Andy Lee traded to Browns

The 49ers just announced they have traded four-time first-team All-Pro punter Andy Lee to the Cleveland Browns. In return, the Niners will receive a seventh-round draft pick in 2017, according to Adam Schefter.

Lee (32) was the eighth-best punter in the NFL last season according to Pro Football Focus. The 49ers were scheduled to pay Lee $2.55 million in 2015 before they traded him to Cleveland.

Here’s a statement from general manager Trent Baalke: “For the last 11 years, Andy has been a tremendous representative of the 49ers organization both on the field and in the community. While he may be best known for his production on the field, we have come to know Andy as a great teammate and family man. We would like to thank Andy for his commitment to this organization, while wishing him and his family continued success throughout his career and beyond.”

And here’s a statement from Lee: “It has truly been an amazing 11 years with the 49ers organization, and I’m thankful for everything they have done for me. San Francisco gave me the opportunity to play in the NFL by drafting me in 2004, and will forever be a special place for me and my family. Thank you to the York family, my teammates, the coaches, the football staff and the Faithful for your support over the years. It’s been a great time!”

The Niners’ new punter is rookie fifth-round draft pick Bradley Pinion. He probably will kick kickoffs as well, because he has a tremendously strong leg and 40-year-old kicker Phil Dawson does not.

This article has 292 Comments

  1. Clearly it was only a matter of time before the organization parted ways with him at least they got something, those upset should realize they were probably just going to release him for nothing before the season started.

    1. It wasn’t clear to Grant, and when Pinion was drafted, 90% of the faithful were grinding and gnashing their teeth. This move validates the 49ers scouting department on the player….

      1. Let’s be clear. What was bemoaned on draft day was the round that Pinion was selected not necessarily the selection itself. Once Pinion was selected, it was fairly self evident that they would only keep one punter. It looks like Pinion did well enough in OTAs to win the job. Good for him.

        1. The round a player is taken is only relevant to draft pundits. The 49er scouting department did it’s job and Baalke listened.

          You must have missed Mr. Cohns’ Bleacher Report indicating his belief the most probable scenario would be to retain Dawson, Lee and Pinion in 2015….

          1. We’ll never agree on the round debate, so I’ll leave it at that. Yes, I did miss that implausible statement by Grant.

          2. Seems to me we should not get to hasty here in validating job by scouting. We have yet to see the rookie perform in an NFL game.

              1. If the punter decisions were mostly due to saving some nickles and dimes then there is a chance of regret at game time. If money was the big driver then due diligence may have been side lined.

                But just so you don’t miss understand me here, I am actually far less worried about this relatively small move as compared to some far more impactful and far more worrisome moves that this franchise has made since last season. The staff changes being at the top of that list for me.

              2. I don’t buy that Pinion “won the job” in non mandatory OTA’s. The minute the niners drafted Pinion it was job to lose… this was purely a cap decision for a team that realizes they are not superbowl contenders this year.
                I’m quite certain Lee and everyone in the organization knew he was a goner when the pick was made. The only way Lee was going to stick around was if Pinion routinely punted the ball back over his head.

          3. Razoreater,
            You must be Tomsula himself with the way you’re towing the line. Pinion would have been available in the later rounds, Baalke did NOT have to draft him in the 5th. That’s the point you seem to be missing.

            1. I think you’re another knee jerk fan that doesn’t know as much as you’ve convinced yourself you do. Can you provide me the winning numbers for Mega Millions too?

              1. well, duh.

                but there’s also no guarantee he would not have been around later.

                and the evidence or conjecture (which is all we have to go by) is that he likely would be around later.

                in their defense, some of which came after the fact.

                personally, think it would have been smarter to have waited. the worst that could happen is you miss out on a punter and have to stay with Lee or try to sign one of the other top 5 to 10 college punters in UDFA.

  2. After the retirements of Justin Smith and Anthony Davis, along with the trade of Andy Lee, what are we going to do with all this newfound cap room? It’s too early to extend anyone from the 2013 draft class, and no one worthy from the 2012 class.

    I guess Aldon Smith is next up?

    1. Whatever cap space we have at seasons end will be transferred over to next year.

  3. Lee was a great punter and Niner. But the last 2 years you could tell he was declining from his pro bowl status.

    1. agreed as well…losing hangtime, a bit of a high salary for a kicker. This trade seems like a win win

  4. Other then it came a little earlier then expected, that was pretty much a no brainer.

  5. Writing was on the wall as soon as they drafted Pinion in the 5th round. You don’t draft a punter in the 5th and not have him take the job. I’m still not really on board with the pick, think it was both unnecessary and unnecessarily high, but once it was made getting rid of Lee was pretty much inevitable.

    1. To me the pick made perfect sense and the way Pinion performed in OTA’s must have made a big impression on the staff. Could be an upgrade at a better bargain while freeing up cap space for a skill position. When he was taken is only relevant to the taker, and the taker put in more work in the scouting process. Looks like they were spot on….

      1. After doing more research on Pinion a day or so after the draft I came away impressed with his resume, and could see there were elements he brought that could be a real asset to the 49ers. My comment is more that I still think:

        (1) Replacing Lee was unnecessary. Even if he was declining, and I’m not saying he definitely was, he is still one of the best in the NFL and probably with a few good years left (and under contract for). While Pinion may prove to ultimately be better than Lee, I didn’t see it as much of a need for improvement when there are other positions in far more flux. And while the 49ers will save some money by replacing him with Pinion, the 49ers could afford to keep Lee with the retirements of Willis and Justin Smith.

        (2) A 5th rounder is higher than I feel he should have been taken. Just my opinion, but no real basis for it admittedly as plenty of punters in the NFL were taken around that point (and some higher) in the draft. I guess I’m just not that keen on spending more than a 6th or 7th on kickers or punters.

        Of course if he turns out to be a sensational punter, one of the top 3-5 in the NFL for the next decade or so, then I’ll eat my words and accept he was worth the pick!

        1. Scooter:

          As I tried to understand the 5th round pick on draft day, I came away with the thought that he would kickoff instead of Dawson. That would prolong Dawson’s career and hopefully keep him fresh for field goals. But, I agree, you would be hard pressed to find many who think he should have been picked in the 5th round. But it’s over with and we need to move on. What they do with this extra cap room will be interesting. I can imagine a scenario where Dr. York is telling Jed to save money (esp. after paying Harbaugh’s coach staff one of the highest combined annual salaries). It will be interesting to see what they do.

          1. That notion that the Yorks only care about saving money is incredible ridiculous.

            Maybe they force some players to retire to save money. How does that sound?

        2. As will I Scooter,and Razor I hear your position and it has some validity however you must concede there is a distinct possibility Pinion would be available later in the draft thus opening further possibilities in the 5th.Water under the bridge now-obviously Baalke took his /our guy when he valued him so onward!

          1. If Pinion becomes an All Pro punter, people will forget all about what round he was taken. Something I envisioned Anthony Davis becoming, unfortunately he never could get that quick first step down to be as formidable in pass pro as he was in ground and pound. Good, but not elite….

    2. I agree Scooter. There was little doubt this move was inevitable the minute they used a 5th round pick on Pinion. The fact they didn’t even hold a competition shows they were intent on getting whatever they could for Lee which I understand. I don’t like a 5th being used on a Punter, but it is what it is and hopefully Pinion will reward their confidence.

  6. 49ers now have the cap space to take on an Evan Mathis sized contract, if they are considering shifting Boone to RT…

      1. Razor is drinking the koolaide. That’s precisely what the organization is banking on. This ownership is not interested in big mondy contracts. They are rebuilding on the cheap.
        The money was invested for a new stadium. Now thry are content to put mediocre back on thd field and collect revenue.

        1. Matt is drinking spiked kool-aid. The 49ers were recently one of the most cap-strapped teams in the NFL, and with the recent retirements, the 49ers have joined the middle of the pack in terms of salary-cap space. Doesn’t quite fit your narrative….

          1. All one needs to do is go back across the last 50 or so topics posted to see your endless defense of the 49er brass and Trent Baalke. There has not been a decision you couldn’t defend. You illustrate an over zealous unfounded optimism in anything Baalke or the organization has done.
            I am not crucifying you for that. It’s refreshing that you are such a dedicated fan blinded by your enormous hope for the team’s success.

