Which team is winning free agency?

At this time, which team is “winning” the free-agency wars?

Explain your answer.

By the way, here is my early prediction for which teams will make it to Super Bowl L in Santa Clara:

Colts and Packers.

It’s still early, though, so I have to wait and see what happens during the rest of free agency and the draft before I lock in my prediction.

This article has 296 Comments

    1. #1. Super Bowl Contenders…………………………………Packers vs. Co
      #2. Toilot Bowl Contenders….Teams with most Upheaval//Inexperience

    2. Because a poor offensive line just got worse. They barely beat Panthers and should have lost to Pack. Generally, u don’t make SB with crappy line. Baalke even made that pint when asked about the trade. Big loss.

      Plus, name last team to make 3 straight SB’s. Right, The Bills, so good luck with that.

  1. If I had to pick a team that was winning…. I would have to say the Colts. They had a very limited run game. Trent Richardson gave them nothing. Frank Gore and Daniel Herron are going to be a good 1-2 punch. Picking up Andre Johnson keeps their receiving core from falling off.

    Super Bowl picks…. Too early to tell.

  2. I can tell you which team isn’t going to the superbowl – Our very own Niners.
    I just hope we can win more than 3 games this season. Its looking bleak.
    Very sad to see how this once proud franchise is being run into the ground by Jed York and his family

    1. Really, sure about that. A team designated by injuries, with awful OC finished .500. We didn’t get worse in offseason, slightly younger and roughly same. Better if Smith stays. Willis may not have started over Borland.

      No one has any clue on how Tomsula will do coaching. Chryst is better than Roman. He will ruin Bills chances too.

  3. Not sure about the Colts. They’ve gotten real old over the last 2 days by picking up a running back with no legs, and an old possession receiver.

    1. 4 straight 1,000 yards seasons with an average over 4 yds per carry is hardly, “….a running back with no legs.”

      1. I think Jack meant a RB with “limited” legs. I think Gore may have a solid season, but after who knows. But a lot are saying they will limit his carries to around 15 a game. Gore needs the carries to get warmed up. With that limited line, and pass-centric offense, he may not be as effective. On the other hand, he’s going to see a heck of a lot less 8-9 men in the box, for the first time in his career. It’s a tough emotional loss for us, but with this RB heavy draft, we’ll be fine. I’m liking the youth movement on offense.

      2. Just having some fun with Grant.

        One thing to note though, if you take out the rushing yards gained by the QB’s the Colts ran for 1339 yards last year to 1537 for the 49ers. A difference of only 12.4 yards per game.

      3. To be fair to Jack. Getting a 1,000 yrds isnt exactly a big deal anymore. A running back only needs to get 63 yrds rushing a game… to put it in perspective, a rb that gets an average 18 carries a game only needs to average 3.5 yrds per rush, which is fairly pedestrian.
        Couple that with the best run blocking line in football (less last season), I would expect any starting running back in the NFL to hit the 1,000 yard mark provided they could stay healthy.
        My prediction is that niners running game wont be as consistent but will put up better numbers this year than they did last year.

  4. If we go by who has spent the most money, then it would be the Jaguars.
    If we go by who improved the most, then it’s clearly the Colts. By adding Andre Johnson, Luck now has a dependable target to throw to other than Hilton and Allen. Signing Gore give the Colts offense some much needed support in a run game that has been lacking. And the addition of Trent Cole and Kendall Langford will only bolster that defense. These additions not only give them the win in the free agency rat race, but they also make the Colts the current frontrunner to win the Super Bowl.

    My current Super Bowl matchup prediction is Colts vs. Seahawks.

  5. Wait? Why wait? We’re 48 hours into FA, we should all have our final predictions locked down by now!
    So my problem in rating the clubs is that FA has to be viewed as only part of the equation (w/ draft) for each team; it’s like only seeing the first half lap of a horse race. Also, we’re on day#3, there are a good many signings yet to happen; too soon for a meaningful rating. Splash signings are only what they are; ask Tampa. Remember how Philly’s Dream Team had won the SB before the draft?
    The Colts have helped themselves, but still could use some upgrades in the trenches. They might have an early lead.
    If Philly does sign Murray that should be good for them, but do they also sign Mathews? Is that a smart or extravagant roster move? The CB moves look like a push. What about WR? What’s his plan for the draft?
    Seattle is doing OK right now. They’ll miss Unger, but they’ve cobbled together that OL before as they adjusted to injuries.
    BUT…the ball is still in play; to be continued.

  6. If Gore stays healthy, I can see the colts go all the way.
    I think Gore has one and a half good season left in him.

    1. I think people forgot the Colts have Herron. He will give Gore some rest. Match that with fact that they do have a legit passing game.

  7. Seahawks helped themselves, but according to a buddy who lives in Seattle , they now have 2 holes to fill on OL. It is interesting that Seattle went out and got an athletic playmaker /redzone beast. On the other hand, Niners picked up yet another #2 WR. Some say this is the best WR corps we have had in a while , but what does that mean? We have been one of the worst passing teams the last few years. Did we just improve to 24th?

    Now we are interested in Reggie bush. Good grief. Is Brandon jabobs not available. I guess baalke likes washed up , veterans.

    Anyway, I am ever the optimist. We have the draft to look forward to. I wonder if we will draft another undersized DB with a history of foot injuries. Or perhaps we will draft an undersized , wimpy WR who cant get off the line.


