not about stats with smith. Just like Mike Wallace.

          1. I’m with cubus on this one. For mine the #1 WR has always been the guy that gets the most targets. I’d be very surprised if Smith got more targets than Boldin next year.

            However, I do think Smith will have a greater impact on defenses and how they play/ cover the 49ers.

  4. Any possibility Brooks restructures rather than get cut?

    Seemed like a very prideful man, but he would be an asset to have on the bench, for the right price of course.

    1. seriously?….you want brooks on the bench?

      why do I get the feeling most on here did not even follow the 49ers last year….

    2. Cubus

      At the right price it wouldn’t make sense. This team is going through turmoil and change right now. Brooks is a veteran who acted like a fool. If we’re going to roll with a new crop of younger players, we don’t need his outburst due to lack of playing time. That’s only going to make things worse.

      1. No second chances, KY? Although I will admit that Brooks has had off-the-field issues in the past. But, if the FO and coaches feel he will accept a backup role, why not (at the right price of course)?

        1. I’m all for second chances, another team will snatch him up quickly. We just don’t need that attitude. He doesn’t want his time cut. When a man feels like a starter, he wants to start. I just don’t see it working out. There’s already poison in the locker room. No need to make it worse.

  5. Some things to consider –

    T Smith is yet another very good #2 WR. Are we ever going to draft or acquire a true #1. I am talking about someone like Dez, Antonio, Megatron, Demaryius etc.

    What is the story with O line. Kap’s protection was suspect at times last year. What is going on with Brandon Thomas rehab? Is he starter material?

    Justin smith may retire or some reports say he may stick around for 1 more year. Nevertheless, we need to probably draft someone. Dockett only has 2 , maybe 3 years left.

    TE? Glad we extended Carrier. Vance Mac is a bust. Celek is decent. Is vernon staying? Will he putting forth more effort, or are we looking at another season of him jogging routes?

  6. It would seem to me that if Justin Smith were going to retire, the FO would want to announce it today. Why? Because with the freed up cap space, the 49ers could be bigger players in free agency. If he retires next week, all of the good free agents will be gone. Also, if I understand this correctly, all teams must be under the salary cap for the top 51 by the end of today. So they can’t just sign a FA today figuring that they can use the cap space saved by J. Smith, IF he retires.

    But it could also be that the FO respects J.Smith to the point where they will not rush him. Although Justin is most certainly one of my favorite 49ers, this is not good business IMO IF in fact he is going to retire.

  7. The Niners rarely make a big splash in FA signings. I do not expect much from them this year either. Torrey might be the best FA signing that they accomplish this year. Its a good signing but not a great one.

    1. I don’t know UC. They have a fair amount of additional cap space with Stevie Johnson released and Willis retiring. That’s an extra $13 million. If Justin’s cap space is included it jumps to $17 to $18 million.

      1. And I forgot the temporary cap space of $4 million created by restructuring Aldon. That cap space can be made up with a post June 1st designated release of Brooks. OTOH they will need about $4 to $5 million to sign the rookie class.

      2. Cubus – I don’t know either, but if past performance is an indicator the Niners just do not make big splashes in FA. They seem to get good solid players in FA though. I was hoping that with the 50th SB being played at Levi next year they might make an exception with a great FA signing or a great draft. However with the team right now in self destruct mode I am not sure what is going to happen.

  8. Grant, glad you mentioned the 3-down linebacker thing. With Willis gone (and questions about Bowman’s recovery), gone are the days when the 49ers can keep two ILBs in passing situations.

    Its a thin Safety class this year. I wonder how physical, fast but raw LJ McCray is coming along.

  9. Few notes:

    Torrey smith is not an elite wr but has proved he can keep safeties honest. Should be a good fit here. Now let’s not hope we don’t overpay for him.

    Skuta and gore’s contracts are crazy. Good players, don’t get me wrong, but way overpaid.

    I am worried by the ILB position tight now. Borland is exciting but I have concerns on durability and pass coverage. Bowman is huge question mark. In an ideal world he should be the one who stays out on passing downs. But Has he recovered?

    Miller news is bad but he is a FB. You can finf FBs on the street for pennies. We have also Millard.

    I just hope we don’t waste the cap space we suddenly have in a panic move. keep it to resign some of our players like Aldon, Boone and Reid.
    If I am in Balke i would just use some money to replenish LBs and OL with veterans on short deals.
    Lofton, Trent Cole could be obtained at a bargain price.

    1. That is a great decision by Gore. I’ve been saying he’d be a perfect fit for them since November. Exactly the type of RB they need.

      1. Some Dude,

        I believe miner49er is correct. Two years ago, there was a lot of discussion resulting from Navarro Bowman staying on the field instead of Willis in certain third down packages. It’s also been pretty clear that Willis’ play has declined a bit in the last couple of years.

        1. No, Willis only came off the field when the 49ers went dime to cover 4 WRs sets. On 3rd down against 3 WRs Willis and Bowman would be on the field.

  10. Random musings…
    – BMiller may have just been dealing with a very drunk girl. No word on if he hit her. He took her keys… I don’t know either way, but on the surface, my gut says he wasn’t in the wrong.
    – Good for Skuta. He wanted to start and get paid starters money. Without Lynch in the fold, we probably would have kept him, but we have a starter for pass), Wilhoite can play, Bowman may be back, and there are 5 guys in this draft who can step in right away if we think Bowman won’t ever be back to normal.
    – Crabtree and Iupati were studs at one time, but we’ll manage to get by without them. Their skills fit a ball control offense, but they both hurt our ability to be explosive given their weaknesses (pass blocking, speed). We have replacements already. Iupati’s power was special, but he stood out to me as the guy missing the most blocks in the run and pass game.
    – I’ll be the first to admit I’m worried about our chances next year (mostly coaching-related), but the negative sentiment amongst niners fans has been overboard.