            You’re inaccurate however in saying the 49ers have been one of the most cap-strapped teams. In 2009, they had 9 million in cap space. In 2010, they had 33 million in cap space.


            They had 6.5 million left over after all their signings in 2013. They had the same number in 2014 carrying over 2.5 million from 2013. The team carried over 4.2 million from 2014 and now have over 10 million this season.

            1. To clarify those numbers are left over cap space. In 2014 (9) of the thirty-two teams had less left over cap space. Two had the same and twenty-one had more. (4) of the teams who had more had more by 600k, 800K, 2.1 million, 2.3 million. Not very large discrepancies putting them in the low middle of the pack.
              They moved one spot back in 2013 with just under 4 million dollars separating them from 6 other teams. In 2012 there were only 10 teams with more cap space to start the season(20.7m). Hardly cap-strapped.

            2. Matt, you do realize we’re not even into training camp right? Hope is all any fan has at this point because no one knows what the final product is going to look like. There’s plenty to be optimistic and excited for about this team, but you’re too consumed by hatred for ownership to realize it….

              1. Fair enough. I don’t want to begrudge you Razor. Your optimism is refreshing. There has been a lot of bad news and its good for the team, the fan base, and this site, that you continue to hold out hope. I didn’t mean to come across condescending in any way just poking the bear a little.

              2. I don’t know if you were around when all this went down earlier in the year, but don’t take my word for it when I say I was one of those most vocal in criticizing York/Baalke and Tomsula. I set that bag of bricks down. Talented roster, diverse staff with plenty of football acumen. Let’s see if they can resurrect themselves after being buried by fans and pundits nationwide….

      2. No, I’d actually be very surprised if they made that move, razor. More just throwing the idea out there as a conversation starter for those thinking of players the 49ers could bring in along the OL.

    1. Boone? Boone? Let me quote terry Donahue: We would rather lose without him than win with him. Boone threw harbaugh under the bus, which speaks to his character. I’m not surprised he wasn’t drafted. He wasn’t fit to be a 7th round draft pick because of his character.

  7. First, I stand by my assertion that Pinion would have been available in the 7th. Does this now mean we have the cap space to wheel and deal and pick up an OT ? This is assuming Baalke is competent and realizes the predicament we are in.

    1. Baalke is competent enough to already have contingency plans in place in the form of Brown/Pears. You can stand by your assertion all you want, but it’s not going to mean a thing going forward. I don’t think Baalke will spend money just because he has it to spend….

      1. If I’m not mistaken, cap space can be rolled into the following year.

        A few years ago I thought the biggest cap space challenges would be Iupati, Aldon, Kaepernick, Crabtree. I figured they’d be able to sign two. Extending Aldon would be the logical choice if he has his head on right.

          1. Valuable position, elite traits but has baggage. Said to be Baalkes’ golden boy, if he can unpack and fly straight, he should get a sizable bite of cap pie to remain with the 49ers….

      2. Brown and pears are unproven and untested . It is a pretty big roll of the dice.

        1. Not when you consider Pears is a veteran and Browns’ stock is rising with every workout and nutritional meal….

      3. RazorEater,
        If you’re counting on Brown/Pears, then I have a bridge to sell you.

        1. Training camp will reveal the best man for the job, and I have a feeling you’ll be stuck with that bridge you’re trying to sell….

  8. Saw a tweet that said that Secretariats Belmont time would have beaten American Pharoah by 15 lengths.

    1. Hmmmm, C4C-
      That reminds me of a conclusion that Grant might draw from a single stat. So today the horse won by how many lengths? I just saw a clip, call it 5. So Secretariot would’ve won by 20 today? How many did he win by back then?
      I’m afraid that race times must be tied to track conditions.
      Can we suppose proportionally that the earlier horse would win? Well, OK, but it’s like matching up Ali vs Marciano; you need to be careful with extrapolations.

  9. I have been as critical as anyone on Trent’s success in proportion to his available assets in the draft. However one area he excels in is managing the teams salary cap. I tend to believe that that might also be his primary focus in respect to what he prioritizes.

    1. Willtalk,
      Trent is getting his marching orders from the cheap bastard owners and bean counting Indian team president. What else do you expect?

      1. Passive-Aggressive racism? Or just spill-over vitriol intended for the Yorks?
        Enjoy the RayDuhs.

          1. OK, I may be projecting, in which case I’M GUILTY, but what possible difference is Paraag’s ethnic origin to the conversation? I’m suspicious, why was it mentioned?
            You hate how Jed runs the team? You are not alone. But wtf with “Indian”?
            I don’t know if the shoe fits or not, but I’m not embarrassed to ask the question.

          2. If it wasn’t a racist remark there would have been absolutely no need to make mention of his ethnicity. I also see you didn’t feel the need to make mention of the York’s ethnicity, why is that?

              1. “An ethnic group or ethnicity is a socially defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural or national experience”. That help?

                How does Paraag’s heritage tracing back to India have any relevance to your comment without it being meant in some derogatory fashion? As you just pointed out it would be like calling Jed a cheap American. So if you pointed out Paraag’s Indian heritage, why didn’t you point out Jed’s heritage? Why did you target Paraag’s? Simple answer is there was absolutely no reason for you to mention it unless you intended to. To top it off he was born in California. He’s actually an American, born and raised, just like Jed.

              2. Include me in the group that thinks mentioning Marathe’s ancestry is racist.

                BTW, since when is Saratoga, California, in India? Marathe is American, as far as I can tell.

                Substitute any other ethnic reference in a similar sentence to the one in which you mentioned Marathe’s ethnicity. It doesn’t sound very good.

  10. I believe View was trying to reference a stereotype that “Indian(s)” are cheap. In college I worked for tips. It’s a common misnomer in the Industry much like referring to Jews as tight fisted.

    1. Why don’t you and view get a room where you can set up a dart board with Jed and Paraag as the targets?

    2. I worked with Indians for 20 years. In general they hire low quality tradesmen at bottom dollar. Some call that cheap, others might say frugal. The Jews I worked with were not cheap but were hypersensitive to any hint of prejudice toward jews, even if the discussion was jewish apartheid in Israels west bank.

  11. Man !! There are some thin skins walking around today….call in MWD for a Snickers break

  12. I watched Inherent Vice last night. Tough movie to recommend. That doesn’t reflect in anyway my level of enjoyment of the film but speaks more to the complexity of the story line and the pace and direction in which it unfolds.

    First it’s an adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel which if you’re familiar with his work tells you this isn’t going to be a 90 minute popcorn flick. Even though this is of a much lighter tone and theme then a lot of his work it’s still dense and meaty and at nearly 270 minutes Anderson still needed another 60 to fully expand the story to a level of easy comprehension. Quite frankly even though I’ve read the book I tuned out the story after the first hour or so and just enjoyed the exceptional work that Anderson was extracting from his talented cast. As you might guess I’m a big Paul Thomas Anderson fan and anytime he’s joined by Phoenix you can count me in. I digress; the actors sublimely melted into their designated roles seamlessly, Joaquin Phoenix easily the most underrated character actor of our generation steals the show as the hippie “doper” protagonist Doc. You could have carved out every other actor/actress and just put Phoenix on film for 2 and a half hours and you’d hardly notice. That’s not intended to take anything away from the supporting ensemble but simply to highlight the once again exceptional job that Phoenix puts into his craft. The movie does have some very funny moments orchestrated through Joaquin’s fantastic comedic timing and uncanny ability to tell a dozen different jokes just though his elastic like facial expressions, but unfortunately they’re few and far between.

    Anyway long story short, most will probably have a hard time enjoying this movie. It’s long, it’s slow and although they’re is an epic nude scene with Katherine Waterson the movie as a whole is not an easy watch. With that said I still give it a solid 3.

    1. 270 minutes? Seems a bit too long; like most of my posts.
      I too respect J.P.’s work on screen.
      Translating a good book into a well-edited screenplay is really difficult and rarely achieved. Its always a pleasure when its even close.

      1. Maybe there are two versions of Inherent Vice available. It’s listed at 148 minutes at Netflix and IMDB. Maybe they cut 122 minutes of nude scenes.