    1. Rollotomasi: Trent likes to shop for deals. He never likes to pay full price. So he will never go for a high priced FA. There can be advantages to that, but also disadvantages as well. In respect to receivers it justifies him from not drafting a receiver using a high pick. I think he does realize his evaluation ability is the sh!ts. It’s the same with paying top dollar for receiver free agents but at least he has some idea of what they might produce on the field. This way he can keep from looking bad and still maintain an image of being a sharp GM.

  8. What you really need to ask is… How many teams that win in free agency, win during the season?

    Washington had been winning in the off-season for the last couple of decades… How many championships do they have because of it?

  9. I think Frank is going to realize how good of a run blocking line he had in SF when it was healthy. Colts do not have a good line at all.. People will realize why the Niners did not committ like the colts did for his services.. He lost his speed and acceleration. I love Gore but the Colts will regret getting that old. Balke does not make mistakes in free agency and the trend will continue.

    1. The Colts have a passing game. The colts OL will not face 7-8 players stacked in the box. If so, luck will make them pay. So why we may have a better OL, their passing game will help them out a lot.

      1. Ya they had a good passing game last year and they couldn’t run the ball. They aquired an aging back any way you slice it. I’m not trying to disrespect a great but the niners will come out of this looking good.

        1. Fan: Correct. People need to realize that the Colts offensive line is built for the pass and not the run. The Niners, on the other hand were built for the run. Some teams have lines that can do both, but it is far easier to get lineman who are better at one thing than another. We will see how well Frank does once the season starts. One year older could also make a difference.

    2. Yeah but Gore is playing next to a true elite QB, he doesn’t have to deal with any read option crap, and he won’t face a stacked box on every dang play. He’s going to have a solid year, making a few good gains, picking up blitzes, and doing stuff out of the backfield. He’s also playing with his college coaches. Gore has always been a locker room guy.
      I’m happy for him.

  10. Not to mention Philly’s “Dream Team” a few years back. They were the toast of free agency that off-season… How did that work out?

    My point being, it’s the off-season, lets talk when the real bullets start flying.

  11. I know most people’s inclination is to say the Colts are winning free agency, but like Jack I’m not sure about them. Sure, they signed players with leadership, but they are also players on the downside of their careers. You have to ask how much do those guys really have left.

      1. “Gore will improve their running game”

        How can he when his legs are gone?

        Seriously though, all they will be doing is giving Gore the carries that they gave to Richardson and Bradshaw in 2014. I think there’s a very good chance it’s a wash.

        1. The Colts’ running game last year was anemic at best. Gore will improve it. Luck won’t have to do it all on his own.

          1. Grant,

            I said this a few days ago and feel it needs to be repeated. Indy hasn’t kept a running back healthy in over a decade. I was back in high school the last time they finished the season with James.
            They have a 32 year old Gore who broke his hip, hurt his shoulder, and hurt his wrist. The only real positive here is that Gore picked Indy because there aren’t hard hitters in that division.
            Philly would have played NY and Dallas who both are physical teams. Indy? Nah…and they still can’t keep a back healthy.
            Don’t overvalue them. They are just Philly 2.0 spending money that won’t materialize into something.

          2. I agree that Gore will improve it, I just think the amount of improvement is being greatly overstated.

            If Gore gives them what he averaged the last 2 seasons here while taking all of the 269 snaps that they gave to Richardson and Bradshaw last year, the net improvement will be 11.6 yards per game.

              1. True to a point. The Colts do a lot of the same things the 49ers did the last 4 years on offense.

                Another thing to consider is that he’ll also be tasked with playing on turf 10 times during the regular season. Not the best thing for an aging back.

              2. Opposing defenses respect the Colts’ passing game a whole lot more than they respect the Niners’ passing game.

              3. The Gore addition can only be seen as a positive for the Colts, but I do agree with Jack that I’m not convinced he’s a guy that puts them over the top.

                The addition of Johnson just replaces one ageing veteran WR with another. But Johnson is an upgrade, it not a huge one.

                Langford is a good signing and will help that D. And Cole can provide some pass rush, though he’s not the player he used to be.

                All in all I think the Colts got better, but not significantly better. They have used FA to bring in a bunch of guys that were great. The teams that won FA last year (e.g., Pats) mostly brought in guys that were still in their prime.

              4. Remember when the Colts traded for Richardson and Grant thought Indy had ‘won’ the offseason? Then Grant claimed Richardson would be as good as Edge James? Good Times!

                (Didn’t the Saints and Broncos with FA last March? – hahaha)

              5. Richardson wasn’t traded to the Colts during the offseason. But you’re right there were a lot of folks, myself included who thought he could push the Colts further.

                Many of the same arguments were used then that we are hearing now, Luck opens up the field, etc.

        2. For those of you that have NFL gamerewind, check out the Colts/Patriots if you don’t think Gore will be facing 8 man boxes because of Luck.

              1. They may miss him in the passing game, but I think they’re looking at some replacements to fill that role for them.

                I’ll go with them first. Outscored Indy 87-27 last year.

              2. That was last year. New England lost Revis and Browner and Indy added Johnson, Gore, Cole and Langford, plus Luck and Hilton are still improving.

              3. Your initial question was who I think has a better offense than Indy, and that would be the Patriots for 1.

                Cole and Langford are decent players, but not guys that will put them over the top defensively.

              4. The Colts averaged .4 more yards per play than New England last season. That gap will grow. As far as points, the Colts probably will average 31 or 32 per game. Luck will have an MVP caliber season. Andre Johnson will have a better season than Anquan Boldin.

              5. Cool, .4 yards per game is nice.

                New England scored .6 more points per game.

                Saying the Colts will score 31-32 points per game is a stretch. The improvement with the additions of Gore and Johnson is being greatly overstated.

