Bring Me Your Lame …

The first week of Free Agency has come and gone. A lot of players changed teams and a lot of money changed hands. With the money being tossed at players these days, the “don’t let your kids play football” arguments are going to fall on a lot of deaf ears.

The 49ers were uncharacteristically active this year, signing Tevin Coleman, Kwon Alexander, Jordan Matthews, Jason Verrett, and Dee Ford, along with some special team type reup guys.

Team contract negotiator Paraag Marthe did his usual fine job making it appear the Niners had signed guys to huge contracts yet still making sure that they could be terminated after a year in case the signings turned out to be mistakes. Probably because Marthe has had fairly uninterrupted practice for seventeen years in the art of limiting the damage from 49er mistakes.

Two LBs, a WR, a CB, and yet another RB. Given the injury-prone nature of players during the John Lynch/Kyle Shanahan era, perhaps these two figure you can never have too many RBs since all of them will be carted off at one point or other during the season.

And in that spirit, why not re-sign FS/CB Jimmie Ward for another year instead of signing one of the many talented and healthy safeties that were on the market. We’ll be setting up a betting pool in August as to which game it will be that Ward first limps off the field. Make that July for the pool, since Ward might not make it through Training Camp or Preseason. Heck, he might get hurt before TC while watching TV at home!

At least Ward will have a kindred soul on the roster. In five years with the Chargers, Verrett only made it through the 2015 season without injury. The other four years he spent on IR. Torn labrum, ruptured Achilles, ACL tear, and a torn rotator cuff.

It’s possible the 49ers will start the year with Ward at FS, Verrett at one CB spot, Dickhead Achilles Tear at the other CB spot, and Jacquiski (broke shoulder, busted arm) Tartt at SS. What could go wrong?

Shanahan and Lynch have been able to trade on their reputations through their first two years here, but will not be able to blame another bad season on injuries this time. Not without looking in the mirror and then at the camera as they intone the fateful words: “It was we. We suck!”

Or they could make the playoffs and be the cockiest two sumbitches in the league, with Jed York channeling Chuck and saying he knew it all along!

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Posted in Delusional Therapy

The Dating Game

Free Agents are falling off their teams like apples from a tree in the early autumn.

So far, the 49ers have not picked up any of these free fruits, but surely they will … won’t they?

The Rams swooped in and signed Eric Weddle, a pretty good FS who’s now at the veteran stage of his career and has made enough money to be able to afford to now go in search of an SB ring. Which the Rams might do next year, but the 49ers will not.

That seems to be the trend these days in the NFL. Guy turns 30, then begins a tour of the league on one to two year rentals until he’s too old for the body rental business and fades out of the league – into the broadcast booth, the coaching business, the mug shot parade, or is forgotten until his obit shows up however many years later.

Wide Receivers are the latest group to be breaking the bank these days. Although none of them – not Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Tyreek Hill, Sammie Watkins, Odell Beckham, Antonio Brown – have ever led their team to a SB win. Jones came closest, but his OC (some guy whose name escapes me) decided to ride him to the win, instead of calling three unexciting runs and kicking a FG, and we all know what happened with that strategy.

I see Drew Brees has a $33.5  million cap hit this year. And he wonders why his defense is never good enough to win it all. Or maybe it’s his “genius” HC/OC who made the same mistake just last year in the NFC Title game that what’s his name from above made in the SB.

In the meantime, a couple more days until FA starts “officially.” Perhaps our Niner FO will plunge in with wild abandon at that point.

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Posted in Around the League

The Price of Respect

So long, February. Good riddance. Hello March. You’re a bit windy for my taste, but apropos for the blogosphere, I suppose.

Potential Free Agents are lining up at the NFL trough about now. Some are hoping to cash in big, and some are just hoping to stay in the league for yet another year. And why not? The money’s pretty damn good!

NFL Minimum Salaries:

Rookie — $480,000
1 Year — $555,000
x-2 Years — $630,000
3 Years — $705,000
4-6 Years — $790,000
7-9 Years — $915,000
10+ Years — $1,015,000.

Of course, money isn’t everything. Especially after you’ve made a bunch of it. As we are witnessing in the ongoing saga of Antonio Brown as  he attempts to talk himself out of the league, doing his best to out-T.O. the original T.O.

Apparently, he feels he has been (stop me if you’ve heard this before) disrespected! And with every opening of his yap tool, he is making damn sure that’s exactly what is surely to happen, whether it did before or not.

Pittsburgh, long a model NFL franchise, is sure having trouble pleasing its star players lately. RB Le’Veon Bell sat out all of last year just to get out of Steeler town. It will be interesting to see where these two guys end up and how much money will be associated with acquired respect.