        The version listed at Amazon also is 148 minutes.

          1. Or maybe he was playing it at 33 1/3 instead of 45 rpm?
            (Anybody who gets that weak joke should probably go take their Geritol.)

            1. I had a couple 45 rpm records when I was a kid. Paul Revere and the Raiders “Indian Reservation” and Charlie Ryans’ “Hot Rod Lincoln” ; > )

              1. I had almost all 45s through HS; not sure what happened to them, but I suspect my brother nabbed them when I was overseas. He had my “Meet the Beatles” LP which he swore up and down was his until I pointed out my former girlfriend’s signed note on the back of the album cover. The dirty dawg, LOL!

            2. Electric Geritol? Brotha you know I got it! I own hundreds of 45’s and still play em on a little player in my twisted time machine mancave (you know the place you go where no one else understands ;) !?)-Fav 45’s? Mad magazine flexy disc 45 “She Got a Nose Job”; Dickey Do and the Donts -“Do the Dickey Do”; Billy Riley ”Flying Saucer Rock and Roll”-Fav 33rpm _”Bozo Under the Ocean”…yes the doctor will see me now.

              1. Didn’t everybody have the 45 of “Wipeout!”? The garage band anthem.

              2. I’ve still got my 70-80s vinyl collection in the garage with no turntable. They’re in pretty rough shape having barely survived a few too many keg parties and Labrador Retreivers sleeping on them and general surf dawg lifestyle.
                Of course I used to keep them in an orange crate, which chewed up the covers. Not worth a trip to Roadshow.

        1. Yep, completely botched that number, should have put 150 minutes. It was 2 1/2 hours.

    1. ““I think they have great culture now, the working environment is energetic and you’ll see young players play now,” Dilfer said. “The last staff was scared to play young players.”

      Typical Dilfer. Now that the “scared” staff has been removed, the unknown brilliance of their new “great culture” will shine forth over the land.

      1. The Dilfer is an pre-approved media outlet for the official party line. Can’t blame Dilfer, he is just trying to make a living.
        Pass along the party line = Continued Access
        Harbaugh had his own trusted agents in the media, just the way it works.
        By the way, does Jed actually talk to the local media anymore? It would appear that it is either the tweeter or the national media.

    2. No question Dilfer’s 49er “insider” that’s prone to say positive things about the 49ers. (I have heard him criticize players and the team before)

      But he’s an interesting story. Once his career ended he put (some of) his ego away and made it his personal mission to find out why some quarterbacks were simply better then him.

      He wanted to know from a mechanics viewpoint why other QBs like Farve or Rogers threw better passes with better accuracy.

      Now he has a nice little side business going teaching football mechanics. I think Kaepernick’s trainer Dennis Gile is a product of Dilfer’s school. (anyone know this for sure?)

      1. B2W, I do believe that I read that somewhere. Also, Dilfer criticized jh and co for not developing CK7. Dilfer is naturally a fan of CK7 working with Warner and Gile and he does have a financial interest in it all. That said, I’m a big fan of CK7 continuing to work with them over the summer break. Repetitions…Repetitions…Repetitions

      2. “I think Kaepernick’s trainer Dennis Gile is a product of Dilfer’s school.”

        He is.

  13. Welp, that’s a wrap on the 2010 draft class. Thanks for the memories, but I’m anxious for some more….

    1. Bowman is still around and looking to add some more memorable moments from the 2010 draft class for 49er fans.

  14. Actually, I’m sort of interested in seeing what we can come up with as long as we don’t get stupid with the cap and go out and pick up any more $40 million WR’s. I think that we’re pretty flush right now….how many illegal motion penalties did AD get called ? In the early ’70’s, we did pretty well with Len Rohde and Cas Banaczak at tackle(s) each at around 275 lbs…but they were fast…..’should be interesting….Let’s see who shows up for TC

  15. Not one retired or traded or lost player we’ve seen this offseason has brought this franchise a Super Bowl.
    Think about that! And quit blaming the gm and owner for these series of events.

    1. Steve Young and Joe Montana are both retired. Why don’t you just let the season speak for itself? Ohmmmmmmmmm.

  16. Who takes Anthony davis roster spot? There are some good veteran ol still available…..


    You weighed 376 pounds at 6 feet, 8 inches at the Senior Bowl in late January. What went into shedding 21 pounds in a little more than three weeks to drop to 355?

    Brown: It was just first and foremost having the funds and the right people around you helping you eat right. The whole time through my college career I knew how to eat right. It was just the point of not having enough money to do that. I got $700 a month, but your rent is $500 and you still have a vehicle and you have other expenses as well, $200 is not enough to eat off of for a whole month. After all of your expenses and all of your other living stuff that you need to buy, you have like $50 left over to eat for the month. To be honest, cafeteria food is horrible. I’m sure that’s worldwide, at least countrywide. Either you have a choice to starve or to eat this cheap hamburger and be satisfied, you know what I’m saying? We got flex bucks on campus and in between classes you got Subway and Chick-fil-A and Einstein’s Bagels and other stuff, all these carbs. You’re going to go get that before you go get something else and spend your own money because that’s basically free.

    I found the answer to this question very telling. This kid is hungry for more than just good food….

    1. Yet Mark Emmert makes 1.7 million per year salary. And student athletes get punished for taking bonuses from boosters or selling/trading their own memorabilia.

      This is why college football players should unionize. One strike will have this whole thing settled very quickly.

    2. Brown is well spoken and impresses me as a good person. I’m in his corner 100%.

    1. Brown practices the agility ladder daily and when you watch tape of him, clearly that’s one of the traits that immediately jump off the screen. For a man his size, he’s extremely athletic. The 49ers may have struck gold with this kid….

        1. Imagine this kid after a couple years in the organization. He’s gonna be a monster.

    2. Harold is going to make me look good on my rookie impact prediction.

    3. Grant, I really like the OTA info. I just wish the Niners would open more practices (and allow assistant coach interviews).

      Interesting Simpson looks like the number three 3 receiver. I’m assuming that’s ahead of both Patton and Ellington. Cut down day is going to be painful unless Baalke executes some trades.

      If Trent Brown turns out to be the real thing, that would calm my nerves after AD retired. By “Brown was known as a strong run defender”, do you mean run blocker?

      1. There is more than one Brown on the 49er roster. That “Brown” is a defensive back.

        1. I must have dreamed the defensive back named Brown. Grant must of dropped a typo. Only one Brown on the roster and he sure doesn’t look like run defender, but certainly has run blocking potential. His issue may be handling lightning off the corner.

    4. Grant, nice writeup! I have one question. Re Pinion, you point out that
      he averaged 42.6 yards per punt last season at Clemson versus 46.8 yards for Lee. Is there a stat for the average yard marker a guy punts from? That has to be considered too, no?

    1. In looking at the list of players who are gone, I think the ones we might miss are Skuta and Borland, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t miss anyone.

        1. I thought about that, Yoda, but we did okay last year without him, thanks to Borland. Now Bowman is back and, of course, he’ll be paired with Wilhoite. As I see it, the issue at that position is depth. My take, at least..

      1. You are entitled to your opinion George, but saying they won’t miss some of the core players that are now playing for other teams or retired, is wishful thinking imo.

        Think about this for second: 10 starters from last year are gone. 11 if you include Andy Lee. Among the starters are the heart and soul of the defense (Willis and Smith) and the all time franchise leader in rushing.

        Now add in the fact that the Coaching staff has been turned over with virtually no returning Coaches at the positions they manned a year ago (Tom Rathman is the only one I can think of off hand) and you have a team in turmoil/transition.

        Call it a rebuild, call it a blood letting, whatever term you want to use, but make no mistake that this is no longer anything remotely close to the team that went to 3 straight NFCCG’s and a SB.

        Now before Hammer comes in with his latest favorite saying about people viewing change as a negative, I’m not viewing change as a negative. I’m viewing it as the unknown, and what is unknown is how the replacements will play in comparison to the players they are replacing. What we do know is that Willis, Smith and Gore were among the most respected players at their positions on the team and around the league. That kind of leadership is hard to replace never mind their play on the field. I’m reading the usual disparaging remarks about players no longer here – they weren’t the same player anymore, they slowed down, etc etc – but that doesn’t change the fact they were starters for this team. At the very least, the players who will be entrusted to replace them were not viewed as better players last year.