    1. fixing the above comment…
      Random musings…
      – BMiller may have just been dealing with a very drunk girl. No word on if he hit her. He took her keys… I don’t know either way, but on the surface, my gut says he wasn’t in the wrong.
      – Good for Skuta. He wanted to start and get paid starters money. Without Lynch in the fold, we probably would have kept him, but we have a starter for less than half the cost.
      – Good for Willis. He left on his terms, which is rare. Future HoF, and will still have his wits about him when he’s 75. We were lucky to have him.
      – Good for JSmith if he retires, great if he comes back. Docket can replace him, and our depth on the DL is decent even if he goes. If he stays, our DL will continue to be strong… which is even more reason to not worry about our ILBs:
      – Borland is real good (run>pass), Wilhoite can play, Bowman may be back, and there are 5 guys in this draft who can step in right away if we think Bowman won’t ever be back to normal.
      – Crabtree and Iupati were studs at one time, but we’ll manage to get by without them. Their skills fit a ball control offense, but they both hurt our ability to be explosive given their weaknesses (pass blocking, speed). We have replacements already. Iupati’s power was special, but he stood out to me as the guy missing the most blocks in the run and pass game.
      – I’ll be the first to admit I’m worried about our chances next year (mostly coaching-related), but the negative sentiment amongst niners fans has been overboard.

      1. I think a lot of the panic is driven by the media. True followers, though a bit on edge about this upcoming season, still understand that
        -Gore was pretty close to finished here in SF and didn’t want to see him get overpaid
        -Iupati, is a great talent in the run game but as you pointed out a liability in the pass. He will be replaced by Thomas, Looney, Martin, or draft pick.
        -Crabs departure is more of an improvement to this off-season
        -J. Smith’s departure was expected, and prepared for.
        -Willis was a curve ball, but we know what we have in Borland, we still have Wilhoite, and if Bowman is good to go, we’ll be okay there.

        But what does the media spin??? “Niners worst in the West”, “Niners Rebuilding”. These titles sell more, and people buy them.

        1. “Crabs departure is more of an improvement to this off-season”

          I think so too. He never lived up to his number 10 draft pick.

          1. Disagree on the Crabtree departure. We replaced him with a faster version sans the hands needed in the clutch.

            1. I have to say Mid, you keep making this statement but I have absolutely no idea what you mean with your comparison between Torrey Smith and Crabtree. They are polar opposites as WRs.

        2. Agree about the media. That piece Mid shared from the Examiner was stupid.
          (No offense to you, Mid; you’re just sharing).
          The unexpected departure of Willis coupled with questions about Bowman’s return are what’s giving me heartburn.

  11. Looks like Jax is trying to take the Redskins FA title. Signing average players to deals above their talent level never works.

    I like the Torrey Smith signing even though he will fall into the above category as far as being overpaid. The reason is simple: he gives us what we don’t have and haven’t had since Ginn left. Ginn also isn’t in Smith’s league as a WR, so not only do we add speed, but a playmaker with speed. It’s a great addition if it happens imo even though it will likely come at a premium.

    I admire Gore, and respect the man immensely, but I agree with the decision to let him walk as opposed to overpaying to keep him. At his age his production could fall off at any time, and I am a proponent of parting ways a year too early rather than a year too late. Bill Walsh lived by that edict and he was almost always correct in his thinking.

    1. Rocket,

      I have slightly take on the validity of the Bill Walsh principle of “parting ways a year too early rather than a year too late”. I’ve come to think that principle is not relevant in the salary cap and free agency era. In Walsh’s days, the Niners often had a starter-caliber player riding the pine for years until the starter was cut “a year too early”. These days teams don’t have that luxury. It’s all about cost-benefit analysis in the current free-agency market conditions. Bellichick is a better example of how to manage personnel in this era. He finds the right players for his system at the right price and wrings out every drop of value until the players is done — from Troy Brown to Patrick Chung (bust with Eagles but successful in his return to the Pats, got contract extension). At the same time, he rents a few stars like Revis for a limited time. If a player commands too high salary compared to market price, then he’s promptly cut, e.g., Wilfork.

      I hope Hyde/Hunter combo turn out to be an immediate replacement for Gore in production. That’s the main hope for success this season. I wish the Niners had offered Gore 2 year, $8M, $5M guaranteed which may have gotten a second look from Gore. I think Gore would have had two more pretty good seasons with the Niners. not sure how he’d fit into Pep’s offense. But I wish him the best.

      1. I see what you’re saying Mood, but it’s even easier to replace players now than it was when Walsh was running the show. RB’s especially considering how devalued they’ve become. I don’t like losing Gore, but I understand why it happened. I’ll be interested to see how he performs with the Colts and in turn, how the Niners replace him.

        1. Rocket,

          I see what you are saying but I’m not sure how easy it is to find the right person for a specific role in a specific system. And of course, if one can find that player in F.A., the cost would be very high. That’s why Ted Thompson in particular is inactive during FA.

    2. Completely agree Rocket.

      Torrey Smith will be seen by some as being over paid, because he won’t be a true #1 WR. He does however impact on how defenses play you. One of the best deep threats in the NFL and a great fit for this offense.

      1. He is a great addition Scooter. I’m excited to see what he can bring to the offense. He’s also cheaper than I thought he’d be.

      1. Not even close. Good on him for suckering some team into paying him, but we’ll say how good he really is when he doesn’t have the rest of the Seahawks D around him.

  12. An interesting and pertinent Tweet from Andrew Brandt:

    “Fallacy among many that high spending = active in free agency, GB has usually been a high spending team, rarely active in FA.

  13. A month ago I was a fan of trading some of this years picks to next year. I still am, but the 2016 compensatory haul should be so big, might as use some of those day three picks this year.

