Free Agent Free For All

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves and wish/pray/demand our favorite draft picks, we need to address the 19 free agents currently floating off the books. Ad, this doesn’t include the pending decision to come from one Justin Smith, stalwart of the defensive line, who had a solid year at the age of 35.

The twenty are:

Frank Gore                                     Kyle Nelson
Michael Crabtree                          Chris Cook
Mike Iupati                                     Tony Jerod-Eddie
Blaine Gabbert                              Kassim Osgood
Dan Skuta                                      Raymond Ventrone
Chris Culliver                                 Josh Johnson
Brandon Lloyd                              Alfonso Smith
Perrish Cox                                    Phillip Tanner
Garrett Celek                                 Desmond Bishop
Michael Wilhoite                           (Justin Smith)

The obvious no-signs are Gabbert, Tanner, and Bishop. All are buried on the depth chart and Gabbert flat sucks balls. Alphonso Smith may stick around as cheap insurance. Bishop, Ventrone, Osgood, and Nelson are STers that have varying levels of importance. The long-snapper certainly stays. Celek falls under blocking TE who has done little. He’s cheap, so let him dangle.

Wilhoite, J-Eddie, Skuta, and Cook all fall under the category of solid backups. Wilhoite may be expendable with the emergence of Borland and Lynch; and Skuta has proven himself to be solid when called upon. More so than Wilhoite. Still and all, as last year proved, when the injury bug hits, backups become a necessity. So, Wilhoite is gone.  Backfill in the draft.

The starters fall under varying different scenarios. Crabytree, once the season ended, removed everything 49ers from his social media accounts. A ringing endorsement of his thoughts on the matter. Irregardless, he’s never quite lived up to the level of WR that he thinks he is, and I think he wants a big fat payday. Let Dallas give him money. He won’t get what he thinks he’s worth, but at least he’ll be in Dallas. Happy trails.

Iupati is another starter who likely goes. The 49ers appear to be moving away from the road-grading, straight-ahead blocker they have been favoring in the run-heavy scheme of things. Guards aren’t as hard to find as tackles, so I think they let him go. Brandon Thomas, our supposed 3rd round steal last year, is nearly recovered from his ACL injury in last years pre-draft workout, so there are options already on the team. Backfill in the draft.

Culliver and Cox both played well, and also had off games as well. With Brock hopefully coming back at full strength, one of Cox or Cully will likely go. With the impending hit-and-run, and possession of brass knuckles cases due soon, Cully is probably out. Keep Cox.

Lloyd? Meh. Losing Crabs and Lloyd seemingly weakens our WR corps, and with Stevie Wonder disappearing after a promising start, you’d think we need him, but the hope is we can fill this in through free agency and the draft. With new coaches comes a new offense. One that can hopefully use WRs effectively.

Gore? Well, It shouldn’t be too difficult to sign him to a 2 year, $6-8 mill incentive-laden deal.  His leadership alone would be a big boost to a team that is in need of some strong clubhouse leadership. the same applies to Justin Smith. The ‘smart’ thing may to be cut your losses, but with the wholesale turnover of the coaching staff, some clubhouse stability is needed. Hyde and Hunter should be back from their injuries, so it isn;’t like we will need Gore to carry the ball 20 times a game. 12-15 touches, and we are good.

That’s my $0.02 anyway. What say you?


About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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57 Responses to Free Agent Free For All

  1. Berger says:

    My comment is it’s wait and see time.

  2. unca_chuck says:

    Wait for what? You got to get off that fence at some point.

  3. Winder says:

    That’s a lot of FA’s. I think what the comment about the offense is really what this off-season is about. I hope we sign Gore and Iupati. I would like to keep most of those defensive players and hope and pray we have a new offense ready to go.

    • Berger says:

      Iupati is a really good run blocker and a terrible pass blocker, if you believe the numbers being put out. I just use the eye test and it tells me the same thing. For the money he wants I would let him walk. I heard he was offered a contract at about the same time Anthony Davis was signed. Davis signed and Iupati didn’t. Nothing wrong with that but his pass pro is too leaky to give a lot of money to, IMO.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    Yes, that’s what I think as well. We need a more versatile line that can do a bit of both. We were a sieve in our pass protections. We couldn’t block 5 on 4 consistently. Boone’s hold out hurt, as did the injuries, but the line was simply outplayed and out schemed too many times.

  5. Alleykat says:

    Can fill an OG depth in the draft, like that beast from Duke,Laken Tomilinson, maybe 3-4 round if he’s still on the board.

    • NJ49er says:

      He’s made my list Alleykat.
      He gave Shelton fits in Mobile during the 1-on-1 drills.
      Pretty impressive.

