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Well lools like the lockout is official over. Free Agency starts Friday, 49ers training camp starts Thursday, and players will be allowed back onto Niner facilities beginning tommorrow. Should be a wild and hetic next couple of days. UDFAs can be signed as well as draft picks tommorrow so hopefully Baalke and Co. are on the phones as we speak with guys like Ian Williams, Froman, and Herzlich. It will be very interesting to see how things shake out in these next few days.
Psyched about getting Williams. He is SI's Tony Pauline's No. 1-rated undrafted prospect and Scott Wright has him #5 best undrafted player.
I also see the Ravens are cutting Kelly Gregg. Would love to bring him in to mentor in RJF and Williams. Franklin always brought up how much he learned from Gregg. Plus the Ravens look to be going all in for Nnamdi so can't see them getting into a bidding war for him.
Update: Herzlich says he has not signed with anyone.
For everyone I have not signed with anyone yet and am still making my decision. Thank you for support and I will give official word tomorrow
I actually really like the Jeremiah Masoli pickup. It's no secret Harbaugh likes athletic quarterbacks. Worst case scenario, he's a weapon on our PS squad that can help prepare our defense for elusive guys like Michael Vick
Sadly, I dont any of those UFDA's and the only one I knew about was the one we didnt sign (Herzlich, NYG) but im happy that we signed that NT who was ranked #1 and #5 respectively. That makes me happy.
Cant wait for free agency to start Friday even though im not expecting us to sign anyone major.
Here's a position by position break down including a wish list of possible UFA's (unless they get re-signed by their current respective team) -
QB - Alex Smith (re-sign), David Carr, Colin Kaepernick (R)
I'll be somewhat shocked if Smith doesnt stay in SF for at least 2011. Carr is average at best but in no way, shape or form would I sign another veteran like Hasselbeck or Bulger or an in-between guy like Vince Young (when he gets released if he's not traded). Just wouldnt make any sense. Keep Kaepernick as the third stringer for the entire season. I would NOT have him play at all in 2011. Let him sit on the bench and be fully ready and prepared for 2012. I do NOT want to see a repeat of Rattay/Smith from 2005.
RB - Frank Gore, Anthony Dixon, Kendall Hunter (R)
Gore is set as the starter with Dixon and rookie Hunter as the backups. I just hope they give Dixon more playing time to give Gore more rest especially with him being an UFA in 2012 and us most likely re-signing him.
FB - Bruce Miller
WR - Michael Crabtree, Santonio Holmes (UFA), Josh Morgan, Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams, Ronald Johnson (R), Dominique Zeigler
I know that we wont be keeping seven receivers come opening day but the top two would be guaranteed spots with the last four competing for the final two or three spots. With Morgan being an UFA in 2012, I would try to trade him if I can somehow sign Holmes. Holmes isnt the greatest person in the world but his speed and talent is better than Crabtree which would hopefully give him a kick in his ass to step it up. Also, at only 27, he would be awesome outside and deep threat weapon opposite Crabtree and Davis in the slot. Another positive is that Kaepernick would have the entire 2012 off-season to work with them all as a collective group. I know that there's no chance in hell of this actually happening but thats why its called a wish list. LOL.
TE - Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Nate Byham
In my opinion, we are set at TE barring an injury to Davis.
C - David Baas (re-sign), Tony Wragge (re-sign)
Center is arguably our most needed position with our starting center and our backup both being free agents. I would prefer to re-sign both and keep Baas at center but if he leaves for a bigger payday, Shaun O'Hara from the Giants would be a good stopgap for a year but im hoping that doesnt happen. As for Heitmann, since he's gone for the season, I would reach an injury settlement with him and let him go since he's a UFA in 2012 anyway.
OG - Mike Iupati, Marshal Yanda (UFA), Adam Snyder, Daniel Kilgore (R)
Rachal needs to go period. Guy sucks period. Yanda will be 27 in September and our starting OL from left to right would be 27, 24, 30, 27 and 21 if we sign Yanda who's one of the better players available in UFA. Either way, I really hope Harbaugh will see that Rachal is a crapper and start Snyder instead.
OT - Joe Staley, Anthony Davis, Barry Sims (re-sign), Alex Boone
Pretty much set in my opinion.
K - Josh Reed (re-sign)
I know that Nedney has been very good for us but he's now injury prone and older than Reed. I would personally re-sign Reed and release Nedney even though most would probably disagree with this move.
P - Andy Lee
LS - Brian Jennings
NT - Isaac Sopoaga, Ricky Jean-Francois
Franklin is as good as gone and I wouldnt give him the long term deal that he wants. You can add in the undrafted rookie too but I dont remember his name. Wanted to sign NT Kelly Gregg but he's 35 or whatever so no point. Rather see Sopoaga start and play NT to see if he's worth re-signing in 2012.
DE - Justin Smith, Ray McDonald (re-sign), Demetric Evans (re-sign)
Smith is set and thinking about it, wouldnt mind giving McDonald the other starting spot but not if his contract demands are too high. Evans would be a cheap veteran backup.
OLB - Aldon Smith (R), Manny Lawson (re-sign), Parys Haralson, Ahmad Brooks
Yeah, yeah, I know. Lawson is as good as gone but I would much rather re-sign him and start him opposite Smith instead of Haralson or Brooks. If/when Lawson leaves, starting a rookie opposite Haralson or Brooks could turn into a nightmare. UGH. Oh well, hope Lawson fits in better with his new team.
ILB - Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Scott McKillop, ???
We could bring back Spikes to start again but I rather see Bowman start instead to see how he does. Would like to see another veteran ILB be signed as depth if we dont re-sign Spikes. McKillop will hopefully bounce back from his injury and be good on special teams.
CB - Richard Marshall (UFA), Shawntae Spencer, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver (R), Curtis Holcomb (R), Phillip Adams
Bye bye Nate. You're NOT worth 1/3 of your salary and for $35m, I would sign Marshall for the next five years. He'll be 27 in December which means that when his five year contract ends, he would have just turned 31. Would like to see Brown step up and surpass Spencer but dont know if that would happen. I was thinking about Asomugha but he's 30 and I wouldnt pay him the same or more than what Clements is getting because just in case, he declines due to his age (30), it would be a bigger negative than the Clements signing. Asomugha would be on my list if we were a SB contender and was missing a piece at CB but since thats not the case, I go after Marshall who'll be under the radar since everyone will be going after Asomugha, Joseph and Cromartie. An awesome move would be to sign Joseph and Marshall and then release Spencer too but thats not going to happen. Hell, I dont see any of wish list actually happening but whatever.
SS - Taylor Mays, Curtis Taylor
I know Mays is stiff in coverage but who isnt in our secondary??? LOL. Either way, he's in his second year and I would rather see him start at SS. Taylor would be the backup even though he's replaceable.
FS - Dashon Goldson (re-sign), Reggie Smith
Want to re-sign Goldson but if his demands are too high, I let him leave as an UFA and give Smith a chance unless I can sign a veteran FS as a cheap stopgap.
P.S. - I know that our team will be quiet this off-season which sucks because its been three years since a major free agent signing and this year's UFA class is pretty damn good and pretty damn deep. Oh well.