  14. I love the fact that you care about the team, but playmakers win games. We need an offensive lineman who can play tackle and guard. Martin isn’t it. We need another back to run, we would be better resigning Culliver. And if you think for one second you can replace Harbaugh and Fangio that easy you might want to look around the league. If it were that easy why hasn’t anyone done it. We needed an O.C. I don’t think our team is that bad, but we are getting there.

  15. We already have Boldin…we’re close to signing TSmith…Ray Rice next???
    We can call the new organization Baltimore West.
    Oh wait…we win wth CLASS now…so Rice is definately out of the question.
    In the end though, which is more important to Jed and Trent…winning or class?

    1. I think the biggest asset Gore will have is that QB. They are supposed to add Andre Johnson. Luck can pass the ball, that will open up passing lanes. They are going to be pretty good next year.

      1. Yeah, I also think the Colts will show the 49ers how they could’ve been using Frank on screen passes for all these years.

  16. Is Brandon Browner someone we might be interested in? He doesn’t want to take a pay cut and NE has to do something soon with him as he is due a $2 million roster bonus very soon. His current cap number is $4.8 million. He’ll be 31 when the season starts.

    1. Don’t forget Trent Cole.

      If Gore can show that he doesn’t need the 49ers offense or Jim Harbaugh, he’ll be hoisting up the Lombardi along with Johnson and Luck next season.

          1. Seahawks and Saints now finalizing the deal to send Jimmy Graham and a 4 to Seattle for Max Unger and a 1, as @RapSheet and @JayGlazer said.

            Seattle just gave up it’s 1st rnd pick.

            1. Smart move by Seattle. With Willis gone (and unpleasant rumors of Bowman’s knee), Graham’s going to be a match-up nightmare.

              The good news on the 49ers front… Seattle and the 49ers have similar needs. Trading back toward the end of the first will carry less risks that Seattle will leapfrog us.

              1. Andrew Brandt ✔ @adbrandt
                Jimmy Graham got a $12 million signing bonus in July. Will leave a $9 million dead money charge on the Saints Cap. Oy…

  17. Rapoport is also saying that Reggie Bush is considering a potential return to the Saints and is also considering the Patriots and 49ers.

    1. That pretty well assures that we will need a new ILB. Love Borland, but he gets mowed over by big RBs and I doubt his ability to cover a TE like Graham.

      1. As long as Russell Wilson is scrambling around like its backyard football, it is going to be extremely hard for Borland to cover him.

      1. mike freeman ✔ @mikefreemanNFL
        I texted a 49ers scout about Jimmy Graham trade and he sent me back one word: “F–k.”

    1. Aaron Wilson ✔ @RavensInsider
      Ravens get fourth-round and fifth-round pick for Haloti Ngata trade to Lions, according to sources

  18. Seattle trades for Jimmy Graham. Damn, are instantly playing for 3rd place in this division. I can’t believe this crap.

    1. Yuppie York should’ve offered VD and a pick for the gargantua Jimmy Graham. Unless Saints were focused on getting a veteran center……I hope Yuppie York and Billy Bob Baalke were aware that Graham was available.

  19. Adam Schefter ✔ @AdamSchefter
    Filed to ESPN: Rams close to trading QB Sam Bradford to Philadelphia for Nick Foles and draft-pick compensation, per sources.

          1. One guess from Pollian is that Pat Shurmer is the OC at Philly and may have sold Kelly on something with Bradford. The contract seems funny though…….
            Moving away from the Read Option concept apparently.

            1. Bradford was an excellent spread QB at OU. I thought he was gonna be a great NFL QB but he hasn’t stayed healthy.

              I’m more curious to see how Foles looks in the Rams offense.

        1. LOL

          Frank Caliendo ✔ @FrankCaliendo
          Boy Chip Kelly is going to be embarrassed when he realizes the “OU” next to Sam Bradford’s college didn’t mean Oregon

  20. Yep…Nice live blog u got here…As usual, Grant does a disappearing act in the middle of all the big updates…Can’t hang with the chaos eh?

  21. Bruschi was saying that Mangini’s scheme needs good, flexible-role players at ILB and CB. NB & PW certainly fit the bill when healthy, but now…..
    Also, Vic’s scheme wasn’t as demanding of CBs, so we’ll have to see if TB changes his value assessments of CBs in FA and/or Draft.

  22. Adam Schefter ✔ @AdamSchefter
    Mike Iupati’s deal with Arizona: 5 yrs, $40M, plus incentives up to $41M with $22.5M guaranteed.

    1. Over $8m a year is good money for the guard position.

      At this rate the first pick of the 2016 NFL draft will be a compensatory for the 49ers.

      Seriously, has there even been a compensatory higher then a 3rd rounder?

      1. Wiki – “All compensatory picks are awarded at the ends of Rounds 3 through 7”

        Won’t be surprised of the 49ers get a 3rd, and multiple 4th rounders in 2016.

    1. Adam Schefter ✔ @AdamSchefter
      Free-agent WR Torrey Smith has reached agreement on a five-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers, per me and @caplannfl

  23. Anyone that wanted Jake Locker to sign (is that crickets I hear…) is out of luck. He’s just announced his retirement.

    1. He would have fit our recent pattern of getting a guy who never lived up to his draft status to be the backup.

      Not saying it’s a good pattern, but he could have fit the grand tradition of Colt McCoy and Blaine Gabbert. We’ll have to go after Christian Ponder now or something. Or maybe we could trying having a better plan for backup QB.

    1. I didn’t follow free agency last year, but did you guys know that Bethea was going to be signed before the actual announcement or was it a complete surprise?

      1. I think you are right Mid. I’ve been saying for a while this year’s draft isn’t as high or deep in quality as last year.

