The Quiet Before the Next Storm

Hangin’ in the Boise airport for a little while so I have time for a couple burgers and a cold one. Or vice versa. Something like that. And a little blog action. Crazy weather out here in western Idaho, eastern Oregon, Treasure Valley region. Rain, temps in the 20s, snow, then 75+ degrees today.

There’s talk that The Chipper may be machinating his way to somehow working a deal with Cleveland to pry their 12th pick in the draft, as they seem interested in Sam Bradford. But what then? Cleveland holds the cards to trade up and get Mariota much easier than Philly, despite the fact they have Johnny Rehab cooling his heels in the Magic Hills detox center, oft-travelled Josh McCown (remember him? I don’t), and no-name supremos behind those guys. Come to think of it. I’d be shopping for a QB if I was the Browns. They don’t lack for trying, but they are as good at getting QBs as the Niners are at drafting WRs.

So, will Cleve take the bait from Philly and get Bradford, a semi-proven commodity who can’t stay healthy?  Or do they package their 2nd first round pick into a deal to move up? Even they would pay a price to get to the #2 spot, and Jameis Winston is pretty much a lock to go #1 after killing it in the combine. Tenn has Mettenberg, a bit of a surprise 6th round success story (the next Tom Brady? No) that Tenn says they are committed to, but really, given the shot of getting Mariota, a guy with a much higher ceiling, I’d find it hard to fathom that they don’t go with him. Unless they trade down for some booty. Which makes a lot of sense for them.

But I digress. How does Philly proceed from there? Trade Bradford and get Cleve’s 12th pick, and then work a deal with Tenn if they are amenable? Tenn needs defensive help in a big way. Maybe they’ll trade recently acquired Bill Kiko Alonso and throw in a  3rd round pick. Chip keeps saying he ain’t gonna mortgage the future for the present,  but I’ll believe it when I don’t see it happen.

The Niners? Who knows? I think we are in a desperate BPA mode right now. I don’t think we can afford to target someone too hard at the cost of others. I don’t see us trading down out of the 1st, unless we get some kind of strong offer from someone for proven talent, or a plethora of picks.

Then again, I’m rarely right about this. Go Kentwan!!!!!!


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Hmmmmm . . . mmmmmH

Not much going on these days. The dust has settled, and the hens are clucking about the demise of the team. Oh, the unwashed masses. The hipsters are selling their tickets as fast as the hipsters coveted them it the first place. How easily they are distracted by the hope that wasn’t to be, and the reality that we now face. The team was getting old, the offense was stagnating, and the Lord God of coaches wanted to go to the Big House. Let’s hope the real fans realize that there was something to the team’s offensive woes, and the stagnation that seemed to creep in.

Throw out the meddling of the front office, or Harbaugh, or whoever engineered the maelstrom, and there’s very little that would be different right about now. Harbaugh wanted Super Bowl money for not winning the Super Bowl. Not gonna get it. Willis would have retired, Gore would have gone after the Indy money, Cully and Cox would have chased the money they weren’t going to get here as well. Borland? Yup. No one saw that. The coaching exodus? Not sure around the report that Gase would have stayed but for Jed saying Tomsula had to be the DC is simply baffling since that precludes the notion that this is Baalke’s team. Hard to think the entire coaching staff was blown up over Tomsula and his role going forward. But that played out as it played out.

So, either way, we would be facing a huge draft with a bunch of holes to fill. The only thing I thought would happen was one of Cully or Cox would stay. Oh, well. CB becomes a need. As does DL, OL, and LB. We get a 4 and a 7 as noted, so we have 9 picks.

This IS a very important draft, and Baalke needs to feel his oats in a big way.

As it lays now, I see BPA in the first 3 rounds. With two 4s, they can take a flier on a QB. Gonna be an interesting draft to say the least. I think we don’t try any more bargain bin injured guys, or trading around. This is going to be a straight load-up draft.

What I see if everything else is equal is:


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In an offseason that just keeps getting more and more bewildering, Chris Borland shockingly announced his retirement today. Borland cited many earlier head injuries and concussions in high school and college.

Borland certainly is looking to his future, bit you rarely see this after just one year in the league. One where he was very very good in replacing Patrick Willis.  I wonder if they had inklings of this as they haven’t let Wilhoite or Brooks go and they need bodies back there.

This appears to be the new NFL paradigm though. Players looking to get out with their brains intact.  3 others retired aged 30 or under this past week.

Well, as every week goes by, our draft needs seem to change. This is certainly the case now.


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Armageddon It

Are you gettin’ it?