              6. Yeah. That was a typo on my part. Thanks for catching it.

                If you say so. As I said earlier, we’ll see.

              7. Perhaps. He’s still a good player, but he’s definitely on the backside of his career.

                Your Pro Bowl prediction wouldn’t surprise me. It’s mostly a popularity contest, and he is well liked. His chances go up just by being on a winning team.

              8. “He had 1,407 receiving yards on 2013.”

                And he only averaged .7 yards per reception more than Reggie Wayne did this season. He won’t come anywhere close to the 176 targets he received that season.

                I think he’ll come in with something like 72 catches for 930 yards.

              9. “He’ll have 100 catches easy.”

                Don’t think he’s not going to get enough targets to reach that number.

    1. Yeah, I read that if Murray does sign with the Beagles that Mathews might be interested in the Boys; and they with him. Peterson would probably be too hard a deal for JJ to swing.

  12. How is a guy who has averaged over 4 yards per carry, over the length of his career, including last year, on the downside? How does a guy with over 1,000 rushing yards the last four years, not have any legs? All the while facing 7-8 people in the box. If you can only give his age as a reason, it means nothing until those statistics start to change.

    1. Well until he does it with a line with colts that’s a lot worse at run blocking then this conversation needs to be continued at a latter date.

  13. Winner in FA is Ted Thompson. Packers did the right thing as they usually do. No overpaid signings, sign their young stars, let aging starters leave, and look around for value in FA if any available.

    Close to Thompson is Baalke at second place. Signed a promising starter to replace a disappointing departing one. Re-signed a supporting cast members and backups. Appears to have made sure there are no pressing needs going into the draft, since he’s OK with guard and CB personnel.

    Grant, are you kidding us on Colts?! Grigson has wasted tons of money on earlier FA and draft picks getting Richardson. He’s overpaying again to try to plug some of the gaping holes he has created or failed to close in earlier drafts. That team has continued to depend on Luck to carry it, and if Gore can stay healthy, the situation will be only slightly better for Luck next season.

    1. Colts spending reminds me of my younger days. It was my first tax return with our first daughter born in December two months before. All that money and not enough sense to realize the long term ramifications. If it was shinny we bought it. That’s the Colts this season.

  14. Winning FA is an Oxymoron if applied now, as there is no way to tell until teams hit the field and we see how the additions perform.

    Historically, teams that sign a lot of high priced FA’s fail miserably, so I would say winning FA means signing reasonably priced contributors that don’t blow up the salary cap, and contribute in a positive way.

    If Gore shows his age this season, the Colts won’t feel they won by signing him. Same thing with Johnson. If Miami is cap strapped in two or three years and have to release Suh with a monster cap hit, they won’t feel they won by making that signing.

    I like what Baalke is doing right now. He was aggressive in filling a big need, but now is going to wait patiently and see how the market proceeds in other areas before committing big money just because he has it to spend.

    1. Good stuff Rocket.

      I’m liking Baalke’s methods as well. I just want see us add a solid CB, whether that’s Cully or someone comparable without overpaying, and I’ll be good. Also a RB for depth and change of pace. Helu would have been nice, maybe they’re waiting for the draft.

      1. A Helu signing sounded like a good idea. Maybe Foerster didn’t really like him. Maybe they didn’t think he could carry the load if Hyde went down. Maybe he didn’t want to come here. Who really knows? I don’t get their interest in Bush because of his injury history. But I don’t question that Baalke knows what he’s doing.

      2. I dunno if it’s in spite of .. or ..
        because of the moves Jed/ Baalke
        have made so far .. I am still optimistic about this team ..

        Contrary to what MM sez ..
        (in the column Cubus linked to above) ..

        I can’t see Boreland trying to cover Graham ..
        but, I think if Justin decides to come back ..
        we’ll be ok in that department .. cuz Lynch
        and Aldon will get to the smurf .. often enough
        where Graham shouldn’t be much of a problem ..
        (He’ll get his touches, fer sure .. but no biggie)

        My two biggest concerns on offense is the
        O-line .. and will they be able to give Kap 4-5 seconds
        to get the ball to either Torrey Smith or Simpson AND
        can either of these guys be the ones to make
        monkeys out of Sherm ?

        Right now .. I’m of the mind that the Super Bowl is a long
        shot for this team … but .. IF
        (and this is a big -“eye-eff”) .. the Niners
        can FINALLY shut Sherms big mouth …

        it will be a successful season !!

        1. @MWNiner….I DO appreciate your ‘homerism’ as to our chances versus the Seasquaks, but without TB finding and signing that 6’7″ CB, that he spoke of, I believe that they will own us until we find a QB that can do what their QB can do. Russell Wilson is accurate, and sees the entire field, and goes through all of his options before firing .We know that Kaep can’t do that, can Gabbert?….a draftee? I don’t like the odds….

        1. According to Pro Football Focus’ grading system, Pears ranked last out of 44 guards who played 75 percent or more last season.

          That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for this guy. I hope he visits, and then keeps on moving. Maybe across the bay.

  15. Too early to know who will appear because FA isn’t over and the draft isn’t over, and we haven’t seen who goes down in training camp with injuries.

    I have a more pressing question. How do we adjust to cover 6′ 6″Jimmy Graham with Seattle and with our best cover lb in Patrick Willis retired? Is there someone we can realistically sign to handle big TEs? Is the answer already on the roster?

    1. Not to argue to much but I believe Bowman was our best cover Linebacker. He was the one who stayed on the field when we went to the Dime.
      One thing, I can’t see us using the nickel as much as we had in the past… that was practically our base defense against some teams.