        Right now I see one player who is a clear upgrade from the guy he’s replacing and that’s Torrey Smith. Other than that, I don’t see clear improvement from the players we had a year ago. The way it stands, two of the top 3 Olinemen are gone (Iupati and Davis) and will be replaced by a rookie or journeymen, another is playing out his contract and will likely be working his way into shape during the season as he did last year, and the Center will either be a guy coming back from a broken leg or a second year player that struggled a fair bit his rookie year and has had injury issues himself.

        This has been an unprecedented offseason in the amount of turnover that has occurred in both the personnel and Coaching ranks of an NFL team that is less than two years removed from an NFCCG appearance. That is not a precedent any team wants to set because Football is the ultimate team sport and success is predicated on working seamlessly with the people around you. This team will be starting over in many areas and trying to achieve cohesion. How fast that happens is anyone’s guess, but to expect immediate success is a pipe dream imo.

        1. Rocket, thanks for your comments. Since there will be a number of untested replacements on the roster, I have to admit to wishful thinking, as you say. But I think that, once the team jells, they will be better than last year’s team and have lots of upside. We’ll just have to see. If I am wrong, I will admit it.

          1. George,

            Nothing wrong with hoping for the best but saying they won’t miss any of the players they lost is unrealistic. It’s not just about losing starters; it’s also about the depth lost at the same time.

  18. “…expect the swing pass to be a staple…”
    Can’t wait. Remember the swing passes to Roger and to Rathman and to Waters? Money.

    1. Sure hope Clayton is wrong, Razor ..
      Ya know the old saying, about .. being better off
      with ..“the devil you know .. than the one you don’t”

    2. Clayton’s analysis seems sound, but he didn’t bother to factor in the “new” coaching staff replacing what he thinks was one of the best in the NFL.

      Are we “rebuilding” yet?

    3. Razor,
      Clayton brings up some good points.

      Regarding CK, there are many variables at play with him but I have two simple cut-and-dry solutions.
      1. The team could have a below 500 record in 2015 (as many are predicting) yet, CK could improve from last years stats and the Org would have to decide if he is truly the future. If CK can work himself into a top ten QB, I say keep him.

      2. If Kaep puts up same numbers as 2014, and shows no marked improvement the decision should be fairly simple, time to move on.
      We’ll all know by the end of the 2015 season how the dice will roll. Everything is a crap-shoot right now.

      1. AES,

        Other than throwing two fewer TD passes and two more Ints, Kap’s numbers were similar to the previous year and better in completion percentage. I don’t think the team views him like a lot of fans do. He will be QB of this team unless he completely crashes and burns, because there aren’t any better options out there. Sure we can speculate like Clayton that the team will trade him for picks and draft somebody else, but how often does that work? When you have somebody you know you can win with under the right circumstances, you hold on to him. That’s why Cam Newton just got a monster deal after a season that wasn’t as good as Kap’s statistically. It’s why Andy Dalton got a big deal when everybody knows he’s not good enough to win SB’s unless every other facet of the team is dominant. Good QB’s are hard to find, which is why I laugh whenever somebody makes a statement about dumping Kap and placing hope in some fictitious replacement. They won’t trade Kap unless they are picking first overall and somebody like Luck is on the board. It wouldn’t make much sense otherwise unless they truly go into a complete rebuild and start from scratch which would be a disaster and a complete failure on behalf of the owner and front office.

        1. The 2 reasons why a CK trade would happen is if he does not show remarkable improvement in his play this year.
          The second reason would be that Baalke wants to rid the 49ers of all decisions and influence left behind by Jim Harbaugh.

          1. He doesn’t have to show remarkable improvement. He needs to become more consistent, and Baalke won’t trade him unless he’s got another option.

            1. Remarkable means throwing more TD’s than INT’s. And with that TD passes in the 4th quarter.
              Remarkable also means justifying 19 million dollars a year!

              1. Kaps TD to Int ration is excellent. Not sure what you are talking about here. No TD passes in the 4th quarter is a problem no doubt, but you can’t attribute it all to the QB. He plays his part and so does the playcaller and other guys on the field. He’s also not making 19 million a year, at least not yet anyway, but the market says he should be. He’s a bargain at the number and contract terms they have him at.

        2. “Other than throwing two fewer TD passes and two more Ints, Kap’s numbers were similar to the previous year and better in completion percentage. I don’t think the team views him like a lot of fans do.”
          If QB’s were graded strictly upon how closely they mimic the previous seasons stats then I would agree with you. However, they aren’t. Young relatively inexperienced quarterbacks(players of any position) are expected to get better each season, to develop into better players and generally that is reflected in the stat line especially with quarterbacks. Also, although Kaepernicks numbers were flat for the most part compared to the previous year the numbers in question are anemic at best for a starting QB that played in all 16 games. Now you can talk system and give him a million excuses but what isn’t being mentioned is what if the front office thinks he’s left points on the field. What if the front office expects and has expected better production. You can say that he didn’t get that much worse but if he’s expected to improve and not just a little then being flat statistically isn’t going to be considered a good thing or seen as positively as you and others do. I wouldn’t assume that the guy who pounded his table and screamed “throw the damn ball” doesn’t see him the say way that “a lot of fans do.”

          1. If QB’s were graded strictly upon how closely they mimic the previous seasons stats then I would agree with you. However, they aren’t.

            I never said they were. I responded to AES’ point about stats playing a part in whether the team moves on from Kap or not. Stats play a very small part, in how a team values it’s QB. They play a bigger part in the contract a player negotiates relative to others at his position.

            Young relatively inexperienced quarterbacks(players of any position) are expected to get better each season, to develop into better players and generally that is reflected in the stat line especially with quarterbacks

            Kap got the starting job in midseason and played very well leading the team to the SB. The question after that season was whether teams would be able to defense him better now that they had film. As it turns out, he was top ten in both QB ranking categories and led them back to the NFCCG. So he took his success from the previous half year and turned it into a pretty good first full season. In other words he improved and his stat line while not quite on the same average as his half season, was very good.

            Also, although Kaepernicks numbers were flat for the most part compared to the previous year the numbers in question are anemic at best for a starting QB that played in all 16 games.

            Take a look at Joe Flacco’s career for a great example of why this statement you made is incorrect and irrelevant. The numbers are what the offense allows them to be. If you don’t throw the ball 30+ times a game you will not throw for 4-5 thousand yards or 30+ TD’s. Like Flacco, Kap plays in a very balanced offense that doesn’t rely on huge QB attempts. As Flacco and Kap have proven, you don’t need to have those attempts to be successful. Hell look at Newton if you want to take it further. Look at his numbers last year and tell me why they paid him what they did if stats are that important to the teams appraisal of a player. It’s not about stats; it’s about wins.

            Now you can talk system and give him a million excuses but what isn’t being mentioned is what if the front office thinks he’s left points on the field. What if the front office expects and has expected better production. You can say that he didn’t get that much worse but if he’s expected to improve and not just a little then being flat statistically isn’t going to be considered a good thing or seen as positively as you and others do.

            What if they blame the Oline? What if they saw how inconsistent the running game was? We can what if all day on pretty much any part of the team. What we know is the offense as a whole was inconsistent and some weeks just flat out lousy. Kap deserves some of the blame of course, but what about the other variables? The Oline was in a state of flux for many games and did not pass protect or run block well at times. Is it fair to blame Kap for that? In a situation like the Saints game when numerous passes are dropped, do you blame Kap for that? I would hope a front office would be more knowledgeable and less emotional when analyzing individual players. What they should be doing is trying to understand why things aren’t working and finding ways to resolve it. Their solution was to fire Harbaugh, but I don’t think they wound up with the Coaching staff they envisioned when they decided to part ways with him. By going with Harbaugh hold overs at the Coordinator positions and vowing to play Harbaugh style ball with running the rock as Baalke put it, they are essentially saying the problem was the guy at the top of the Coaching tree. That is why I don’t agree with you that they are viewing Kap in the same way some fans are. The QB is always the target for fan ire when things aren’t going well. There’s a great saying: Any Coach or GM who listens to the fans will be sitting with them in the stands.