    2. I heard somewhere in all this smoke that the Cap was bigger than had been anticipated and so more teams were encouraged to play. I didn’t expect this many trades, it seems like draft day trades, all clustered as they are.

      1. Ha ha scooter. If you don’t think seattle will be making that happen you’re in for some fun. Willis couldn’t even cover him.

        1. If Mangini is putting Borland in position to have to cover Graham 1-on-1 regularly he is an idiot.

          I expect Borland will mostly be asked to play zone coverage on pass plays.

          1. I would imagine Borland would be covering the running back or blitzing, while Bowman or the strong inside linebacker jams the tight end and then drops into zone coverage. Isn’t that what Fangio typically did?

            1. He wasn’t averse to having Willis play man coverage on the TE.

              But yeah, I think we are on the same wave length with what responsibilities may be. Basically Borland is unlikely to be asked to do much man coverage as he isn’t good at it. Blitzing or covering short zones/ flats, or spying the RB/ QB. Kind of like what the Ravens had Ray Lewis doing towards the end of his career.

              1. Ray Lewis was a liability at the end of his career.

                NFL running backs can turn the corner on Borland.

              2. Lewis was such a liability they won the SB.

                Jack, that’s a fine point. They are supposed to provide contain to funnel the run to the middle. Of course things don’t always go to plan!

              3. Sometimes the ILB’s became OLB’s, depending on the matchup. Fangio=Versatility and disguise….

              4. Is there a chance that Brooks can play ILB? I believe he played that position against the Panthers in the 2013 season playoffs for a couple of plays. Admittedly, they were goal line stands but he did very well. I’m just wondering.

              5. Grant, Lewis was definitely slowing down a lot at the end of his career. 2012 it became really noticeable.

                However, they had already started to change his responsibilities well before 2012. In 2011 the Ravens ranked top 5 in D. In 2012 they went down a fair bit, but Lewis was hurt most of the year. You have gotten so used to the 49ers having two exceptionally rangy ILBs you appear to have forgotten that many 3-4 teams can get by quite nicely with one ILB that isn’t a sideline-to-sideline player. What Borland does well, he does very well.

              6. I agree with your last sentence, but he is a liability against outside runs and a liability in sub packages.

              7. So it is up to the coaches to put him in positions where he succeeds, and avoid putting him in situations he will struggle.

                One of the best parts of a 3-4 is it can reduce the amount of distance the strongside ILB needs to cover.

    1. The freaking out over the Willis retirement and Graham trade is laughable.

      Last year Graham caught 4 passes for 32 yards and 1 int when lined up inside against Borland, Ward, and Wilhoite.

      He did his damage outside against the corners, not the backers.

  24. ProFootballTalk ✔ @ProFootballTalk
    Confirmed — 49ers sign WR Torrey Smith for $40 million over 5 years with $22 million guaranteed.

    Pretty much cancels out Iupati’s contract in the compensatory formula. IMO better value though.

    1. Whoa, razor, how was my guess?! I said around $8M a year.

      Really a very good signing by the 49ers. $8M a year on average for an impact WR like Smith is good value for the 49ers offense.

      It is now up to Kaep to be able to hit him.

            1. I’m disappointed because we downgraded. Speed help, but being clutch is more important and he doesn’t have that.

              1. What’s hysterical is that many are blinded by his speed and YPC. His catch rate and reception rate are both low and he played in Kubiak’s offensive system which explains his seven TD increase. He’s not going to have the same luxury here in Chryst’s offense.

              2. No one. The WR market was terrible this year. The closest WR I would have gone after would have been Maclin, but I passed because of his injury history and questions about whether this past season was a one-time thing or not. I would instead have chosen a WR in one of the first two rounds and another (maybe developmental) in one of the rounds after that. And if Parker fell past the eighth pick, I would have traded up to get him.

              3. If we got him from one of the first two rounds and didn’t overvalue a guy (talking to you Baalke), then yes.

              4. So, what you are saying is, so long as Baalke chooses the right player, they will be an upgrade over Torrey Smith. Easy.

                Which player(s) are you certain will be better than Smith in this draft?

              5. Overall. Technically the 49ers have a chance at any player so long as they are willing to give up what is needed for them.

              6. That’s not completely true Scooter. For example, we might want Cooper but the Bucs, Titans, and Jaguars could refuse to trade down because of a certain prospect they covet and the Raiders would mostly likely throw up a bird at us.

              7. I know, but that doesn’t always hold true. You can see a good price for something and think it works, but the other party could have zero interest in buying.

    1. That’s huge bucks. Almost identical to Mike Iupati’s new deal with AZ.

      He had 10 TDs in his last 11 games. Lets hope that kind of productivity will be a long term trend.

      1. Well, there’s a lesson there somewhere about value. Either we got a deep threat WR for OG money, or Az paid WR money to an OG. Only time will tell.

  25. Anybody remember how we contained Graham in our game with NO last season. Graham was targeted 13 times with 10 completions for 76 yards. That completion percentage suggests that we didn’t necessarily contain him, but I’ve forgotten what the 49ers strategy was.

  26. 49ers have been gutted. No Gore sucks, but good to not hang on too long. Iupati way too expensive, but best run blocker on the team. Losing Patrick Willis is a punch in the gut. Unless Bowman returns at a high level and SF adds a big receiving target at te and wr, this is going to be a very long season.

    1. He’s trolling on he raider blog as (“secret Santa) it’s like Christmas to him they signed a Superbowl mvp.

    1. That’s what I feel they are right now. We overpaid for a #2, lost an All-Pro ILB, and our opponent acquired a huge offensive weapon. The 2015 season isn’t going to be pretty.

    2. Of course they did.
      This team is going to suprise people. And seattle will be riddled with injury. My prediction.

    3. All the doom and gloom the last few days can be negated if Bowman returns relatively healthy. Willis sounded optimistic about Bowman and the 49ers.