  16. Looks to me like they’re planning to sign Cully. Just letting him test free agency and at least publicly there’s been little interest (Vikings have been mentioned). Maybe the same thing with Stevie Johnson. But at some point we’ll have to pull the trigger since eventually some other teams will try to get them on the cheap. No doubt Baalke and team have a good idea on when they need to do that.

    I’m concerned about the RB position. Hyde is young and upcoming, but I just don’t feel comfortable risking our season on him – esp. given that we are an “avowed” running team. It would be different if we had Brady or Rodgers at the helm and rely more heavily on the passing game. Bush will get pulverized in our division and I’m less than thrilled about acquiring him. I agree with Grant that Murray would be a great acquisition.

    1. The fact that neither Cox nor Cully are getting a huge amount of attention in the FA market (courtesy Maiocco) shows that the F.O.’s evaluation of their market price has probably been quite accurate. I won’t be surprise if one of them re-signs with the Niners on a 1 or 2-year deal.

    2. Cully is not the sharpest pencil in the box, especially when he showed up for that Viking interview wearing brass knuckles.

  17. What do people think about Red Bryant who was just released from the Jaguars?

    From PFT:

    “Jaguars released DL Red Bryant. Bryant lasted one season in Jacksonville. He was likely only signed as veteran leadership for a young Jaguars team when he inked a four-year, $19 million deal last spring. The move saves the Jaguars $4.5 million. It’s possible newly-signed DL Jared Odrick will take over for Bryant as the Jaguars’ starting “big” end on the left side. Bryant, 31 next month, still plays elite run defense.”

    1. And the efficacy, accuracy, and reliability of that metric in March only 3 days into Free Agency and well before the draft is………..what, exactly?

      1. It’s just Grant being Grant :) Now that his favorite team across the Bay is flailing in FA, he’s just exercising his mid-morning Niners-trolling muscles!

    2. I’d bet Foles and the Rams before I’d take SF at 100/1. I did correctly predict SF would not win over 8. I was wrong having them picking 5th overall.

    3. If the 49ers are 50-1 to make the Superbowl, what are the odds that the Colts meet the 49ers in the Superbowl? Who wins?

  18. Well, Browner is off the radar (my radar, anyway). On PFT:

    “Saints signed CB Brandon Browner, formerly of the Patriots, to a three-year contract.
    The deal makes perfect sense as the Saints needed to sure up their secondary and Browner was one of the best cornerbacks still available. Browner had been pursued by Cleveland and Washington prior to signing with New Orleans. The Saints could use a playmaker in the secondary after forcing just 12 interceptions last season, ninth-fewest in the NFL.”

  19. I’m assuming “winning free agency” means all activity (trades, releases, signings, extensions, retirements, free agent).

    I think Seattle got hands down the best value for their 31 pick. That trade filled a big “need”, which lets them be more BPA flexible. With Willis out, their new weapon takes advantage of a known 49er defensive vulnerability.
    They extended Lynch.

    The 49ers did (and do) far better in FA then given credit for.
    – I’ll give the 49ers a break on Willis retiring. That’s totally out of managements hands.
    – The Bucs are about to cut Goldson. That’s a huge win for the 49ers.
    – They might have overpaid Torrey Smith, but not in the huge amount national press claims. Only $8.75M fully guaranteed.
    – Darnell Dockett is a good pick-up. Docket=Gary (big hands) Johnson. Experienced rotational depth in the post season smashed Dan Marino.
    – The 49ers did not overpay to retain Gore, Iupati or Skuta.
    – Bleeding expensive free agents is a sign that the teams is good at drafting. The 2016 compensatory haul will be massive. So many, Baalke could use the 2016 4th rounder as trade-up bait in this years draft.

  20. I’m thinking Sproles will be made available with the 2 signing in Philadelphia. I’d rather have Sproles over Bush but really love to get AD.

    1. Baalke yesterday:

      “Very seldom, at least in my tenure, have we delved into the early stages of free agency. We did it this year with Torrey (Smith). Right now, we’re still in that process. As you see every day, somebody else is getting cut. There’s a trickle-down effect. It’s always a fluid situation.”

    1. Yup! That”s precisely what I said to myself before facing the USMC Welter Weight Champ back in the day. After a standing 8, I got TKO’d in the 3rd, LOL. I had scar tissue in my eye for 20 years from that dude. I retired right then. ; -0

      1. So much for that. Philly must have been offering a fair bit more than anyone else. I don’t understand why else he would sign there to play behind the NFLs leading RB last season, especially with Sproles also on the roster.

  21. Interesting Barnwell Article focusing on Bad FA signings. He talks about Skuta to Jax and Gore to Indy. And how bad the Bucs are(thank you).


    “Just 11 running backs since the merger have carried the ball 200 times in their age-32 season, and they collectively haven’t been very good, averaging 3.8 yards per carry. That club drops to five at age 33, and the only guy to do it since the second Clinton administration was Emmitt Smith. That’s a group that includes four Hall of Famers, and even they could muster only 3.7 yards per carry. Gore can still pass block and his patience as a runner is otherworldly, but his work as a receiver has dwindled to virtually nothing. He doesn’t need to get 200 carries to justify his roster spot, but the Colts won’t return value with this sort of contract unless he does.”