Ex-49er OT Trent Brown also feels disrespected, by the Niners, as he made clear in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. He’s a FA now, and he’ll no doubt say adios to the Patriots and trot off to the highest bidder elsewhere. He’s got his ring and now wants the money. This  is one of the reasons why the Niners traded him last year. They weren’t going to pay him what he thinks he’s worth and neither will the Patriots.

Nick Foles is another guy who gets no respect, not that he’s whining about it publicly. Two seasons of stellar work in Philadelphia, plus out dueling Brady in the 4th quarter of the SB, and still nobody really believes in him.

Not that any of this concerns the 49ers, who don’t have anybody good enough to demand more respect.

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Posted in Vacant Observations

Roll Another One

The new league year starts next week, although this is probably significant only to the NFL bean counters. For us, the important date is March 11 – 13. That’s when Free Agency begins.

It’s a three day period for legalized tampering, so guys can negotiate contracts and wait until Free Agency actually begins before actually signing the contract. This used to be the illegalized period for tampering, but the NFL had to legalize it because every team does it and they couldn’t punish everyone like they did to the Niners a few years back.

When people wanted to legalize things before, they just beat you up or put a bullet in your brain. Or hired a tough guy to kick open the door to 49er HQ, waving a shotgun, and demanding, “Who’s the fellow owns this shithole?”

But now only cartels south of the border and somewhere in Eastern Europe still use this cave man tactic. In America, we just legalize you out of your house or job or family or sanity. All very clean and legal.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Baseball has opened up its training camps, the NBA is halfway through its mostly meaningless dunk and preen season, ditto for hockey with brawls substituted for preening, March madness is right around the corner, and PGA golf is well underway.

There was a time I followed all these and revelled in the endless cycle of sports in America. I even followed bowling, track and field, boxing, and tennis.

Then one by one these interests fell away. Not the interests, really, so much as the passion, the involvement, the desperate caring.

The NFL seemed headed that way, too, in 2003 and 2004. The long running 49er Dynasty was kaput and didn’t look to revive itself anytime soon. Then the blogging world came along and “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

So, here we go, off on another year of internet blogging. Cheers to the hardy souls who have stuck with it all these years.

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Posted in Waltzing Matilda

He’s Makin’ a List …

The 49ers aren’t being very cooperative in generating offseason news so far. Unless you count fiddling with the training staff who are apparently solely responsible for wrecking the past two seasons.

I’m sure all this backstage tinkering is going to pay dividends and we’ll hear glowing reports in training camp from players who claim they can run faster and jump farther and leap higher than ever before, but still, it lacks a bit in drama now.

I’d rather hear that HC Kyle Shanahan is buried in his office figuring out ways to score in the red zone next year. Maybe he should sign a couple of sumo wrestlers whose only job was to move some bodies near the goal line.

But I suppose it’s time to put Shanahan to bed for a few months and turn our attention to GM John Lynch. The Free Agency period begins next month and Lynch will make his third stab at helping the team via this route. His first two attempts were a mixed bag. He brought in 22 guys his first year and 7 his second year.

His best pickups were Robbie Gould and Marquise Goodwin. Of the other 27, some were useful, some were not, some have already been cut, and a few have yet to be determined.

All in all, not that bad a job.  The failure of the big name signings or landing anyone who has been a difference maker kind of skews the impression. You can view the 2017 list here:

And the 2018 list here:

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Posted in Vacant Observations
2018 Schedule
9-9, L: Vikings 24, 49ers 16
9-16, W: 49ers 30, Lions 27
9-23, L: Chiefs 38, 49ers 27
9-30, L: Chargers 29, 49ers 27
10-7, L: Cardinals 28, 49ers 18
10-15, L: Packers 33, 49ers 30
10-21, L: Rams 39, 49ers 10
10-28, L: Cardinals 18, 49ers 15
11-1, W: 49ers 34, Raiders 3
11-12, L: Giants 27, 49ers 23
11-25, L: Tampa 27, 49ers 9
12-2, L: Seattle 43, 49ers 16
12-9, W: 49ers 20, Broncos 14
12-16, W: 49ers 26, Seattle 23
12-23, L Bears 14, 49ers 9
12-30, L: Rams 48, 49ers 32
2018 Draft Class
1. OT Mike McGlinchey
2. WR Dante Pettis
3. LB Fred Warner
3. DB Tarvarius Moore
4. DE Kentavius Street
5. CB D.J. Reed
6. S Marcell Harris
7. DT Jullian Taylor
7. WR Richie James
2018 Prognostications
Closest to the Pin:
  Mr Fletch: 7-9

Bakkentom: 8-8
Grumpy: 8-8
Winder: 8-8
Bullit: 9-7
NJ49er: 9-7
Skeebers: 10-6
Spitblood: 0-16
Rob!!!: 16-0