      1. I picked up on that (grasping at straws?) too. As long as Bow can return to being good I can see eventually adjusting to loss of PWilly.

    4. The experts also thought Percy Harvin would make Seattle unbeatable. One can argue that dumping him was the turning point in their season.

      There’s a reason we play the games.

  27. It seems to me that Seattle’s OL will be even weaker than before. Unfortunately, Wilson is the best scrambler there is so it probably won’t affect him much.

  28. After this Graham trade, does it make more sense to go after a big corner like Browner. Yeah, I know that corners don’t usually cover TEs, but what other alternatives are available?

  29. im glad the bandwagon is starting to empty. Clueless fans blamin ownership for this offseason.
    1 good gripe??? The Harbaugh debacle. But I think they put a good coaching staff together.
    This defense ranked 5th last year with fill ins everywhere. Again health will determine this teams success.
    Losing Willis is big, but you plug a decent player between bowman and smith and they will succeed. The dockett signing will be big for the defense. Smiths return will be big, I just can’t see the sky falling yet.

    1. “The dockett signing will be big for the defense.”

      Hm. why do you think that? Dockett’s 34 & coming off injury. Is he better than Ray McDonald at this point?

      D should be fine if Justin comes back & Bowman returns to form. It’s not Willis, but they can survive w/ Borland on non-passing downs as long as the OLB’s contain and the DL keep him from getting pancaked. But losing Culliver will hurt.

      Iupati’s replacement is likely going to be a young player, so there’s going to be some growing pains on the OL. Hard to say what the run game will look like w/o Gore w/ his ability to wait for and slip through seams.

      Should be an interesting season. It’s not easy to replace Justin, Pat, & Frank. Don’t know what Anquan or Vernon have left. Definitely at a crossroads.

  30. Mmmmmmm, well this has been interesting,

    Take 1, we are doomed, doomed I tell you (best read with a Scottish accent) Frank, Patrick, Mike, all gone, the best coach to have ever stood on an NFL sideline, gone. Owner is a lying piece of ……., GM is a self obsessed megalomaniac, Stadium a disaster, no-one wants anything to do with this dumpster fire. Couldn’t get any coaches to come on board so hired a bunch of losers, I mean why bother even carrying on? just fold the team and let Los Angeles re-establish the franchise from scratch. I mean the team is full of wife beating, gun toting, drug smuggling maniacs anyway!

    Take 2, Everything is fine, Frank was over the hill, isn’t worth what the Colts paid for him, Mike was a chump, Patrick was declining, Jed’s heart is in the right place, Trent is a genius, he’s just driven. We always wanted the coaches we got, we were just clever about it. Torrey, Darnell and Jerome are on board, The glory days are on their way! I mean what is classier than giving people another chance to redeem themselves after they have made a mistake, everyone does stupid things.

    But hey, has anyone noticed that Crabtree doesn’t seem to have had a peep of interest as yet? might we get him back at a reasonable price?

      1. A big, nasty OG who can bulldoze runs and still block the A Gap on passes would be a good fit in S.F.
        Call me crazy

        1. Brandon Thomas who did 35 reps on the bench uses his long arms to slow rushers in pass protection, and he can dig a grave for defenders in the running game. Said to be savvy like a veteran and plays through the whistle….

  31. I’m happy for Gore. Indy is going to be a contender next year. Broncos are going backwards. Unlikely Brady repeats. Gore just might get a ring.
    Niners are going to be bottom tier and that’s said. Hey we still have Kaep though!

    1. Fan,
      Does Philly have something up their sleeve with the recent shipping out of Foles for Bradford?
      Although Baalke is denying that CK is being bandied around it wouldn’t surprise me if Kelly makes a strong pitch for Kaep. With the re-upping of Gabbert today maybe Baalke feels he could supplant Kaep and start to listen to offers?

      Or NOT!
      Sorry Fan, couldn’t resist dude.

      1. As much as I disapprove of Kaep last year, I’ve always said every year is a new year. He’s all that’s left from the SB year, yeah the one he lost. Oh the almost glory year!
        I would not be surprised at all if he gets traded for Foles, or some candy and magic beans.
        I like Tomsula but he’s not a coach. Harbaugh had the ego to push people, push himself, push the org. We’re going back to some dark days.
        Hey I’m faithful, but I’m not stupid!

      1. I wouldn’t count on Foles making it through a whole season in this division. The 49ers beat him up pretty good….

          1. This just in: Sam Bradford dislocates his arm hanging up Chip Kelly’s phone call…He is out for the 2015 season.

      2. Foles will make them better. He’s tough and accurate. Regardless of what he did against the Niners last year, the Rams got 100% better at the QB position.
        If they get Demarco Murray, look out.

  32. From Matt Maiocco’s free agency tracker (the interesting part is what he says about Torrey Smith’s contract – sounds like its backloaded, but the reported guarantee is high):

    4:44 p.m.: With the retirement of Patrick Willis, which can be expected to generate $8.315 million in cap space, the 49ers are approximately $16.25 million under the salary cap. (That figure does not include the Torrey Smith contract, which is expected to be much lower than the reported $8 million annual average.) With the 49ers comfortably under the cap, outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks and wide receiver Stevie Johnson currently remain on the 49ers’ roster. Brooks is scheduled to make $4.35 million this season, while Johnson is on the books for $6.025 million.

  33. Maiocco’s response to a question about whether or not the team keeps Brooks and S. Johnson:

    “The 49ers have the cap room to hold onto them for a while and try to see if they can negotiate lower-paying deals. In the case of Brooks, his salary de-escalated by $2.5 million. With Patrick Willis’ retirement and Dan Skuta leaving as a free agent, the 49ers might want to make it work. Jim Tomsula has a special relationship with him, and I think he’s probably going to bat for him. Right now, there appears to be a decent chance he sticks around. As for Johnson, the 49ers want to work out something with him to keep him around. –Matt M”

    1. If Brooks can get his head screwed on straight, he can contribute. The new defensive coordinator will be more open to rotating players, which should make being the 3rd OLB easier to take.