  22. Colts an Niners.
    Colts if they save gore this season,
    NINERS if they stay healthy.

    2….. Colts and Giants. Manning has learned the WCO now. And of healthy will win the east and rep the NFC.
    SF and NYG once again in the NFC title game. First pick???
    We don’t lose to them this time

  23. I hope we are picking at New Orleans for some players. They are tearing it down and are in full rebuild mode. Kc gets a two time pro bowl gaurd for a fifth

    1. Trent Richardson has been released–no shocker there. Any chance Baalke tries to resurrect him from the depths of the bottom tier of running backs and give him a shot?

    1. Trent has some mental demons he needs to exercise. I believe he has it in him to get back to his rookie season self but I don’t know about it happening here. Are we that unsure about Kendall Hunter?

      1. It seems to like Baalke likes where Kendall is at. I’m certainly rooting for him. Richardson on a minimum type deal is worth the risk.

      1. Yeah, he’ll have a hard sell in a year called extra deep in draftable running backs. I think it was Mayock saying some team might get a 1st Round talent RB as late as the early 3rd.

  24. This won’t have the flash a D Murray signing would have had, but T Richardson on the cheap behind this line could punish the division

    1. Try not to read too much in to the report just yet. Like I said in a previous post; my girlfriend has been friends with his fiancé since high school and she’s always been known to put men in situations like that. She tends to embellish and play the victim and she’s the one started the fight. I’m not saying that’s what happened with Bruce, but just beware that that’s her MO.

    1. Millard is scary to try to tackle when he builds up speed.
      Nice hands too.
      Has nifty enough feet to seal off safeties in space
      Can break open the occasional big run

      1. I do not concur.
        It’ll be:
        1) Crabtree – Maybe Cleveland, TB, Houston
        2)Johnson – Maybe KC, Oak, Wash
        3)Bowe – Lemme see..where do WRs go to die?

    1. Jason La Canfora ✔ @JasonLaCanfora
      Browns will be exploring both Stevie Johnson, who has ties to coaching staff, and Dwayne Bowe (ties to their GM) hoping to add another WR

      1. Yeah, I hadn’t complimented you on your new Bushism (spontaneous semantic inventions): “Chipnotism”. Excellent; its a keeper.
        You win a free Tiramisu at my son-in-law’s restaurant; if he actually ever gets around to opening one.

        1. Yeah, thanks for the set-up. It was really just sitting right there for me.

          I’m gonna wear it out too. Did you see how he had the press chipnotized today?

    1. -I would be interested in Mathis…..

      Pro Football Focus rated Mathis as the best guard in the NFL for the 2011, 2012, and 2013 season

      1. Vikings are shopping Cordarrelle Patterson. I would like the Niners to land him as a punt/kick returner, but not as a WR. Apparently he still can’t learn the Vikes offense.

    2. I wouldn’t make that trade for a guard who will be 34 in November with cap hits of $6 and $7mil remaining.

      1. I think it would be a good move as long as he didn’t cost higher than a third round pick. He’s up there in age, but he could also be a short term solution at LG in case Thomas still can’t go and Martin gets dominated there like he was at C last season.

  25. Devin Funchess apparently timed around 4.52/ 4.53 at his pro day. If true that is a huge improvement from his 4.7 at the combine.

    I’m still not a fan though.

  26. Here’s a stat from PFT regarding Sam Bradford:

    “Going back to his final season at Oklahoma, Sam Bradford has appeared in just 52 of a possible 93 games.”

    I still don’t have any idea what Chip Kelly is doing, but I’m glad he’s not running the 49ers. My father-in-law is an ardent Eagles fan and he’s mystified.

  27. Who is losing free agency? The Raiders. With all that cap space they can’t get anyone to sign there.
    Meanwhile anyone know if Crabtree has visited any other teams?

      1. He’s visiting Washington. Maybe he’ll get it. Or maybe they’ll offer less but more than Baalke wants to match. Would that shock you, Prime?

        1. I like Culliver but 9 million? If Brandon Browner got 3 year 9 million, I’d think that’s what Cully deserves.

          1. PFT reported 3 year deal at $18 million for Browner. But yeah, 9 million per year average is way too high for Culliver.

    1. If the $9 had major de-escalators relating to injury, off field behavior and roster bonuses, its not far off.

      On the other hand, if Culliver’s asking for lots of guaranteed money, he’s dreaming.

    1. Well he’s definately not happy in his current situation.
      Teams are watching this very closely I would think.
      I wonder what he’s still owed and what his cap figure is.

        1. Thanks cubus!
          Hmmmmmmmmm…(wheels in head turning).
          He’s not even asking for more money…just a guarantee of his current contract.
          This will be fun to watch.

        2. If he’s available for a mid round pick I think he’d be a great addition. He’s got 3 years left on his current deal, but to keep him happy you could offer him a restructure and likely not need to break the bank.

          Not sure the Saints would be willing to make such a deal though.

            1. So maybe Bryant replacing McDonald and Dockett replacing J.Smith. Even if J. Smith is still on the team, they could rotate.

          1. Cubus, Red Bryant plays a similar role to what Ray McDonald played for the 49ers. I don’t think we need him – Dorsey, Dial and TJE can all play that role.

            In saying that, he was good in that role for the Seahawks, and if he can still play as well as he used to for them he’d be a decent addition if they did sign him.

  28. Marcus Mariota apparently had a very poor pro day. Bridgewater had a bad pro day last year too and fell to the end of round 1… prior to that many people had him as the #1 QB ahead of Bortles.

    Will Mariota fall too? If he’s there at #15, should the 49ers draft him?

    1. Yes, I would draft him if he is there at 15. It will give us an option if we want to move on from Kaep in 2016. Kaep will need to have a very good 2015 season; if not, it’s probably time to move on.