  6. NJ49er says:

    The big question regarding Boone is his possible desire to obtain OT money on the FA market next year.
    Though the FTag recognizes one price tag on the OLine, we all know an OT typically gets the higher Contract.

    This could be a good year to Draft an OT for the future.
    Several guys are likely to be there beyond RD1 who could use a bit of development.
    The kid I’ve mentioned several times, Ogbuehi from TX A&M, was a pre-Combine top 15 Pick before a knee injury in his Bowl game.

    Baalke has not been shy about taking a value Pick like that in the past.
    If he’s there in RD3, like Brandon Thomas, I’d give him serious consideration.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    I’d rather get a healthy guy in the lines of Ty Sambrallo – Colo St.. A guy who is a good pass pro guy who needs schooling to learn run blocking better. I’d rather teach a guy to be better rather than hope he heals.

    TJ Clemmings from Pitt is another high ceiling guy who needs a year on the bench to get seasoned.

    • Alleykat says:

      What kind of seasoning do you use on TJ Clemmings?Paprika,Poultry,or something that will really fire up his jockstrap like chili powders etc..

  8. unca_chuck says:

    Whatever works, man.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Missed this one hrom a couple days ago:

    This guy’s a rugby player. Apparently he wants s shot in the NFL a la Okoye. Tomsula found lots of rugby guys that he recruited for the NFLE for what that’s worth.

    Why not? He wants to return kicks? Go for it.

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Wonder if we offer him a deal after he’s cut. He looked good early then became the forgotten man. Then again Lloyd disappeared as well. It seems our team runs about 10-15 less plays than other teams. Haven’t checked the numbers but that’ feels about right.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    DT Kendall Langsford is available. Hasn’t missed a start his whole career and only lost his job due to the amazing Aaron Donald.

  12. NJ49er says:

    Berger I’ve got a Red Zone threat for you –
    TE – Jesse James – Penn St – 6’7″/261
    Kid adds a 37.5″ vertical to that height as well.

    Another WR that I’ve added to the ‘Height/Speed’ mix is –
    Darren Waller – GA Tech – 6’6″/238 – 4.46
    Production numbers aren’t all that glitzy but, he’s sorta in that mix with Kelvin Benjamin perhaps?
    Good size, good measurables.
    Might be worth a look in the later RDs?

    • NJ49er says:

      A number that jumps off the stat sheet for me with Waller is his 20yd time.

      Both he, and Jaelen Strong were damn close.
      Strong – 2.59 (20) 42″ Vert – 4.44 (40)
      Waller – 2.62 (20) 37″ Vert – 4.46 (40)

      Numbers suggest good acceleration and deep speed for both guys.
      Not too shabby.

  13. Berger says:

    NJ and I were openly pining for Langford when he was drafted. I know he has started most of his games for years but I haven’t followed him.

    We are so up against the cap I’m not sure we can go out and get any players. Our glory roster days have hit a brick wall. It will be interesting to see how we merge and purge the talent. I have confidence that this new staff can do well if we can keep the roster stacked like Harbaugh had.

    I wouldn’t fault Baalke and Marathe if our roster took a step back for a year or two but I do expect to keep enough quality to compete. This is just another reason to be bummed that Harbaugh could not win a Super Bowl with the best roster in the NFL for 3 years. I give Harbaugh a pass on the 4th year because of injuries. I think he left at the right time to preserve his legacy for when he returns to the NFL in about 4 years. And it was the right time to oust the Harbaugh regime as they were starting to go backwards. I hope this new staff will do as well as I think they can. Time will tell.

    • Nipper says:

      It’s Baalke’s show for good or bad now. Lets hope he goes on a hot streak.

      • Berger says:

        He’s the one who hired Harbaugh and completed the roster that was started by McNolan. He did it once and gets no credit from most, if he does it again now that the roster is needing some turnover, he’ll get his due, maybe.

        The way I’ve always heard it, he was hired because he was able to deliver Harbaugh.

  14. NJ49er says:

    I’ll give the Harbaugh regime plenty of credit for turning the corner with this roster.
    Whether there was pressure to insert Kaep early for Contract concerns or, Jim felt it was his Pick to nurture, our Offense, IMO, was just too simplistic.
    Be it Coaching, or the young QB, we were simply ‘almost good enough’.

    If not for the Defense, I don’t think we even go as far as we did.

    I’m optimistic that Kaeps’ off season training will pay dividends.
    IMO, we simply need better timing and communication with the passing attack.

    Hoping for the best from Logan and Geep.
    If they can get together, with a balanced plan that Kaep can execute, (hopefully something rooted in the WCO timing principles), sacks will be reduced, the OLine will not be under as much pressure and, 3-and-outs will subside.