            I wouldn’t assume that the guy who pounded his table and screamed “throw the damn ball” doesn’t see him the say way that “a lot of fans do.”

            That same guy signed that QB to a big contract extension. Singling out one instance in which Baalke was frustrated is not evidence of his dislike for the player. Signing him to that extension and not bringing in any challenger’s for the job tells you exactly how Baalke feels about him.

        3. rocket,
          Not deriding CK in any way shape or form. My posts regarding Kaep are proof enough of my support for him.

          But Colin must improve from last years numbers, especially in what I like the call the ‘money time’ which is the 4th quarter. The 4th quarter has to be CK’ money time imo. This is the time when a franchise QB finds a way to win and keeps his confident and cool demeanor.
          If Kaep would have had positive stats and kept a calm resilience in the 4th quarter in 2014 this team would have made the playoffs even with all the injuries, poor play calling, and GM/Qwner/HC turmoil.

          Prime said it best, he needs to find a way to score in the 4th quarter, and I agree wholeheartedly.
          I am on CK’ bandwagon because I still believe that he can become a special player, but he has to take the bull by horns in 2015. And to me that means owning the ‘money time.’

    4. I think the CK trade discussion is far too early. I still think SF can be over .500, but I can’t really argue with the guesses that way as the attrition has been so heavy. Even Homer Tuna took the AD departure as troubling to the ground game, which will be critical to any success. Boone has the ability for RT but he seems borderline flakey. Brown may not be ready for top flight pass rushers and disguised blitzes. Pears will have to earn my trust.

      1. BT,

        I think they can be a 9 win team at best, but if Kap takes the next step you never know. It’s going to be much tougher for him if they can’t run the ball effectively and the loss of Iupati and Davis makes that a lot more difficult for sure.

    5. There’s one reason I like Clayton: When I look in the mirror and then picture John, I don’t feel so bad . . . (Drumroll here.)

      Like so many others, he doesn’t get that it was Harbaugh who impeded the offense. Over the last few years, so many of us pulled out our hair watching his Neanderthal creation stutter and stop. Usually, it was Kaepernick who was responsible for the big plays, and the “quarterback whisperer” wasn’t making great progress with him either. My take is that Baalke pulled out his hair as much as anyone and, after we lost the 2014 NFC championship, decided he had to pull the pin.

      As for trading Kaepernick, sure, let’s get a better QB if he doesn’t show marked improvement this year. Yeah, let’s just go over to Safeway, put him in our cart, and pay at checkout. Seriously, I think it’s lost among most people, even among some talking heads, how difficult it is to land an elite QB. Andrew Lucks happen once a decade, and if there is a Luck in next year’s draft, he’ll certainly be out of our reach — unless of course we lose every game this year, which won’t happen.

            1. It also comes with not providing and edit capability. The lack of interest in an edit function is probably related to the standards of communication common to “texting/tweeting” culture.

  19. Guys are thinking about this situation the wrong way.
    Don’t think of it as getting Pinion for a 5th and getting a 7th for Lee.
    Instead, think of like this:
    we got – Pinion + a 7th + $2mil (Lee’s vet salary – Pinion’s rookie salary)
    Lee + a 5th.
    Easier to swallow for those who don’t like the deal.

    1. Absolutely great trade only because of the salary dump and decline in Lee’s play.
      Pinion is going to be better than Lee.

    2. Might be better to look at the savings over the life of Lee’s contract, which puts savings in the neighborhood of $10 million, I believe.

  20. LMAO

    Kyle McLorg
    Source: midway thru 2014, York walked into meeting Harbaugh was holding w/ players, & Harbaugh told Jed that the meeting was for “men only”

      1. Yeah I would assume that comment came after both parties knew the relationship would not be continuing, or at the very least Harbaugh had had enough of the rumors. I figured this was more about the Harbaugh-York dynamic than anything, so I’m not surprised.

        1. I think both Jim and Jed knew their trajectory when they broke off contract negotiations in the summer. That’s hindsight of course; at the time I was surprised but bought the story that it was just to avoid distractions during the season. From that time on Jim H. looked different on the sidelines.

        2. Yeah, I’ve been pretty vocal about how I didn’t think it was actually Baalke gunning to get rid of Harbaugh, but Jed. This latest just re-confirms how toxic the relationship between Jed and Harbaugh was.

          FWIW, I don’t think Baalke really respects Jed that much either, but unlike Harbaugh he knows how to toe the company line. I base that on Tomsula’s opening press conference, when Baalke made a couple of comments that could be taken as swipe’s at Jed (especially the one when Jed said he’s accountable, and Baalke was very quick to say yes he is).

        3. If this is really true, then, imo, York had no choice but to fire Harbaugh. As BASG says “because there’s no way anyone in the history of working relationships could expect to keep a job after effectively referring to his or her millionaire boss as a child — in any setting.”

          1. Yeah, I think rocket has it right and both parties probably already knew before that point Harbaugh wasn’t going to be back.

            1. The most likely time for that realization was after the 2013 season ended and the leaks started. The “little bald spot’s” finger prints are all over the long drawn out “mutual” departure.

          2. Though for those that were saying Harbaugh took the moral high ground through all this, it would appear that was only in the public eye. He did a great job getting himself out of this looking like the good guy.

            1. I don’t think Harbaugh cared about coming out looking like the good guy to be honest. I don’t think he’s the type to make a concerted effort to play a role or worry about his public image.

              1. Didn’t necessarily mean it was intentional on his part. Just that he has, intended or otherwise, done a good job of coming out of all this as the good guy.

          3. Yea, I’m skeptical of this story. First of all, what would York be doing in the meeting? Secondly, an overt back slap like that would have merited an immediate sacking. York would not have let him finish out the season….

            1. I have to agree Razor. It’s like this was leaked to say the fans ,”We all know that the team has suffered losses, but we could have been worse off if Harbaugh was still here.”

            2. Razor-
              My take from the video is Jed didn’t just walk in on a meeting. This was the team post-game huddle in the locker room, and Trent and Jed went in to congratulate the team after a win. Normally, the owner and GM don’t go there except just after a game.
              I think the relationship had gone toxic by June or July last year at the very latest, and possibly 6-8 months prior.

              1. Brotha, I think the meeting referenced was different to the post-game locker room team huddle the video shows.

              2. OK, maybe I got that wrong Scooter. The locker room seems normal to visit while work week team meetings are usually coaches’ domain. We know though that are certain strong personality GMs and owners who go where they want to, when they want to, if they want to. Parcells as GM. Jerry Jones.

            3. This is one of those “stories” that people enjoy believing because it brings down the “big” guys. In this case both Harbaugh and York depending on ones perspective about what actually went on during the dismantling of a pretty good high performance window.

              If you combine the Montana/Young window as number one, then the Harbaugh/Baalke window was an easy second.

              We’ll get to see if Baalke can “run the ball” and keep the window open.

        4. Rocket,

          It could be that’s the chronology, but it seems more likely to me that Harbaugh made it plain that he didn’t respect JY before things went bad and, in fact, that kind of behavior by JH may well have been part of things starting to go wrong.

          To be clear, I’m not saying JH was the only person who had a hand in things going south. I’m sure JY had plenty to do with things going bad, too, but I just don’t see how anyone can know anything about JH and not realize he had a lot to do with his not being here anymore.

          1. ex,

            There is no doubt Harbaugh played a part in his ouster, but it comes down to whether an owner puts his personal feelings before winning, and in this case Jed obviously did. If this rumor is true, and there is now a feeling that it isn’t, then Jed should have been upset. However, what we need to keep in mind is that there is always more to a story. In this case the relationship between Jim and Jed might have already been irreparable, or Jim could have been fed up with the leaks that were coming out, or maybe Jed was inserting himself into Coaching meetings and other things. We just don’t know the true story, and that makes it difficult to decipher exactly what happened.