    2. If Baalke is truly all in with Kaepernick then no. Until they make a few F/A moves they have some glaring holes in key positions. At #15 there will possibly be a great CB option and maybe even an OL or OLB that is high enough on their list that he fulfills bpa in a need category.

      If they’re on the fence with Kaepernick then sure, he then becomes the best bpa/need option at that pick.

      1. CFC: Competition usually gets people to perform their best. Kaep has not had any competition since Alex was on the team. Signing Mariotta would be a strong indication that the 49ers are expecting very near-term results.

        1. Kaepernick is too young in his career to be drafting his heir apparent at the #15 spot. When you take a QB that high you’re planning on starting him much sooner then later because you need a return on that investment. If they picked Mariota at that spot it would be a big indication of their commitment level to Kaepernick as the long term starter. They can draft QB competition in the 4th or 5th round.

          1. He’ll be 28 this next season, which IMO is no longer young – it’s the start of prime performance expectations. I think they are on the fence with regards to Kaep. 2015 is it – he either shows substantial improvement or they move on.

            An interesting stat would be how many 1st and say 2nd round QB selections go on to have “good” careers as opposed to 4th round and higher QB selections. I think that’s what we’re discussing here. I would think we need a lower round pick whereas you seem to be advocating a higher round pick.

      2. That would be the conundrum CfC.

        Is Mariota a tier above the other players that may be available at #15? If not then its pretty easy, you go with a player at a position of more need. But if he’s clearly the BPA, not such a cut and dry story.

        Personally I’d prefer they go for a different position, but he would be hard to pass up. If they are in that situation the best move may be to trade down.

    3. Draft him only as trade bait. He’s not going to beat out Kaep and having a first round QB pick on the bench when there are other needs on this team would be foolish.

          1. I had the 49ers taking Dupree at #15 because I think the other four guys will be gone before then.

            As 3-4 OLBs I would rank them Beasley, Fowler, Dupree, Gregory, Ray.

            I don’t think Ray is an OLB. I think he is a nickel pass rush specialist. And I’m not a huge fan of Gregory – he reminds of Barkevious Mingo, and incrdible athlete but not strong enough to be a real force at OLB.

    1. I’d favor a good edge rusher in 1/2. Can’t have too many. Need interior push too, but since DBs aren’t allowed to defend any more the only recourse is disrupt the passer. DuPree brings it. I like Orchard too.
      Hearing Trent talking about disguising needs, it makes one smile to see the choreography of these visits. All the world’s a stage.

      1. Yeah, if there is one thing we have learned about Baalke its that he doesn’t mind putting dis-information out there, meet with players they don’t really have much interest in just to bluff people.

  29. So how much longer is this free agency going to drag out? The 49ers are sitting on the largest amount of cap space in years and they’ve only done one major transaction. At least with the draft we know when things will happen even if there is a wait in between.

    1. I think Baalke pretty much set out what the 49ers plans in FA are from here. I wouldn’t expect any more big money signings, outside of maybe Culliver if he doesn’t get what he wants elsewhere. I think we’ll see a RB, OL and a CB or two added between now and the draft, maybe an OLB/ edge player, but aside from Culliver I don’t think any of those will be big money deals.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that cap space goes into extensions for players. And I think the 49ers will be happy to keep some of that cap space spare so it rolls forward to next year.

      1. Baalke might not be used to having competition that thinks the way he does: i.e., McGloughan and Fangio and possibly Roman.

      1. Thanks for the response, BT. I actually know that FA can last into training camp. I’m just frustrated with the lack of movement esp. with what seems like a healthy amount of cap space. But it’s the way of the Baalke.

        1. Truly it is TB’s way. He usually lies in the weeds while we’re all howling for ACTION!!!! Then he gets some decent values. The way he grabbed TSmith reminded me of him trading up a couple of times in Rd#1.

          1. ‘Member: Trent’s track record is FA for immediate needs and draft usually for long term roster development. He often deviates in the 1st for Need&Value(bpa).

  30. Maybe I’m just being bitter but at this point it wouldn’t surprise me if Baalke went after T. Richardson.

    1. I am quite concerned about the expectation that Brock is the #1. I really wanted Browner, but that’s history. Hopefully, the 49ers made Cully an offer and he’s just testing the market to see if he can do better. If he can, maybe he’ll give the niners the ability to match. But this $9 to $10 million per year talk is just nonsense.

      1. There is still a lot of FA and the draft to go before the season starts. I’d be shocked if a CB or two aren’t added between now and the start of the year that can come in and compete for a starting job.

        1. In addition to the current FAs veterans become available through late march-may releases and trades. If Baalke doesn’t like the pricetag on the current options available in FA he can save his cap room and pounce on options that become available later in the process.

          I also am intrigued by the idea of drafting Waynes. A CB depth chart of Brock/Waynes starting, Ward/Johnson available to cover small/big slot receivers and Aacker/Reaser as depth sounds pretty exciting to me – young but athletic.

          1. I’d be very happy getting Waynes.

            Its funny, everybody is just assuming Brock will be the #1 CB next season. I don’t think its a certainty he’ll be a starter, let alone #1. I wouldn’t be shocked to see one of Dontae Johnson or Kenneth Acker surpass him on the depth chart, if not this season then in the near future. And I’m still expecting the team to either sign a pretty decent vet CB or draft one high.

            1. Health is the issue with Brock, but if healthy I think he goes into the season as one of the starters. If Aacker/Johnson surpass him on the depth charts that would be great for the Niners, but I see Brock’s experience anchoring down one of the starting spots. Brock’s deal was pretty firm for the first two years then becomes relatively easy to cut after year 2, so if he is surpassed by the end of the season, that would be right on schedule.

