The Great 2011 Free Agency Manhunt enters its seventh day this morning and a football starved world has come out of hiding to gush and moan for six solid days. The Eagles and Jets have generated the most buzz, but the Eagles actually signed some guys and the Jets just pursued everyone and landed only Plaxico Burress, which did nothing to eradicate the egg on their faces when CB Nnamdi Asomugha gave them the old middle finger salute.
The 49ers joined a group of thirteen other franchises that more or less did not bite. Tennessee, Tampa, Pittsburgh, the Giants, Jets, Colts, Packers, Broncos, Raiders, Cowboys, Browns, Ravens, Bills, and the Niners all had five or less free agent signings.
In the NFC West, Seattle replaced Matt Hasselbeck with Tavaris Jackson, added WR Sidney Rice and LG Robert Gallery. The Rams added RG Harvey Dahl, WR Michael Sims-Waler, CB Al Harris, and S Quintin Mikell. And Arizona traded for QB Kevin Kolb, but lost WR Steve Breaston and CB Dominique Rogers-Cromartie. The once vaunted AZ receiving corps has lost Anquan Boldin and Breaston in consecutive years, and is now down to Larry Fitzgerald and some other guys.
The Niners have lost C David Baas, replacing him with all world backup Adam Snyder, and CB Nate Clements, apparently intending to replace him with Tarell Brown or one of the young CBs on the roster. Manny Lawson, Dashon Goldson, and Abrayo Franklin are all still unemployed, with Franklin scheduled to meet with the team today to re-assess re-signing after re-evaluating his expected re-wards from the re-ally big free agent market.
The 49ers are not practicing today, taking the rest day mandated by the new wimped up CBA.
It will be interesting to see how Ray McDonald reacts if Franklin rejoins the team today. Ray signed a five year contract last week after getting assurances from the team that he would have first shot at left defensive end, with Isaac Sopoagna moving to the Nose. Will Ray play the sulk-to-Seattle card employed last year by Kentwan Balmer? Or will the Niners consider going to a 4-3 defense? It seems preferable to have McDonald on the field, rather than Parys Haralson, who’s not particularly good at pass rush, run defense, or pass coverage, making him not particularly good at anything. It appears that he will even be replaced on passing downs by number one draft pick Aldon Smith.
While it is known that Vic Fangio favors a 3-4 defense, it is also known that he employs a defense suited to the skills of his players. Maybe I haven’t communed enough over a few Dogfathers with the resident D-line opinionator, but it appears to me that Haralson is becoming to the defense what Moran Norris has become to the offense — namely, somebody you would like to see sitting on the bench fondling a ticket out of town.
While we await further news on this marginally interesting topic, another full day of front office inactivity lies ahead for our viewing pleasure. I, for one, will have my eyes focused on the Twitterwire, keeping track of what other teams in the league are up to. I could get a life, I suppose, but I worked so long and so hard to not have this one that it’s hard to consider an alternative.