      Brooks was one of the reasons I toyed with the 3-4 idea (not happening).
      But a swing OLB+situational goal line MLB role could work.

      Keep the lbs in check, fix the attitude. He can still be a weapon.

  34. Here’s another one from Matt Maiocco on a question regarding the T. Smith contract (notice the Tomsula part):

    “Let’s wait until we see the structure of the contract. Things generally get overblown on the initial reports. But from what I hear, Jim Tomsula pushed hard for Torrey Smith. And to get a guy at the start of free agency, it’s not going to be inexpensive. –Matt M.”

  35. The Jimmy Graham deal is looking great for the SeaRoids. The Saints have to eat a big chunk of his guaranteed money. Very cap friendly for Seattle.

    1. Overthecap.com shows an $8 million hit for the Seahawks this year. I still don’t get why NO would take a $9 million dead money hit to unload Graham; and the first round pick is more like a top of the second round pick. Something else is going on.

    2. Good friend of mine, die hard Saints fan, says what many around here say – he’s soft. He is glad they got rid of them. Claims they are looking to draft Clemson’s LB with their 1st. Not sure who they will take at the end of the first round.

      1. I like Beasley. If he’s taken before the Saints pick (13), I’d like to see the 49ers trade up if a blue chipper’s (Parker, Waynes) still there.

  36. Niners plan on resigning Gabbert. This nightmare season will NEVER end! I can’t believe what is happeningwiththisteam. Jim Harbaugh put a curse on this team as soon as Jed told him he wouldn’t be coming back! What the hell else can happen bad to this team?!?!?

  37. I can see a couple scenarios that have Kaepernick leaving SF. The first, Minnesota swaps first rounder and give a fourth and Matt Castle. SF would use 4th on future QB. 1st could replace Gore, Lupati, or Smith.
    SF could swap first rounder with Chicago for Cutler. This deal would make more sense after Thursday when Cutler is paid 10 million for 2016. His 15 Million for 2015 is only 3 Million more than Kaepernick’s 12 million. A win now approach might be attractive.
    I am sure SF wanted a deal in place early on with Philly but overvalued Kaepernick. Foles would have been an amazing fit in SF. Kaepernick could have been a Mariota in Chip’s system.
    Chip Kelly is probably the source of the leak which further cracks any foundation in SF while benefiting the Rams as a thank you for their deal.

    1. I’d take my chances with Kaep over (should be)Cutler any day of the week. Cutler has peaked and is on the decline.

      CK had a rough 2014 season as did the entire team. Crabtree and Boldin had more dropped passes than likely any other time in the careers and the O-line was unusually subpar. VD was a shell of himself and VMac was – well, probably to early to use the bust word. The Harbaugh regime came to a screeching end. Key defensive players hurt, suspended or throwing temper tantrums.
      Putting it solely on CK is a cheap and easy excuse.
      Let’s face it, the entire 2014 49ers season was like a bad dream.

      Hopefully a new and fresh start makes a positive difference. At least Jed and Baalke say it will.

        1. @MidNo, he didn’t have to…he may have committed career suicide by taking the same team that didn’t play him last year. As long as Kaepernick is here, Blaine Gabbert will be riding the pine.He’s a better QB, he could have rolled the dice and gotten a better deal elsewhere, or at least got some guarantees that he’s going to get some quality snaps. Baalke had the chance to move Kaep, and he blew it.

            1. @Mid….When Gabbert was with the Jags, he had one reasonable quality Olineman, and one reasonable quality WR. At Missouri, he was dominating.

              1. How’d he do when he played with the 1’s in preseason last year? So good they kept Josh Johnson as a 3rd QB. Gabber’s not a better QB even with talent around him. He has potential, we’ll see if he can be reclaimed.

              2. So too was Linehardt, Young, etc. Just because you’re dominating at the college level doesn’t mean that you’ll do anything at the NFL level.

          1. OREGON,
            It’s obvious that you have joined the Fan77 (club).
            Btw, do you have concrete evidence that Baalke tried to trade CK or is your ardent Kaep indifference causing hallucinations?

    1. I don’t have a problem with that.

      Are you gonna predict again this year that Kaep will get injured in, what was it, the 10th week of the season and Gabbert will lead us to the superbowl? :-)

  38. I don’t know if anyone has posted this, but Reggie Bush is reportedly choosing between the 49ers, Patriots, and Saints. Here’s hoping he chooses one of the other two.

      1. I mentioned Bradshaw before. He’s injury prone but would be cheap and be Hyde’s backup.
        Lofton is another. He could take over the leadership role vacated by Willis and also be a good complement next to Bowman.
        Thurmond is a guy who can replace Cox.
        Campbell makes a heck of a lot more sense than Gabbert.
        CB Robinson could be brought in on a one-year in order to see if his improvement in coverage last season was because of a contract year or a sign of things to come.
        C.J. Spiller would be an excellent choice, but he’s expected to not be cheap (which is crazy).
        Gilchrist could be brought in to backup both safety positions, something that is needed given Reid’s three concussions.

          1. No, but some of the ones I would consider had either already committed to another team or were resigned. For example, Revis is one that I had considered since he has played in a Mangini defense but not at $70 million.

            1. If you want a guy like Revis, that is the kind of money you need to spend.

              It is free agency. If you want to sign one of the top talents available you have to be willing to put some money towards them.

              1. True, but I would considering that he flopped badly in Tampa Bay.

                I’m more than willing to spend, but I won’t overpay.