              I also don’t think the secondary roles will be as rigidly defined as they were the last 4 years. I see more potential to move guys around, especially in nickel and dime situations, to matchup with the wide variety of physical specimens you have catching the ball in today’s NFL. I think the CB groups are going to have to move towards the WR model of having a mix of guys to cover different types of WRs – not as much having #1, 2, 3, etc.

              1. Good concepts. I think this kid (reasor? ) may push the other two. Acker looked interesting in camp.

              2. And that’s the key, Scooter. In the past we’ve had uncertainty with players as the new NFL year starts – cuts, free agency and the draft. But we had the certainty of knowing who the coaches were. This year we don’t really know many of the coaches and those that we do know are in different roles. That I think is what is driving up the level of anxiety beyond the norm – at least I’ll say it is for me.

    2. I think the Niners still need to draft a downfield threat to fill the role they envision Torrey Smith filling. They need more than one player capable of getting downfield in case Smith misses any time, which is bound to happen. If we don’t have someone to back up that role our offense will revert right back to our RB’s running into stacked boxes.

  31. How I think the 49ers will do (or draft) depends on redshirts and other roster mysteries.Its those little known names that could affect the draft and FA more then we realize. Namely new guys Reaser, Acker, Millard, McCray, Ramsey… and mysteries
    Lemonier and Brooks.

    With Miller in trouble, Tre Millard could have a big role.

    Oft injured Kaleb Ramsey would make a nice late season “closer” interior pass rusher.

    If Brandon Thomas shows swing tackle promise, O-line might not be the urgent priority.

    OLBs not named Aldon or Lynch are big questions. Lemonier and Brooks need to show something. I’m hoping Mangini rotates players more then Fangio.

    I’m not confident Ward can provide depth at safety without getting hurt. LJ McCray has great physical tools (see grainy footage from Catabawa College). Maybe he provides the depth I’m worried about.

  32. I am happy we r going young…. I do wish we would have extended Cully last yr, even w his issues, and think it might b prudent to extend Boone….. I would still like depth at DL and speed at LB – can Cook cover Graham? Maybe that gives him hope to make the team.

      1. Neither of those two. Cox was awful during the 2nd half of last season and Brown is just plain bad.

        Stick with what they have for now. There will likely be good value later in free agency if they don’t draft one.

        1. Yep let other teams throw the crazy money around and see what happens when the smoke clears.

          I knew Culliver wasn’t getting 10 mill a year, but I’m surprised he even got a deal like this considering he doesn’t have an extended track record of success and has had some off the field issues.

  33. Well, cully was good in fangios defense. Im suprised hes not in Chicago. My opinion, it depends on what defense we are going to run, when we find out you will start seeing certain corners, either in the draft or a free agent or 2. Mangini said hes going to blitz a little, well we are going to need a press man corner. We might bring cook back. Johnson is big and physical enough to fit that bill as well. I haven’t seen tape on acker or reasor so no opinion on them.  

  34. For now comp picks next year look maybe like this:

    1) Lupati is cancelled out by T. Smith
    2) Culliver – 4th round pick
    3) Skuta – 5th round pick
    4) Gore – 6th round pick

    1. Thanks Cubus.

      Hard to tell because the formula is a secret. I was pleasantly surprised the 49ers got a 3rd rounder last year.

      These contract numbers might be off slightly, but here’s what I have…


      Iupati – $40M, $22.5M Gtd, 5 year
      Culliver – $32M, $16M Gtd, 4 year
      Skuta – $20.5M, $8M Gtd, 5 Year
      Frank Gore – $12M, $8.5M Gtd, 3 year


      Torrey Smith $40M, $8.5M-$22M Gtd, 5 year

      Seems like the Iupati-Smith contracts cancel out. But only $8.5M of Smith’s contract is “fully” guaranteed.

      The Torrey Smith = Culliver might be the cancel out. If that’s the case.

      Iupati – 3rd or 4th
      Skuta – 4th or 5th
      Gore – 4th or 5th

      1. I hope you’re estimates are right and mine are wrong. But as you noted in an earlier post, Baalke can trade away some of our 2016 mid-round picks to move up in various rounds this year.

  35. Must have not thought very high of culliver. 4 year 32 isn’t that bad after grant was saying it would be 10 per year. I hope TB has a plan that isnt T. Brown

    1. Yeah, George-
      Sheftner has a “report” that says that the Agent says that ‘teams’ are talking to him about Hardy, but he can’t say which ones. Look, Sheftner is good at providing breaking news, but this is a Non-Report. If you can’t say which team yet, then you don’t have a report yet! This is an Agent Dump. Its probably true, but its Rosenhaus we’re talking about here. (exaggerated eye roll) It looks to me like a damage control blurb to counter the bad press when Trent indicated he has no interest and would have no interest in Hardy.

      1. Thanks for responding, BT. I hear you, but this report does say the Raiders. I also said it was a report. I don’t know if it’s true. But I get your point.

        1. Yes. My complaint was that Sheftner went with something before he had something. He may well have known which team but had been asked to keep it mum. So he shouldn’t have posted imo.
          Your article had some meat to it at least. I would like to hold the professionals to a higher standard than guys like you and me who share scraps of info to try to get a picture. Even good Pros get fooled; Barrows had to strike a post after he got suckered by a phony tweet.

          1. Something you just said was a gem: We are guys “who share scraps of info to try to get a picture.” Exactly what we are.

