Posted: 9:00 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2013
By Aaron Malone
It wasn't exactly a busy week in Ninerlandia (the name the Romans gave the land that the 49ers dwell in. Sorry, I'm a history nerd as well as a football nerd). There were a few signings, one of note, most of little import. The notable signing was of ex-Browns kicker Phil Dawson. He's been a special teams stud for some time now. He worked with ST Coach Brad Seely during their time together in Cleveland. His numbers are outstanding, and we are all excited.
After Dawson, the other 'major' signing was of former Rams safety Craig Dahl. His inking was less notable for what he'll bring to the team than it was for the absolute poo-storm of swear words it set off amongst the faithful, as they assumed he was Trent Baalke's proposed answer at free safety. There were a few hours of panic before the contract details were reported. Then people realized he was being brought in for depth, competition and special teams. But, oh, what an exciting few hours they were. GM Trent Baalke, generally revered by 49ers fans, became the object of contempt and scorn. How quick the daggers come out at the first hint of a false move.
On to the weeks news.
Free Agency, or All Quiet on the NFC Western Front
And the Earth's crust cracked open. Fury, hellfire, and brimstone spewed forth. And through the smoke stepped Craig Dahl. At least that's what a sizeable chunk of our fan base would have had you believe. Wes Hanson takes a look at all the irrationality surrounding the signing of a role player. | Craig Dahl and prudence (Hanson)
Here's a shocker of a stinker. The four players we lost to free agency in the opening frenzy, Isaac Sopoaga, Delanie Walker, Dashon Goldson and Ricky Jean Francois, received $91 million in contracts with $43 million guaranteed. Their 2013 cap hit alone will be $21 million. For any of you out there complaining that we let some decent players walk, just think...would you rather have Jean Francois, or Michael Crabtree? | Big money to departed players (Fooch)
The big signing of the week was kicker Phil Dawson, as mentioned above. The salary is Niner-friendly. Dawson said he was humbled to be pursued by the 49ers and made us all feel great. Aside from the nice things he said about our team, he has been extraordinary in recent years and is a definite upgrade over incumbent David Akers. | Phil Dawson contract numbers coming in (Fooch)
Draft News, or Secondary Questions
It appears as though most of the quality free safeties available in free agency have been scooped up. Charles Woodson is still on the market, but is reportedly feeling scorned, which indicates that he values his skills higher than the majority of general managers. The aforementioned Dahl signing was not a Super Bowl-caliber solution at the position. Here are two player profiles for safeties available in the draft.
First up is Kenny Vaccaro, considered to be the top safety in the 2013 draft class. Generally viewed as a top-20 selection, we would definitely have to trade up in order to acquire him on draft day. This is not out of the realm of possibility, considering the plethora of picks held by the 49ers. Drafting a player many compare to Dashon Goldson could be a wise decision. | 2013 NFL Draft: Kenny Vaccaro prospect profile (Chiamardas)
Second is LSU's Eric Reid. It is assumed by most that he'll go at the end of the first or early in the second round, which is also the heart of our draft strength. While we are in the market for a free safety, many project Reid on the strong side, similar to other top prospects in this years safety class. | 2013 NFL Draft: Eric Reid prospect profile (Tre9er)
During the week, Matt Maiocco quoted a source as saying the 49ers would 'shake it up like we've never seen before' come April's draft. What the hell does that mean? Trading an entire draft class for Carson Palmer would be about the only thing we haven't seen before (cut the Raiders some slack...they just had the Tuck Rule revoked, justifying their sense of Raiderness). | How would the 49ers 'shake it up like we've never seen before'? (Fooch)
Here's a look at how the Anquan Boldin acquisition affects the 49ers' draft plans. Going into the offseason, it was presumed that Ted Ginn would walk and we would need another WR or two. The Boldin trade makes this need less pressing for 2013. The Marlon Moore signing was made after the writing of this article. | Anquan Boldin trade's draft implications (Woods)
Other 49ers Topics
Trevor Woods and I have a new venture in the form of a weekly Twitter Q&A; session hosted every Friday afternoon at 2 pm PST. We answer as many questions as we can during the allotted hour. Then we create a post out of the elaborated responses. The first one went off without a hitch. Here's the follow-up post if you missed it. | Niners Nation #Channel49 Twitter Q&A; Mailbag (Malone & Woods)
Tre9er has an excellent post on the importance of Michael Crabtree. Football Outsiders did a piece on a stat in which first downs and touchdowns are divided by routes run, equating to a percentage. The percentage indicates how effective they are at achieving either of these two vital results. Crabtree is fourth in the league. Seahawks haters will be dismayed to see Percy Harvin sitting at No. 2 on the list. | Michael Crabtree near the top of a stat that matters (Tre9er)
Did someone say Seahawks? One of the biggest topics of conversation for 49ers fans is the offseason that Seattle has put together thus far. They've given up their top pick, so their draft class is not expected to add much to their impressive haul. Wes sums it up best by saying, and I'm paraphrasing, that despite the additions of Harvin, Michael Bennet and the eye-gouging Cliff Avril, the Seahawks will live and die with Russell Wilson. However he fares, the team will follow. | Reviewing the Seahawks imposing offseason to date (Hanson)
This post brings up a great question. Thankfully it's a question the 49ers don't have to deal with, as third-year signal caller Colin Kaepernick is still under the contract terms of a team-friendly rookie deal. Urnext answers the question in the title with the picture chosen for the post. Clever! | Are quarterbacks paid too much? (urnext)
Coach Jim Harbaugh said how much he loved Ricardo Lockette. If you've paid any attention to our coach and leader, that isn't necessarily a good thing. I had a chat about Lockette with a Seahawks fan via Twitter, and they all loved him. His career stats, attained in '11 with Seattle, are 2 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. You gotta love that yards per catch! | Is Ricardo Lockette a receiver to watch in 2013? (Fooch)
Frank Gore will turn 30 before the start of the 2013 season. That is the general age when great running backs become crap running backs. There are some notable exceptions. Thankfully, with our offensive line, Gore gets to run into defensive backs as the first point of contact more often than the average back. Will age and the new rule changes that punish runners who lead with their helmet have an effect on him? | Frank Gore battles age, rule change in 2013 (Busichio)
Since his signing in the early stages of free agency, many of us have wondered what exactly are the expectations for former Chiefs DL Glenn Dorsey. Will he be a NT, DE or what? Coach Harbaugh, in a rare instance of him letting someone outside of his own head know what he's thinking, shed some light on the situation. | Figuring out Glenn Dorsey's role on the 49ers defense (Fooch)
The FanPost of the week goes to germinator for his or her piece on the Niners' abundance of draft picks in this April's draft. We should be flipping picks left and right, controlling the draft in a Machiavellian monument to mayhem! Mwah hah ha! No really, trade some of these bad boys for some '14 picks, and keep this trend going. | The NFL draft, the 49ers and history in the making (germinator)
I told you that the Seattle Seahawks offseason is on the minds of many 49ers fans. It's also on the typewriters of many of the scribes around the league. ESPN put them atop their first power rankings poll. Here's a post objectively recapping some of the praise being lavished on the 'scream team'. | Objective response to NFL.com writers (TheFreakSFG)
Many people think the 49ers will trade up, given their ridiculous amount of picks in the upcoming draft and their lack of roster spots to be filled. There is one problem with that: finding someone willing to trade down. If only Trent Baalke had a list of teams likely to trade down... | Which teams need to trade down: An analysis (nickbradley)
Being a Sheep
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