  39. Gabbert … living proof of Ira Gershwin’s lyric … “nice work if you can get it” … millions just for a great seat at the game and some workouts during the week. And Gore? Smart, smart, SMART!

    1. What’s different about Gabbert from the situation with any other backup QB? $2M for 2 years is a very reasonable deal and Baalke may feel that Logan can continue to develop him.

  40. Graham trade solves problem of 5’10” qb throwing through a forest of hands in the Red Zone. Now rollout, or Lynch, or high jumping 6’&7″ target. Nice choices.

  41. Rumour circling now is that Jason Worilds (27) is retiring. Not sure if it has been verified to be real yet or not, but if it is, wow.

    1. Ray maluluga….lb from Cincinnati and USC before. I’m not sure what his status is but I think he’s going to be cut if not already. Would the niners be interested in him or maybe the Raiders. He’d be reunited with Ken Norton Jr if he went to Oakland . What do you think?

    1. Of those, I think Brooks is the only one that isn’t a “must” part with. They probably should, but at the moment it looks like they can afford to carry him and he’s a good 3rd OLB to have so long as he’s not going to sulk about it.

      The others I agree with.

      What will be interesting to see is what Culliver gets offered in FA. I thought he’d be generating more interest than this. If he stays on the market for a bit the 49ers might just be able to lure him back without giving him a massive contract.

        1. Isn’t it less than that now?

          Even if it is $6M, they can afford it as one of the starters is making next to nothing. If they cut Brooks they don’t get a huge amount of salary cap relief, and they need to replace him. Might not be easy to get a replacement with starting potential like him in FA without having a higher overall cap hit, and to get a rookie that provides as good a backup as Brooks they likely need to get one early.

          1. That still doesn’t make sense Scooter. Brooks lost his job to a rookie last year and he and the new HC butted heads last year. Lynch has shown enough to be the starter, so I don’t see why you keep Brooks. Trade him for a draft pick or another player.

            1. The old adage of you can never have too many good pass rushers, Mid. Having a third guy that rotate in and can also be a good starter in case of injury is a good thing to have.

              1. Then get a cheaper guy in free agency or draft one. I highly doubt Brooks would be happy being strictly a rotation guy.

              2. Who is going to come cheaper in FA, once you account for the salary cap hit of releasing him?

                Drafting a guy is a great idea, and one I fully support, but do you want to head into the draft needing to take one early? If they have the salary cap space they may as well hold onto him for now, and if an OLB they really like falls to them then great, take him and you can get rid of Brooks. If not, no biggy, you’ve got a good backup OLB already in place.

              3. Still Scooter, you don’t keep a malcontent, especially if he and the HC have butted heads. It’s a recipe for disaster.

              4. Mid,

                If you got rid of every player who was unhappy with his role you’d have a lot fewer players. That’s life in the NFL and Brooks doesn’t decide his role. You don’t part with players simply because they don’t feel wanted. You make the move that serves the team best and in this case the best move may be holding on to him.

      1. Maiocco seemed to indicate that the 49ers are interested in keeping Stevie – but it seems that they want to reduce his cap hit. Do you think they are thinking of grooming him to take over for Boldin as soon as after this season?

        1. No. If they keep him, then that means they see him as their #3 WR. I don’t see them grooming Johnson to take over for Boldin when they couldn’t see him taking over for Crabtree.

        2. Could be cubus.

          Last year they went into TC with four accomplished vet WRs and two young guys. Could be they would like to keep Stevie around so they can do the same thing again this year, in case of injury, or if Patton and Ellington don’t progress, or in case this year’s kicking the tires candidate (Simpson) doesn’t have anything left.

          The main difference compared to last year being that this time two of those vets have legitimate deep speed (Smith and Simpson).

    1. He’s my guy. I rooted a whole year against my team so we draft him. Had it not been for the Houston game where their kicker purposely missed the go ahead fg, we would have drafted #1. That’s the year they chose Mario Williams. I mean their kicker missed the fg so bad, had it been a punt, it would have down on the one yard line. Mind you it was on the last play of game where they returned a kick to our side and got a 15 yard penalty to set them up for a 36 yard chip shot. Reggie bush would have been a niner.

  42. Torrey Smith contract deals are out. Key points: 5 years, $8mil signing bonus, the $22mil guaranteed was basically window dressing, positive cash savings if cut following 2015, cap hit of only $3.6mil this year.

    1. Adding on and quoting from Matt Maiocco:

      “Multiple media outlets initially reported Smith would receive $22 million in guarantees, but most of that money is for injury-only and becomes fully guaranteed if Smith remains on the roster on April 1 of 2016 and ’17, according to former agent Joel Corry, who writes on salary-cap matters for CBS Sports.

      In addition, Smith can achieve a $31,250 bonus — or a total of $500,000 annually — for each regular-season game in which he suits up on the 46-man game day roster. He has a $750,000 workout bonus this year, and $1 million workout bonuses in each of the following four offseasons.

      The only fully guaranteed money in Smith’s contract is his $8 million signing bonus and $750,000 first-year salary, according to Corry.

      Smith’s cap numbers during the course of his contract are $3.6 million this season, $7.6 million in 2016, $9.6 million in 2017, $9.6 million in 2018, and $9.6 million in 2019.”

        1. Odds that you fell for the “$22mil guaranteed”, 1:1.

          49ers got the type of player they wanted for 1 year & $5mil less than it cost the Packers for Cobb.

          1. I fell for it too.
            The initial report sounded over the top with regard to guaranteed money.
            I’m reminded once again to wait for the details before commenting.

    2. A great pick up providing a skill set the team sorely needed on a deal they can void in any year pretty easily without major salary cap implications.

      I call that dang good business.

    1. I admit I have not followed Bush’s career, but my first thought/question is: Is he tough enough to play in the NFC West?