            All we know for sure is, Jed didn’t agree with the direction the team was going back to 2012 (his words at the presser to announce Tomsula), and ultimately he fired Harbaugh. Harbaugh is not an innocent victim, but he’s also no different from a number of successful Coaches through the years in that he’s tough to get along with and is prickly at times, but is also a great HC and wins football games. Some owners find a way to deal with it and some don’t. Jed didn’t, and instead installed a guy he likes but who likely wasn’t the best candidate. We’ll see how it goes, but history is not in favor of it ending well.

  21. Wow. I don’t post for a couple of days and a slew of things happen. Let’s see:

    On Davis retiring: It was unexpected but not surprising given his injury – plagued season and the fact that he said he felt like he was in a fog during most of the season. I wish Davis all the best and hope he’s able to come back like he wants to. Hopefully he keeps his weight in check now that he has no one making sure he does so.

    On some saying that Davs was not a good player: Stop. Just…stop. Davis helped make the run game better and more efficient. Was he perfect? No, but just look at when he was starting and when he wasn’t then tell me Davis was important to the success of this team. You can also tell me how unhappy you were that Davis finally brought some stability to what had been a weak turnstile position for so long.

    On Brown taking over for Davis: Whoa there. Let’s avoid anointing him the successor just yet. I know he’s doing good in OTAs and he may be just as good in TC as well, but I don’t think that enough to be able to award the starting RT position. Let him continue working on his conditioning and technique whilst being a backup for the moment. He’ll be a starter soon enough if he continues on his current trajectory.

    On trading for Mathis or a RT: I don’t see Baalke trading for Mathis any time soon because we already have a LG in Thomas. I also can’t see a trade for a RT unless it is for depth purposes.

    On whether this helps Boone or not: That’s hard to say, but I think the team will shift Boone to RT becuase of his experience at OT. That in turn will show other teams if Boone deserves to be paid an OT salary or an OG salary during free agency in 2016.

    On what I think the OL will look like: Thomas (LG), Staley (LT), Kilgore (C), Boone (RT), Martin (RG).

    On Lee being traded to the Browns: A blind man in a dust storm saw Lee either being traded or released; however I think Baalke could have done better than a 2017 pick.

    On Kaep being rumored as potential trade because the team may want to move in another direction: That’s going to continue until Kaep either proves the naysayers wrong or right. This is most likely the season that will happen. I say this because so far there hasn’t been a decent option to replace Kaep with, but there could be a good market at the QB position after this season. I personally think Kaep will shut down all reasons to trade or release him by his play this season, but time will tell if I’m right or have to eat a plate of crow.

  22. I can’t get the link to load or paste in here, but a source is saying that Boone is at the minicamp.

    1. Quite a drop off from AD to Jonathan Martin

      “During the games that Davis started, the 49ers averaged 173 yards on the ground.”
      “He started the team’s three most prolific rushing games of the season — 355 yards against San Diego, 218 yards against Philadelphia* and 206 yards in the finale against Arizona.”

      “By contrast, the 49ers averaged 107 rushing yards in the games Martin started at right tackle.”

      Lets hope the next RT is closer to Davis than Jonathan Martin.

      1. That’s one of the two reasons I laugh when some say that Davis wasn’t a good RT. The other is that they seem to forget who we had at that position before Davis: one Jonas Jennings and Adam Snyder.

    1. He’s going to have a few things to take care of first; namely a sticky little situation that involved ramming into the back of a car on the freeway and then ditching the car on the side of the road and leaving the scene of an accident. I’m sure the lawyers of the other car will be interested in learning the liability policy limits on Mr. Spikes automobile policy not to mention the state troopers wanting to know why he left the scene and never reported the accident.

    2. Spikes was available for a long time before the Pats finally signed him. If the 49ers wanted him they had ample opportunity. And that was before this latest incident.

      1. Yeah no to Spikes. Two down player at best who now has legal issues. Not gonna happen.

  23. Hey Scooter, have you checked out anymore film on Brown since the OTA’s? If so, come away with anything you didn’t see previously?

    1. No I’ve not, razor. At this point I think I’ll just wait for the pre-season games to see how he looks (and rely on training camp observations from the beat writers).

  24. Maiocco – The 2017 7th rounder for Lee is conditional. He didn’t say what the condition was. I’m assuming its related to something straightforward, like making the final roster or games played.

  25. Opening day as the 2015 Forty Niners run through the fog onto the field in their new jerseys, I want to hear AC/DC’s Back In Black blaring throughout the stadium….

    1. “Black Is Black, I want my baby back…”
      Personally I’m not down with the black unies. It would be a bit less abrasive to me if the Niners didn’t share a market area with the RayDuhs, who have seniority with the colors. Red & Gold works for me; if it ain’t broke………

      1. Paint It Black by the Stones
        ‘ I see a red door and I want to paint it black….’

      2. They are just looking to expand their cash flow stream. It’s the organization’s mission. Eddie spent, and the Yorks increase income.

        1. I agree, it’s a ‘trendy’ marketing ploy, but I don’t want to be the curmudgeon who can’t accept change. I do get to mutter into my beer mug though.

          1. Go ahead. Let your inner curmudgeon sing. That alone will double your available energy.

        1. Agree with Jack,they just don’t look appealing. Further black is Oakland/Baltimore territory -remember talk of whites exciting Crabtree early on and confess I like the idea of whites with red and gold accents something no one else is doing.

    2. “once you go black, you don’t go back” – girls like the line, but I typically use it to reference my penchant for Stouts and Porters…….. I got my black Bowman jersey last week, love it! $22 from Aliexpress

    1. On Pinion, with his punting average, you need to factor in (a) his nett average, which wasn’t far off Lee’s, and (b) field position and how often he was kicking into the opponents 20. I think it is fair to say there are other factors than his leg strength that can help explain why his gross average looks low compared to most NFL punters.

      Regarding biggest losses, is the Patrick Willis of 2013 and 2014 as huge a loss as the Patrick Willis of 2012 and earlier would have been? Injuries were already taking their toll, and he hasn’t been the same dominant player the past two years he was a few years ago. I think when you factor that in, you realise you are replacing a very good player, but not an elite player. Same can be said of Justin Smith. They aren’t going to replace the play of Smith in 2011 and 2012 with anyone near as good as that. But the players they have on the roster are probably able to appropriately replace the Smith of 2014.

      They are unlikely to be able to replace the Anthony Davis of 2013 with anyone as good this year. But they can easily replace the Anthony Davis of 2014 – he barely played. You could easily make an argument that the RT position will be an upgrade in 2015 from what they had in 2014.

      The biggest losses in my mind are the guys that were starting last year and are now gone. Culliver, Cox, Borland. You can add Smith and McDonald, but as you mention they have pretty good depth along the DL, and Smith wasn’t the same dominant player of a couple years ago (though still very good). Crabtree and Johnson gone too, though the position has probably been upgraded from them. The question then comes down to whether they have appropriately replaced those starters from last year they have lost.

      1. Scooter-
        I’d agree the youngsters in the secondary need to show their stuff, and I think they’ll be challenged in Mangini’s scheme. So the cost of the losses of Cox & Cully will be measured in relative performances by the young guys behind Wright & Brock.
        Wilhoite’s game is different than Borland’s, but he’s competent and probably better in coverage. As long as Bow can play, the drop off at that spot should be nominal.
        I read that Harold is showing good rush, so I’m hoping he could contribute as a specialist as a rookie. Pressure will make LB and secondary coverages better.

        1. That’s really not an outlandish prediction Jack (and I know you didn’t intend it to be seen as such, but I imagine some will). So long as they avoid a lot of injuries to key players and starters this year, I think a good argument can be made this team will at least be as good as last season, and a sound argument they could be better.

          Just think about it:
          – The additions of T. Smith and Simpson at least offset the loss of Crabtree and Johnson (and Lloyd).
          – A healthy Vernon should be better than 2014 Vernon. They also have a lot of depth at TE now.
          – The combo of Hyde, Bush, Hunter and Davis should be better able to carry the load than just Gore and Hyde last year (or just Gore and street FAs by the end of the year).
          – B. Miller is back healthy again.
          – Pears/ Brown should hopefully be an upgrade over J. Martin at RT.
          – B. Thomas probably won’t be any worse than Iupati was playing on an injured leg last year.
          – Kilgore is back and was playing well before his injury last year.
          – A healthy again Bowman is probably better than an injured Willis, and is more versatile than Borland.
          – Wheeler adds some extra depth at ILB too.
          – Fit again Dorsey and Williams is a big boost to the DL, and compensates for the loss of Smith and McDonald. Getting Dockett also helps compensate for the losses.
          – Having Aldon back for a whole season is a big boost. The depth at the OLB position looks very good.
          – Losing Culliver and Cox hurts, but Cox is a street FA that played above himself last year. Having Brock back fully healthy and adding Wright should help offset the losses.
          – The young guys from 2013 and 2014 should all be improved this year with the extra experience and another off-season under their belts.