    For me, it’s all about balance and timing.

    I’m also hoping to see more production from the young WRs and TEs.
    Something I do put some blame on, from the position Coaches the past several years.
    Sparano should be a better option than Mangini and, I’m stoked to have WR Coach Adam Henry over Johnnie Morton.

    He helped produce 2 studs at LSU, OBJr and Jarvis Landry.
    Maybe now we can get some production from Patton and Ellington, maybe a Rookie Draft choice this year too?

    • Berger says:

      The pressure to insert Kap was from Harbaugh. He personally came to Reno to play catch with him and work him out at the university. He was always Harbaugh’s main guy. I laugh at the fans who love Harbaugh and disparage Kap. There was always going to be Kap as the starter as long as Harbaugh was the coach.

      RoBaugh needed a QB like Kap because the design and flow was so bad they needed a QB who could make big plays out of nothing. It’s a good thing he delivered more good big plays than bad ones but you get more out the offense if it just makes sense. Ours did not.

  15. NJ49er says:

    Berger –
    Getting back to the discussion about why I removed CB Kevin White from my wish list.
    After crunching the numbers, I’m willing to take a chance on Ifo Ekpre-Olumu from OR.

    Similar in size, more production from IE-O.
    He’s coming off an injury and might be had later?
    I’m knee deep in numbers at this point but, all things considered, it’s just a judgement call for now.

    There’s a ton of depth on this Draft Board for DL/CBs so we can likely afford to take a shot beyond RD1 on a CB.
    I’d be more inclined to grab a DT/DE earlier if the right guy presents himself at our Slot.
    See what happens….
    I still feel the Trenches are a better investment early.

    • Berger says:

      We drafted 3 CBs last year. One was injured when we drafted him and put on IR for the year. I don’t remember his name, maybe it was Reeser, anyway he is supposed be really good and fast too. The kid that intercepted a pass for a TD at the end of the Rams game, Johnson?, played well this year.

      I have no problem drafting a CB in Rd 1 if he is the BPA. I don’t think we are as bad off as some may think at that position if we can retain Cox.

  16. NJ49er says:

    If we miss, or opt another direction on Malcom Brown at 15, this kid is one of my back up options right now.
    DT Grady Jarrett from Clemson.
    179 TKLs/29.5 TFL in 48 games which, by comparison, eclipses Malcom by a tad. Not bad.
    His numbers in general stack up very favorably with Malcom.
    Turns out he’s the Son of former Falcons LB, Jesse Tuggle.

    Former HS Shot Put Champ as well.
    Shades of Michael Carter?

    Built like a small wrecking ball with a non-stop motor.
    Aaron Donald-like perhaps?
    Could find him on the cheap too, RD2/3?
    Looks to me like the classic over-achiever.

    The shopping list research continues…

    • Berger says:

      I’m already on to Jarret. I haven’t watched anything yet. I’m off of the DT from Florida.

      • NJ49er says:

        Check this kid out from UT-Chat – 6’4″/314 – Derrick Lott.
        He’s managed to play 6 years of College ball due to transfers.
        He’s an older guy too, so maturity concerns shouldn’t be a factor –
        He’s on my list as a possible Mid RD guy with some upside.

      • Berger says:

        I’ve read about Lott too.

      • NJ49er says:

        I assume the guy from UF you’re referring to is Leon Orr?
        I gave him a look too.
        I think there are better options.

      • Berger says:

        I think I’m thinking of Flowers from Arkansas. Forget that comment.

  17. NJ49er says:

    2 guys that could also land in our lap at 15 –
    OLB/DE Vic Beasley from Clemson and ‘Bud’ Dupree from KY.
    Tough to decide between them.
    Great production from both of them.
    Dupree is the bigger body in terms of Ht/Wt.

    Great problem to have potentially.
    If Baalke is shopping in another area and doesn’t have his guy, these are the spots where coveted players invite Trade-ups too.

    • Berger says:

      I’ve read about Beasley and Dupree. We might need a pass rusher if Brooks gets cut. It’s a decent possibility he does get cut.

      • NJ49er says:

        Here’s my current keepers for the DT position –
        See what you think –

        DT –
        Malcolm Brown – UT – 6’2″/320
        Grady Jarrett – Clemson – 6’1″/304
        Tyeler Davison – Fresno St – 6’2″/316
        Derrick Lott – UT Chat – 6’4″/314
        Carl Davis – Iowa – 6’5″/320

      • NJ49er says:

        Dupree racked up 247 TKLs/23.5 Sacks.
        Tells me he’s busy in pursuit if nothing else.
        I think he’s athletic enough to play OLB in the 3-4 too.