  43. I think the 49ers’ new WR trio (Boldin, Smith, Simpson) is better than their old WR trio (Boldin, Crabtree, Johnson). What do you think?

    Grant we’ll see but I am inclined to agree with your initial assessment. Johnson, Crabtree and Boldin were are nearly the same receiver in size speed and style of play. We will certainly have more speed at the position. Both these guys has 700ish yards in their last season. Crabtree had 689 and Johnson 435. If only one of them hits 700 yds then we are exactly where we started. So much is driven by offensive scheme, QB play, Oline play, and their impact on the game keeping the box from being stacked against the run. I am hopeful. Simpson’s QB play wasn’t as good as what we have but Flacco/Smith connection deep is better than what Kaep has shown so far.

  44. Can someone tell Florio and Maiocco that the 49ers will not miss the 2015 4th rounder because Balke actually recovered that pick from Denver when he swapped places in the 2nd round last year!!! I don’t bother commenting on those boards because they tend to be less informed.

  45. I’m trying to figure out how you reached the conclusion that will be our trio Grant. Smith, Boldin, and Ellington makes more sense because it would bring more versatility to the offense.

    1. The Ravens had success with Boldin in the slot and two deep threats outside — Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones. Jerome Simpson is a better deep threat than Jones.

          1. Yep. The only difference is the baggage they bring with them. If Simpson keeps his nose clean he could be a steal.

          2. Come on Grant your smarter then this. To say Simpson is as good as torrey is stupid. Torrey had 11 tds last year without a quality slot receiver like boldin. Simpson flashes some vertical plays but to say he is as good is a big time stretch. Then you say that the Raiders have better RBs then the niners. That’s false as well. Hyde is far and away better then anyone on the Raiders roster. Your going to point to yards per carrie but it’s irrelvant when the offense line was as injured as last year. Second Helu is nice but Bush is better value because he could also be a very good point returner if needed. Plus the signing of Bush allows them to draft another RB cause you need 4. Especially with the injury history of Hunter and Bush.

          3. Smith: 3500 yards in 4 years

            Simpson: 2000 yards in 6 years.

            I fail to see how that’s similar, especially since what you’re going off is a comparison when simpson got full snaps and smith shared snaps w/ jones

            1. Simpson’s most recent season in the league (’13), he caught 48 passes for 726 yards.

              Smith’s most recent season (’14), he caught 49 passes for 767 yards.

              1. Simpson has never gone close to 65 receptions for 1,100 yards though.

                Whether it is a trio of Boldin, Smith and Simpson or Boldin, Smith and Ellington/ Patton/ a rookie, the WR group is going to be a better one than last year barring injury.

        1. Are you thinking he won’t make the team because of Jed reaching in and not wanting the 49ers to be represented by a guy like that or because of his performance? He’s better than Patton or Ellington at this point since we haven’t seen much from either of them.

      1. Grant

        Mightn’t it be better for your users (i.e., more user friendly) if you started a new blog for each day? You’d probably get more hits, too, since people would be more inclined to read through, say, 50-100 comments than 400-500 comments.

  46. This is the 4th year in a row that Baalke attempts to bolster the receiving corp via free agency or trade. Only Anquan Boldin has panned out so far. Gone are Braylon Edwards, Randy Moss, Jon Baldwin, Mario Manningham , Brandon Lloyd, and now Stevie Johnson.

    So are we to believe that Simpson and T. Smith are the answer at WR? Given Baalke’s track record, I’ll say “no way”.

    In typical Baalke fashion, this is an “arse” saving move. With these signings, he’s created an excuse not to draft a WR in the 1st or 2nd rounds of the upcoming draft. I think the failure of AJ Jenkins still has Baalke shell shocked.

    I would rather see the 49ers draft a WR and develop him. Now they have Adam Henry from LSU as their WR coach. He has a proven track record of developing young WRs. Why not give that a shot? Draft a WR and let the coaching staff develop the talent. That will be more cost effective and with a much higher ceiling than cycling WR retreads.

    1. They are hoping he’ll be able to develop Patton and Ellington Nick. As far as taking a WR this year, there is a very good chance they still will, but the top 3 figure to be off the board before the Niners first pick so signing Smith was a good move imo. They now have a legitimate deep threat that will open the field up.

  47. I am not sold on this Reggie Bush idea. Reggie Bush has the same measurable as Quinton Patton, almost dead on. Some have argued that Harbaugh may have been fired because he wasn’t developing the young players. It doesn’t seem like this was Harbaughs fault. It’s starting to look more like Baalke’s M.O. You have a perfectly good athlete in Patton, not to forget Ellington, and have zero clue on how to use them. Adding Bush will only push these two further down the depth chart. What ever plans they have in mind for Bush, let Patton or Ellington handle those duties. Adding Bush is pointless.

        1. If you want to turn a WR into a RB be my guest.

          Bush has played 41 regular season games over the last 3 seasons. The guy many seem to like, Spiller, has played 40 over that same span.

        2. You were the one who said, “…maybe part of the reason they got rid of Harbaugh was because he wasn’t developing his young players.”

          Moving Patton or Ellington to tailback on 3rd downs is not going to kill them. They can do the same thing Bush does.

        3. Patton in 2 years has shown he’s also injury prone. Broken foot, Broken finger, and another ligament injury to a foot.

  48. I’m in a Show Me state of mind on Simpson. I’ll be delighted if he can help SF, but the world didn’t exactly beat a path to his door. I think it’s too early to annoint him as the #3, but not saying he can’t be that guy.

  49. We could have #1’s in all 53 spots on the roster ..
    but something Grant said in his interview keeps
    banging away in the back of my head …

    ” … We’ve got a bunch of coaches ..
    nobody wanted …”

    So.. I guess the question should be …

    do coaches trump talent ..?

    or .. is it the other way around ?

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