          1. Scooter,

            I agree with most, if not all of what you wrote.

            What do you think the effect of Adam Henry will be on the 49ers? If I remember right, there was a fair good number of positive comments after he was hired, but I haven’t read anyone talk about the vast improvement Henry should be over Morton.

            I think (and hope) that the difference will be stark and very much to the 49ers benefit.

            1. I think Adam Henry will be an excellent addition. Read observation 1 from this article by Taylor Price on the first week of OTAs:


              Watching how good guys like Beckham and Landry are at route running (as well as attacking the ball in flight), and reading about the interesting approach he brings to practicing route running skills, has me very excited.

          2. Great stuff scoot, i can always look to you and razor when i need a confidence boost. My question is at RT, do you really think Boone doesnt get the call ovet pears and brown, at least for now. I still like the possibility of thomas possibly at RT, maybe Martin at LG. Itll be interesting to see how that plays out.

            I still have hopes for the season, though i do realize that a lot of the season will be dependent on a lot of unknowns, high potential uknowns, but unknowns nonetheless.

            Either way interesting.

            1. Oh they could do that too. And if so, its then a question of whether Boone at RT and whoever they put at RG is better than J. Martin at RT and Boone at RG. I think the answer is probably yes, either way. J. Martin was not good, especially in the run game.

              1. Razor,

                I like that with the exception of Pears at RG. The guy was terrible at the G spot previously and I would hope Martin could beat him out. I think Boone is likely the best option at RT, but they didn’t move him in there last year so it’ll be interesting to see if they do it this coming season.

          3. Scooter,

            There are a lot of “should be’s”, “hopefully’s” and “probably’s” in your assessment here. Now you know I respect your opinion, but some of these points could just as easily go the opposite direction and be an issue for the team.

            The likely scenario is that some of what you say comes to fruition and some doesn’t which leaves us looking a lot more like last years 8-8 edition than the 3 previous years.

            The wild card is Kap. If he becomes a QB who can take over and win games consistently, there is a chance they could win enough games to sneak into the playoffs, but that is also contingent on the defense not taking a step back and the running game being as good as it’s been with Gore. Both are questionable at best imo.

            1. Rocket,

              You’ve talked a lot about how the 49ers prospects aren’t good this year, how JH shouldn’t have been fired and how JY has screwed the team up. I’m not quite clear on your opinion of Baalke, but I don’t think it’s great.

              What I’d like to know, is what you think the team would look like had JH not been fired?

              1. ex,

                I have been and continue to be a supporter of Baalke. Don’t confuse my pessimistic outlook for this season with a lack of faith in what Baalke has done. He’s put together a fair bit of talent imo. The problem is, most of it is unproven and will likely take time to gel. I think this team had another shot at going to the SB if they had kept things together for another year, which is why I hated the decision to fire the Coaching staff. As it is, even with all the defections and retirements, I think they are talented enough to win 9 games if all goes well.

                As for Harbaugh, no I don’t think a HC with his winning percentage should have been fired, but I could have accepted it if they had replaced him with a better candidate than Tomsula, and some coordinators that had a resume worth getting excited about.

                It’s tough to predict what the team would have looked like had Harbaugh not been fired because you have to pretend you know what is going on inside somebody’s head, but I truly believe Justin Smith and Pat Willis would have come back for one more shot had Harbaugh and Vic stayed on, and Gore may have been tempted as well. Whether that would have been enough to finally get over the top is another story, but I don’t think the turnover would have been as significant if the Coaching staff had remained intact.

              2. Rocket,

                Thanks for taking the time to answer.

                So, if I understand you correctly, you feel the difference between a 49er team that might have made a run at another Super Bowl and one that might win only six, or fewer games (you’ve said that in previous posts, I believe) is Jim Harbaugh and his staff?

                Doesn’t that seem like a bit of a disconnect?

              3. Rocket,

                Correction, JH and staff, along with the departed players who might have stayed if JH was the HC: Gore (the 49ers weren’t going to pay him or give him two years, he was never staying and it was time, anyway – and, no, this isn’t spin, I was saying this well before Gore decided to leave), Justin Smith (I know you don’t want to hear this, but he was a shadow of his former self last year and his shoulder wasn’t going to magically get better) and Willis (of the three, he is the only one that could’ve made a difference this coming year, but only if his chronically injured toe was better, but maybe it wasn’t and maybe that’s really why he retired).

              4. ex,

                I’ve said they are a 6 to 9 win team with 6 being worst case scenario.

                Changing the Coaching staff – not just Harbaugh – ended any chance at a SB run both because of the staff and the players I think would have come back for one more year.

              5. Fair enough, Rocket, but I didn’t say you predicted six losses. I said you said they MIGHT lose six games or more. Which I believe you did say, at some point. Also, I’m glad to see 9 wins have been added to your mix. Maybe you’re coming around to reality (smiley emoji here).

                My point is, for there to be that much difference in the results rendered by each staff, the Tomsula collection would have to be gallactically bad, and I just don’t think that’s possible.

              6. ex,

                I’ve said a number of times that I think the Niners will win anywhere from 6-9 games. I have not said they will win fewer than 6. Obviously that means 7 losses minimum if they hit the high mark.

                They were 8-8 last year with Harbaugh at the helm and numerous injuries. This year it’s not injuries that have decimated the team; it’s retirements and players signing elsewhere. Now maybe the young players will step in and play better than the players they are replacing, Tomsula will go against history in regards to Dline Coaches who become HC’s, and Kap will take another step forward and become an undisputed top ten QB. Could happen, but it’s just as likely we don’t see the same production from the replacements, Tomsula and his coordinators are a disaster and Kap gets killed due to Oline defections, and/or takes a step back.

                What normally transpires as I told Scooter, is that some positive and some negative usually meet in the middle. If that happens this is a 500 team to me.

            2. Nothing is certain rocket, and I’m not foolish enough to suggest it is so. But the thing with comments like “should” and “probably” is that they mean a better than even chance. These are things I think are more likely to occur than not. As I said, I believe a sound argument can be made the team will be better this year.

              You seem to disagree. What out of the things I outlined do you believe won’t be better than last year?

              To me the main key is staying healthy. That’s the biggest “if”.

              1. I get it Scooter and you’ll likely be correct on some of these, but I don’t see everything falling into place like that. The losses on both lines are going to be a big problem and the inside LB position is extremely thin.

            1. Then your Gabbert prediction will finally come true! ; >)
              (That thought gives me the creeps even joking around.)

            2. Nah, I was just teasing on the $torm moving on scenario and who the team would fall back on.
              Maybe Gabbert will show something this summer, but right now it seems to me we’d be going from inconsistent passer to an incompetent passer.

            3. It depends on how they lose them. If the defense declines and Kap plays well, they could win less than 8 games, but continue to build around him. If Kap sucks and they win less than 8 games, they likely go into full on rebuild.

            4. Jack,

              Are you saying less than eight wins for the 49ers next year means further regression by CK?

    2. Grant you can’t discourage me. I’m still holding out that a 7-9 season is possible.

    3. 5.4 yards per carry with Anthony Davis, 3.9 without him was one of my reasons for thinking the 49ers would surprise people this year.

      How much of the YPC difference was due to Anthony Davis playing well, or Jonathan Martin being awful?

      There are alot of possibilities at RT. At least one of Pears, Boone, Brown or Thomas should be able to play RT.

