49ers Complete Offseason Update: Has the front office really done that well so far?
First things first, I am, and have been a staunch supporter of the work that the 49ers front office has been doing the last few years, especially General Manager Trent Baalke. I will say that this writer is starting to have trepidation build up inside of him though. Where do we really stand right now as far as offseason progress goes? Let�s take a look�.
Quarterback Alex Smith is traded to the Kansas City Chiefs
Beating a dead horse again, and again, and again, and again...you get the picture. Alex Smith is now an afterthought...maybe (Alex will always be tied to the 49ers success and the what could�ve been if Franchise quarterback Colin Kaepernick doesn�t develop into the electric talent that we are all predicting). More of a �what are we going to get for him question?�, Alex left the 49ers pockets a little heavier (by trading him before April 1st we saved $9.75 million) and upgraded our draft status by gaining an immediate second round pick, and adding a conditional pick to next years draft. It was a no brainer, but the 49ers played it with perfect tact by stating that Alex could�ve potentially stayed in Red and Gold for the upcoming season. The NFL was playing its internal games (Adam Schefter of ESPN stated that Alex�s market value was lower than initially perceived), and we played them right back.
Tight End Delanie Walker Signs with the Tennessee Titans
I�m not grieving as much as the rest of Red and Gold Nation on Delanie�s departure (In April�s upcoming draft, I believe the 49ers will use one of their first 5 picks on a backup tight end), but this has the potential to be a big loss for the 49ers. Walker provided EVERYTHING for the 49ers. He blocked well, he spread the field almost as well as Vernon Davis, and he created a ton of weak side issues for opposing defenses. Deemed �The Swiss Army Knife� Walker was the ultimate stop gap. I�m surprised we never saw him suit up as a cornerback when our secondary began to show some weakness in the playoffs. Losing him hurts, but look for the 49ers to replace him with a talented TE early in April�s draft.
Nose Tackle Isaac Sopoaga Signs with the Philadelphia Eagles
Sopoaga put in some quality years with the 49ers franchise. He plugged that A gap like no other. He was a complete run stuffer, and even added the occasional sack here and there. His best play was during the 49ers playoff run that ended in an overtime loss to the eventual champions, the New York Football Giants. He did his job, he stayed out of the media, and he was a silent leader within the locker room. In a managerial sense, his age, coupled with a $4 million per year asking price, was too much for the 49ers to ultimately act upon. Hate to see him go, but DT Glenn Dorsey will do more than just replace Soap, I envision him thriving in the 49ers front 7.
Safety Dashon Goldson signs with Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This was more of a disheartening, personal loss, versus a crippling blow for the 49ers. Dashon Goldson was an absolute stud, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. People will cite his past inconsistencies as fodder to acknowledge his departure, I disagree entirely. Goldson has taken the tutelage that defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has given, and ran with it. He will be a force to be reckoned with in Tampa Bay. As for Red and Gold Nation goes, he just was too pricey to hold on to. My little heart is broken by his departure, but there are too many future cogs to keep in place. You might not agree with the grade, but being able to pull the cord on decisions like this is what keeps franchises alive.
49ers Sign DE Glenn Dorsey
This one I can definitely understand. Dorsey was a former first round pick and he�s still young. This is still a project, one that I can foresee the 49ers turning into a quality move. Dorsey came relatively cheap, and his payoff could equal gold...er...Red and Gold. This move still has to prove itself though, so I�ll keep the praise at a minimum for now.
49ers Trade for Wide Receiver Anquan Boldin
Giving up only a 6th round pick, the 49ers added the veteran wide receiver to a depleted core. Financially, this move consumed the money left over from Alex Smith�s departure (Boldin has 1 year left at $6 Million on his contract). Boldin instantly upgrades the offense and adds another tough leader to an already tough locker room. Tough, tough, tough...and a little bit of tough sprinkled in. Boldin adds moxie, and has a knack to show up when needed the most ($%&* you Ravens!!!) Age is definitely an issue, but he�s here to win now. I�m a big fan of this move.