  36. My opinion, whos winning free agency? Well im in the minority, lets see, the 9ers let go of overated crabtree, overated pass protected iupati, heart and soul but slow and time to move on gore, Rip P-Willy, hope your body heals to be able to play with your kids and fam. Loved watching you play, overpaid stevie, 3 guys same skill set cancels out theoffense. We kept the best 1. Boldin.. Cowboy(maybe), System oriented cully, backup lifer who had a great season by his standards skuta now overpaid. those are the bigger names. Now we sign back our own a low costs but they are staples in our system, a couple of guys restructure to helpout money wise, bring in dockett, major up grade in the rush the qb ddepartment over mcdonald, T smith who got a lot guaranteed but hes the one piece this offense needs. 26 year old speed demon, i dont think this organization has ever had anyone this fast. Hes young and alrrady established. We dont have to draft one because now we have 1 in our back yard. The reciever we draft should be more red zone oriented. Jerome simpson, another low cost high reward guy if it works out. So we get rid of people on their way out the door anyhow, and the whole country thinks we are headed for 4-12.. Good grief, and its all because harbaugh is gone. Great coach, but his offense stalled every year, and instead of going back to the drawing board, he brought back the same offense with no changes and same results. L-L-L- No playoffs! Oh and the division got better. He was a stubborn man who belived his way was the best way with no input from players, didn’t even consider it. Well im banking on 11 wins, with a new staff and an actual game plan on offense to score touchdowns not just field goals. And a gm who has helped bring players in this organization. Real good players. So are we A plus in free agency, no but we are killing it
    Enough to know we are still a force in this leauge!

    1. I like your post, Steelematic. I don’t know how many games we’ll win next year. Remember that Jed gave away our home field advantage and that the division has gotten stronger. Also, so much depends on the oline and Kaep. But none of this has to do with Harbaugh and his staff leaving. Was he a “great” coach? He was a “great” college coach, but I think he hit his ceiling in the NFL, as you explain. If we can see it, then Baalke could. (I refuse to give Jed credit for seeing anything. He’s as dumb as a sack of hair.)

    1. Thanks MW. I truly believe the countryis being to harsh. Players win games, not just coaches. Proven by the fact that we had great players, anda great coach, with no real back up offensive game plan incase his didnt work. I think whenthe offseason is all said and done we willbe betyer than last year on paper. We jusst have to go out and execute. Harbaugh had these great players, and what happened? Disappointment! Its somebody elses turn to try and win with our talent

  37. I am optimistic too Steel- and I am taking their odds to the casino…. I think Bush would be a gd fit as a 3rd down back for screens and I hope that that is what the org is thinking as it would help open up the offense- I too am glad Harbaugh is gone.

    1. Bush could be that guy, but we already have one of those guys in hunter. Granite he is coming off an injury but hey he still could be that elusive back. If not bring in Bush’s speed

      1. Why is this so hard to figure out? Bush is a running back. Patton and Ellington are receivers. One has nothing to do with the other.

      2. Because Bush is put into the slot position a lot. Ellington scored a touchdown on a run. There interchangeable. What’s the point of drafting these players if they aren’t getting on the field. You yourself said, “… Maybe part of the reason Harbaugh was fired was because players weren’t being developed.” With all the new guys these guys still will not be getting developed. Just because Bush is listed as a running back does not mean he will ONLY BE Ised in the backfield. What don’t you understand about young guys going to waste. They aren’t going to sign Bush for him ONLY to be a 3rd down back.

        1. With the 49ers Bush would be used as a change of pace back. Get him out on screens and underneath throws. That wouldn’t take a receiver off of the field. Think of how New England utilized Vereen in the passing game.

          Even if they don’t sign him, their interest in a back of his type should give you some ideas of what they are looking to do on offense that we haven’t seen for a while.

          1. I get it. I hope they do all of that. Defenses need to run sideline to sideline. I just see these two guys becoming LMJ all over again.

    2. Good post Steel.

      I am actually pretty excited about this season. I’m excited to really start to see the next generation of Baalke’s guys take over. I’m hoping to see some break out years by Tank, Dial, and Lynch. I’m hoping to see Bowman come back at a 100%, who is just as fun to watch as Willis, no offense to Willis of course.

      As for offense, we’ve gotten younger and faster. We really have changed the dynamic of this offense in a few days. Gore, Crabs, and Stevie gone; Hyde/ Simpson/ Torrey in. I love it. We will finally be able to utilize our strong-armed gun slinging QB, but of course he needs to improve in other areas as well, which is what I’m hoping to see.

      Could be a horrible year, kind of a Boom or Bust factor, but I’m optimistic.

  38. The Cowboys were in a tough spot with both Dez and Murray looking for deals. They couldn’t overpay, but even so pretty much lowballed Murray. I’m not surprised at JJ’s interest in McFadden, who he’s liked since college. He and a good rookie will be OK behind that line.
    Then there’s the AP speculation. Hah! That would have to be a Reverse Herschel Walker Trade; and we know who got the better of that one!

    1. But the Cowgirls signed Darren McFadden – won’t that solve their RB problems? Hahaha Stephen Jones is drafting a RB – look for Gordon/Gurley in the first round.

  39. with the current roster as is who would you take as your first 3 picks??
    1-OG-La’el Collins-could be future stud at OG and can play all positions on the OL
    2-CB-Kevin Johnson-PJ Williams-Jalen Collins-or Byron Jones
    3-RB- David Johnson

  40. Ian Rapoport ✔ @RapSheet
    Former #Chargers starting CB Shareece Wright is visiting the #49ers today, source said. Lot of mutual interest here. May take more visits.

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