      If Kilgore’s healthy enough to play Center, my starters would look like this…
      RT – Boone
      RG – Thomas or M. Martin
      C – Kilgore
      LG – Thomas or M. Martin
      LT – Staley

      Backup RT – Pears, Brown, Thomas
      Backup LT – Pears, Boone, Thomas
      Backup C – M. Martin, Looney
      Backup Guard – Looney, Pears

  26. Not sure why everyone is saying Lee was “obviously” declining.
    Sure his numbers were not quite what they were the year before from a net yards perspective but they were still above his career average and his inside the 20% was the 3rd best of his career.
    Based on this logic, he was “obviously” declining in 2010. The only problem is 2011 and 2012 were 2 of his best years.
    I get the team wanting to move on from a salary perspective and this was clearly a cap move which honestly I’m fine with. An ageing expensive punter is not a luxury rebuilding teams can afford.

    1. Interesting, except you’re completely ignoring that fact that Lee is four years older now.

      1. I’m not ignoring it, I’m disregarding it. Imho age means far less to punters & kickers than it does to other positions. He’s 33 which is not old for a punter. We signed Akers to a decent contract when he was older than 33.
        It’s not like they’re concerned if his 40 yard dash falls off.

        1. Shoup,

          I’m having hard time getting past the fact that you apparently don’t realize that ignoring and disregarding are the same thing. In fact, I’ll bet that you can find both words in the definition of the other. Sorry for playing the vocabulary police card, but, come on…

          BTW, the average career of kicker and punters is just under five years. Just because there are kickers and punters who play well into there 30’s, it doesn’t mean that Lee isn’t losing a little bit of his edge. Surely, you’re not saying that Lee isn’t affected by his increasing age, are you? I don’t love that the 49ers used a fifth round pick on Pinion, but I don’t have a problem with the 49ers replacing Lee, either. If I’m not mistaken, a Lee shank led pretty directly to a loss last year.

          1. They are very similar but I have always used disregard to indicate something was considered but thought unworthy, one disregards some arguments or the speed limit. Anyways, that’s the logic behind the wording.

            And I’m not saying he wont be affected by age. I’m stating the affects of age should have little affect on him for a few more years. I would argue the browns agree with that as teams seldom give up draft picks for punters especially ones in there 30’s.
            As to the average length NFL length being around 5 years… that still ranks them as number one in career longevity (if grouped with kickers).

            Regardless, the point of the argument was that Pinion was drafted to save money and Lee is still a very good NFL punter.

            1. Shoup,

              As in your example: “he ignored the speed limit”, or “he disregarded the speed limit”. Do you see a difference? I don’t, but, oh well…

              I realize that punters and kickers have the longest NFL shelf life and it’s easy to see why. Having said that it’s undeniable that a man’s physical peak is around 28. While it may not be a huge difference, Andy Lee isn’t quite as good now as he was and that’s not going to change. Is he still an good to very good NFL punter? Sure, he is, but if the 49ers can get someone better (even if Pinion is only a bit better), someone who kicks off to boot, and save cap space, why not do it?

              And terming this move as a “cost cutting move” is inaccurate. It’s a cap space saving move, and there is a difference.

    2. It was a cost cutting move and nothing more. Lee didn’t have his best year in 2014, but it was still good and he was top 3 in net punting the year before. I hate that they used a 5th round pick on a replacement, but as soon as that pick was made, the writing was on the wall.

      1. It was a cap space saving move. Even if the 49ers don’t use the cap space this year, doesn’t at least some of the extra cap space roll over to next year?

    3. Shoupbj….

      People are saying that Lee is declining because they don’t often take into consideration his position on the field when the ball is kicked….He is either too close to the 50 to pad his stats with a boomer unless it’s a mile high to be inside the 20, or he is so far back that he would risk “out-kicking the coverage” and permitting a ‘running start’ on punt returns. What we gained with Pinion is the long kickoffs, and potential record field goals. Andy Lee will be kicking in this league as long as he wants to. He is NOT declining!

      1. Oregon,

        Lee’s average is still very good. It’s his net average that has declined.
        Lee was not in the top ten of net average last year.

        1. ExG That’s what I was alluding to….the better quality team (us) is not better for the punters average

  27. This is the warmest evening in Petaluma in a long while. Midnight and the front porch is good in shorts and short sleeves.

  28. There will be a live look at 49ers TC today on NFL network. Starting at 1pm ending at 4. They will have two other teams too, so it doesn’t show exactly what time they will be looking in.

  29. NN: Media schedule for this week’s minicamp (today thru Thurs.):

    Tuesday, June 9
    11:30 am … head coach Jim Tomsula
    11:45 am … open locker room
    3:10 pm … practice (open, cameras will be permitted to shoot until team drills)

    Wednesday, June 10
    12 noon … head coach Jim Tomsula
    12:15 pm … open locker room
    3:10 pm … practice (open, cameras will be permitted to shoot until team drills

    Thursday, June 11
    9:00 am … practice (open, cameras will be permitted to shoot until team drills)
    11:20 am … open locker room
    12 noon … head coach Jim Tomsula

  30. Did you guys see the article about the Cowboys using Virtual Reality headsets in the film room study for their QBs? I’ve been wondering on this blog for about 4 years why the Niners, situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, didn’t have some kind of simulation programs to practice rapid read and recognition drills. Think electronic flash cards. With reps you can really speed up mental processing.
    I’d think that after debugging the QB sims, more sims could be developed for other position groups.

    1. It’s pretty amazing isn’t it? My Brother works for a school that has a VR program and the advances in just the last 5 years are incredible. It is a great tool that will likely be used by every team eventually.

      1. Thanks for the link, Mood. Looks like we’re getting closer.
        (I’m still waiting for flying cars!)

        1. When I was a kid in the mid 60s I was expecting flying cars, jet backpacks and hotels on the moon by now.

          The future isn’t what it used to be.

          1. “The future isn’t what it used to be.”
            Hahahaha What a GREAT line! I’m sure there’s some profundity in there too.
            When the iWatch was introduced I thought: Wow, it took this long to get the Dick Tracy Watch? And I’m so old that the screen is too damned small for me; (sigh).

            1. Some of my favorite Yogi Berra quotes (real or attributed)

              The future isn’t what it used to be

              When you come to a fork in the road, take it

              A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore

              It gets late early out here

              No one goes there any more; it’s too crowded

              You can observe a lot by watching

              I didn’t really say everything I said

              Never answer an anonymous letter

              I can’t concentrate when I’m thinking.

              I want to thank you for making this day necessary

              The other team could make trouble for us if they win

              The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase

              Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true

              Even Napoleon had his Watergate

              Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken

              If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be

              The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.

              When asked what time is was, Berra answered ” you mean now?”

              When asked where he would like to be buried, he said “Surprise me!”

    1. Jim T. must not be checking in with us on the best way to do things. See how that worked out for Harbaugh?

      1. It begs the question to Kaepernick, “What do you want on your Tombstone”?

      2. Let’s see what happens. This is a test. If he “self-destructs,” he’s on the bench. They have reason to do it this way. He held out last year, and this year he didn’t show up for OTAs at a time they were installing a new system. And maybe they don’t think he’s that much better at tackle than guard. Lot’s of people say that, but they never moved him to the right when Davis went down last year.

  31. Ninermd mentioned NFL network showing live look at Niners TC from 1-4. Is that still going on? When I look at the program guide all I see is top 10 Joe Cool moments, which isn’t a bad substitute. Was this eastern time maybe?

        1. Sure…. Might take awhile. I’m recording an y are showing philly, and Indy too.

            1. What I’ve seen so far is lame little reports from network field reporters and bits of HC Pressers. Meh.

              1. Yep…. It’s weak! Not one mention of SF so far. It’s been two hours.
                Total access is going to break down sf’ offseason….
                Oh wait SF is finally on now.
                Ck suprised about A Davis.
                Ck says he’s been working on throwing motion, deep ball accuracy and thank god they are working on quick huddles too he says.
                Pears front runner for rt…
                Boone and dockett finally meet and dockett broke the ice by asking Boone if he was retiring…..
                They will
                Practice in levi’ stadium.
                And that’s about it.
                But back to total access…. They will break down SF offseason, new faces and Tomlinson will give his take on how he thinks they will do.

  32. Matt Barrows ✔ @mattbarrows
    49ers to practice the next three days inside stadium. Tomsula said he wants Levi’s Stadium to feel like home.

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