49ers Sign Cornerback Nmandi Asomugha
A move prediacted upon need, the 49ers signed cornerback Nmandi Asomugha to a contract rife with incentives that can push the total value up to $3 Million for the 1 year tenure. Nmandi shores up a postition that the 49ers were more than likely going to address in this April�s draft. Nmandi has a ton to prove to himself and the NFL, and he will be pushed by the 49ers organization to be the corner that he once was. Nmandi has the size to potentially neutralize bigger receievers IE Larry Fitzgerald and anybody wearing a Falcons jersey. Good move by the 49ers; the classic risk/reward on a postion that is held at a premium in the pass heavy NFL. I would make this an A, and I�m paraphrasing here, but �Nmandi hasn�t been a good corner for over 3 years now.� On paper, I�m excited for this one but again, he has to prove his value.
49ers Trade for Quarterback Colt McCoy
Backup central here and that�s all you need to know. Beleagured backup QB Scott Tolzien has just a good of chance as playing as McCoy does. This is what I like to call milk, it�s just kind of blah. Doesn�t affect anything as far as the future of the franchise, but it does provide us with an average backup that can move the ball in a west coast type option. McCoy better be wearing diapers if he tries to adapt to the read option, because we all know any future big hits will make McCoy %$#@ his pants (Just another illegal hit in OLB James Harrison�s vaunted career). The 49ers received McCoy and a 6th round draft pick for our 5th and 7th rounders. I would�ve preferred to see the 49ers keep the picks and address our backup situation in the draft.
49ers sign Safety Craig Dahl
Where to begin on this one. Let�s be honest, was this a good move? Mark it a zero on this one Smokey. Dahl does have ability, he�s in the NFL for Christ sake. Being said, he isn�t the �splash� that the 49ers needed. Dahl is a definite downgrade from Dashon Goldson. The move fills the void that was left by Goldson, but leaves the 49ers having to draft a free safety with more than likely their first round pick. The 49ers were never in the position to pay Goldson his market value, but spending money on subpar personnel doesn�t count as a good move just because your last name is Midas/Baalke. I don�t see this move changing the make up of the 49ers, I just see the dollars fluttering away.
49ers sign ILB and Special team Officionado Dan Skuta:
Work ethic baby. Count me in on Skuta. This mother trucker has blue collar stitched into his Neanderthal head...and in some crazy sense I mean that in a positive manner. He will be coachable, he will do the dirty work, and he will become a fan favorite. Skuta will provide relief at many key positions for the 49ers (ILB, FB, Special Teams) and that will find him all the playing time he desires. We have Skuta for 2 years and he�s only 26, let�s see where this one goes.
49ers Sign Wide Receiver Marlon Moore
Blah. No disrespect to Mr. Moore, but I think his tenure ends right about second cuts. This one doesn�t deserve a grade. I�ll give it a D only because he reps my hometown of Sacramento.
Updated Offseason Grade: B
Red and Gold Nation need not worry, we are in prime position to continue future success. I�m a writer though, or at least I pretend to be, so indulge me and feign caring about my weightless opinion. Outside of Dorsey and Boldin, I�m having a hard time liking what we�ve done so far. I don�t disagree with any of the moves, but I also don�t think they are the type of moves to get past our Super Bowl hangover. It�s foolish to ever criticize Baalke�s moves before we see their result, but we�re now forced to have a successful draft in order to upgrade our team over last year. We have the picks to do it but I honestly envisioned the 49ers adding some notable pieces (Mike Wallace, Percy Harvin, John Abraham, Osi Umenyiora, etc.) that had proven NFL worth.
There is still time in Free agency to bolster our squad. I can see the 49ers adding converted safety Charles Woodson to their team before it�s all said and done; as long as the price is right. This is only an update, let�s save the real grades for next February. March on Red and Gold Nation !!!!