      • Berger says:

        If we trade back the guy that has drawn my interest is Carl Davis.

      • NJ49er says:

        I think he’d be an upgrade over Lemonier as well?
        Interesting option if it presents itself.

        Protect the QB/Sack the QB in this game.

      • Berger says:

        Dupree does sound interesting.

  18. Berger says:

    NJ- I don’t now how the 49ers feel about the DE spot. I really like Dial but outside of Justin Smith I’m not sure we have another legit front line starter. Maybe Tank will be good, he has shown signs. I’m not 100% sure on Malcom Brown, I think he’ll need a year to develop to be a good starter. Our cap situation is making it tough to fill the spot in FA. Cutting Ray McDonald might have been the right thing but our defense will suffer next year if Cowboy retires and we don’t fill the spot. Cowboy and McDonald have set the defense for years, replacing them will not be easy. We might have got lucky with Dial but we need one more. I’m not sure about Tank.

    • NJ49er says:

      Agree about FA options Berger.
      We’ve got to figure anyone they select will take a year to develop.
      Remember that both Tank and Dial were basically red-shirted due to the log jam at that position too.

      We’ve had benefit of deeper ranks there to afford Baalke that option.
      Dorsey is likely gone in another year too.

      A pass rusher can see spot duty while developing, ala Aldon.
      Makes more sense to me in that regard.

      We have Kaleb Ramsey and Mike Purcell waiting to take some snaps too.
      All about creating competition.
      Draftees are cheap.
      FAs…Not so much.

      I still think we’re much too thin at OT.
      JMart can go IMO.
      Get another swing guy in the Draft.
      Cam Erving from FSU comes to mind.

      Good options this year in all the areas we’re likely to be shopping.
      At 15, get the BPA, regardless of position.
      We can wait on a WR if necessary.
      The bust-rate is much too high on that position anyway.

      • NJ49er says:

        Baalke will find rotation guys for the DLine into RDs 4/5 without even trying this year.
        Anthony Chickillo and Henry Anderson are 2 guys that remind me of Justin.
        High motor guys that can move around.
        I like DE Preston Smith from MS State as well. He’s likely a 2nd RD guy if we’re lucky.

        Go Defense early and often.
        We need youth and speed.

      • NJ49er says:

        If we lose Iupati and Crabtree as expected, Cully too, there’s the potential for 3 Comp Picks right there.
        We don’t need to sign anyone, even if we could afford it.
        Take the Comp Route for next year.

      • NJ49er says:

        Erving is already ranked Top 20, so we’ll be looking for another guy like him most likely.
        I’m working on it 😀

  19. NJ49er says:

    Here’s my running list at DE too – Chew on these and see what you think –

    DE –
    Henry Anderson – Stanford 6’6″/287
    Danielle Hunter – LSU 6’5″/252
    Preston Smith – MS State – 6’6″/270
    Corey Crawford – Clemson – 6’5″/283
    Anthony Chickillo – Miami 6’3″/270

    • NJ49er says:

      After seeing Nick Moody miss a boat-load of tackles this past season, I’m thinking it’s time to look for some competition for him and, future replacements for Patrick and NaVorro.
      Some interesting developmental-type LBs that could be had Mid-Late RDs this year too.
      Guys that have astronomical tackle stats too.
      Still working on that assignment.

      • NJ49er says:

        I’m seeing some shorter/slower OLBs that I’d move inside.
        One guy I’m definitely sold on at ILB is Stefone Anthony, another kid from Clemson.
        I love the numbers for ILB Eric Kendricks from UCLA but, he’s short, like Borland.
        He racked up an astronomical 481 TKLs in 52 games. VERY productive.

        I’d also suggest moving OLB Jake Ryan from Michigan to ILB.

        Anthony – 315 TKLs
        Ryan – 216 TKLs

        Just to name 2 guys I like thus far.
        Lots more research to do.

      • NJ49er says:

        Kendricks isn’t all that fast either. At least on a stopwatch. Which doesn’t always equate to football speed as we know.
        I wonder if he’d be athletic enough to consider at SS?
        I’d use Shaq Thompson like that if we selected him.
        Most TEs aren’t burners so, that matchup isn’t too hard to imagine.

  20. NJ49er says:

    Something else about Bud Dupree – a 42″ Vert and 11-6 Broad Jump.
    Kid is athletic.
    Well worth consideration if we’re looking for a DE/OLB early.

  21. Nipper says:

    These players all look good now. The trick is to find the real future pros who will be productive. It’s an art despite all the information available. Mistakes will be made. Get ready for them.

  22. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

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