As reported by ProFootballTalk Tuesday, the new CBA will allow players with four years in the league to become Unrestricted Free Agents, or UFAs for you acronym lovers. This puts Dashon Goldson, Ray McDonald, and Manny Lawson out there on the gravy train.
While we don’t know what the new 49ers regime thinks of these players, it has been assumed Lawson will be allowed to leave without much of a fuss. McDonald has already chimed in that he wants to play on a team where he is the starter, not a backup. Without getting into any snide reminders that starters tend to earn their way into the lineup, and are not anointed into the job, which would probably set off an Alex Smith marathon, and pointing out that McDonald’s play has not exactly been earth shaking while he’s been in SF rehabbing his college injuries, it seems possible that big ole Ray is on this way elsewhere.
This would be another dilution of the current D-line rotation. With the suspected move of Isaac Sopoagna from LDE to NT, replacing the departing Abrayo Franklin, it would seem that the LDE spot is now wide open for McDonald to claim, if the 49ers think he is good enough and they can convince McDonald that the job is his to lose. Gosh, don’t we all rue losing Kentwan Balmer to the Seahawks last year. Is there a ruer in the house?
Goldson is a different matter. He is already the starting FS, and while not yet a Pro Bowl caliber guy, that distinction seems within his capabilities. The 49ers do not want to lose him, but they are not going to bid very high for his services, either. Taylor Mays may very well be only a year or two away from claiming the FS spot for a long time. If Goldson stays, then Mays would probably stay at SS, and the team would have a very impressive set of safeties for the future.
Off setting these nervousness causing losses is the knowledge that all the other teams in the league suddenly have four year players entering the UFA field that we might be able to lure west to our own team. I would list some of these intriguing possibilities, but that would be an exercise in bullshit, since I don’t much follow the young players on other teams. Not that I’m prissy about bullshit. Some would say it’s my meat and potatoes. But this is very serious stuff, so I am resorting to candor in homage to the moment. Some of our more enlightened citizens will have to provide some real names here. Then the rest of us can look them up on the internet and have strong opinions about their worth.
One thing is for certain. This definition of UFA eligibility is going to make the first two weeks of the eventual Free Agency period one hellava feeding frenzy. Having endured five plus months of virtual starvation in the NFL world, this pig out is a real chops licker to anticipate. Thank goodness we have Paraag Marathe to keep track of all the action.