Oh what a week that was. And it’s only Thursday. For all the angst around the players apparent mass exodus (Gore leaves, Willis retires, Iupati, Crabs, and Cox soon to follow) the only one I didn’t see coming was Willis. the rest? Meh. Gore took the money and ran. The 49ers certainly weren’t going to offer him 3 years. Cox? Don’t know. He says he’s amenable to staying here but he’ll ‘let this play out’. But as I’ve said either one of Cox or Cully would go. I thought it would be Cully and his legal woes, but that may be the factor that ends up keeping him here. Crabs and Iupati were known defectors as soon as the whistle blew against AZ. Stuka to Jax? Fine, a backup LB isn’t going to be that hard to find. Justin Smith still hasn’t made his announcement.

So all in all it isn’t like they (or we) didn’t see any of this coming. Brooks was surprisingly kept on. I guess he’s happy now that Harbaugh is gone. Maybe he even gives the team a cap-friendlier deal. Stranger things have happened. They filled RayMac’s spot with Darnell Dockett, they got a burner in Torrey Smith, and are looking around a a few more pieces, like Reggie Bush/CJ Spiller at RB.

In other news, DeVante Parker, one of the top 3 WRs in the draft, paid the Niners a visit. Hopefully a permanent situation come draft day. The Vegas booksters have sure soured on the team. Dropping them from 6:1 last year to 40:1 this year. But that had nothing to do with their dropping to 8-8 and missing the playoffs last year. And I have some beachfront property in Sparks to sell.

Tell you one thing,  a solid draft will do wonders to move ahead this season. With the signing of Blabbert, I see a QB taken in the 4th round.

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Not-So-Quiet Time

Well, it looks like the bellwether is gone. Frank Gore is reportedly ready to sign a deal with the Eagles. A little disconcerting to me, but hey, them’s the breaks. The guy paid his dues, and got handsomely rewarded for his efforts, but like I said earlier today, if he wants to get one more big payday, better someone else than us. The 49ers will hopefully have Carlos Hyde and Kendall Hunter back at full strength to get the run game going. I thought Tomsula would maybe be a tipping point, as he and Gore had a pretty solid relationship, but again, he wants to get a big deal, go for it. It is a business after all, as much as I’d have liked to see him play out his career here. Looks like we are going to spend one of these draft picks on a n RB now. They seem to be coming back into vogue.

Much more intriguing to me is the fact that the Niners appear to be trying hard to get Anquan Boldin’s ex-teammate Torrey Smith. He’s a bona fide deep threat and would immediately elevate the other WRs on the team. These guys all talk about the run, but with Iupati certainly on the way out, it would be a good time to get more versatile with our blockers. Move a little bit away from the road-grader types and get a more agile quick line. I wonder how the blocking scheme will change this year, if at all.

All in all, I’m sad to see Frank go, but the ball is in his court. If he really wants to stay, he can. I’m also sure the Niners won’t have the best offer on the table.

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Quiet Time

No franchise tags, no rumors about trading the head coach, none of our free agents have been retained. Not much happening this offseason, discounting of course the gutting of the coaching staff a while ago.

To those of us that have moved on, the building of the roster is paramount as of now. The first step in that direction was to sign Darnell Dockett. He of the AZ Cardinals. With RayMac banished to the NFL hinterlands (along with AP, Ray Rice, and Greg Hardy) as a pariah who is waiting for the heat to drop, and the possible (but less likely each day) retirement of Justin Smith, the Niners need to get some D line help. He’s a bit long in the tooth, and missed all last year with a torn ACL, but he had been a solid guy for 10 years with the Cards. He apparently passed a physical from the Mimers, so he should be good to go.

Other than that, once the 7th rolls around, the team will start getting serious about Gore, Cox, Skuta, and their crop of free agents.



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Big Fun in Little SF

The calendar watch shows:

March 2 Prior to 4 p.m. ET, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players
March 7 NFL Regional Combine (Lake Forest, Ill.)
March 7-10 Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2014 contracts at 4 p.m. ET on March 10. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4 p.m. ET on March 10
March 10 Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs must exercise options for 2015 on all players who have option clauses in their 2014 contracts
Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation
Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2014 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit
Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the 2015 salary cap prior to 4 p.m. ET
All 2014 player contracts expire at 4 p.m. ET

This is the start of the first round of player movement.  As the end of the 2014 calendar NFL season winds down, a few big names have been cut, but as of now, there hasn’t been a lot of news.

Today at 1:00 PM local time, teams need to franchise their players, thus pissing them off, and setting up acrimony for next season. The 49ers likely won’t use their tag, and it looks like a ton of other teams won’t either. KC’s OLB Justin Houston is the only guy who has been tagged thus far. Dez Bryant is reportedly going to be tagged and that should set up an interesting scenario in Jerry-land. He usually throws money around like a drunken sailor, but has he learned discretion being the better part of valor? He has DeMarco Murray to sign as well.

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