Free Agency 2012 burned up its drama in about ten days. By Friday of last week, the top headliners had all been signed. Over the next few weeks, the off Broadway guys will be trickling in hither and yon throughout the league with very little fanfare. In 49erville, the only signing that would cause a stir would be a veteran to plug the gaping hole at RG, somebody like Kyle Kosier, who is a versatile O-line guy and was recently released by Dallas due to age and salary.
Troy Aikman thinks Tony Romo is a better QB than Aikman was. There’s probably better ways for Aikman to get inside the ropes at Romo’s next golf tournament, but old Troy is a lot like old Steve Young. My mouth is working, but my head has blown a fuse.
What Aikman probably meant was that Romo has more QB skills and more talent. Romo probably has more skills than Joe Montana, too. But skills alone aren’t the defining excellence of a QB. The fact is, Romo makes a lot of dumb decisions on the football field. Decisions that get his team beat. In general. And in comprehensibly.
The 49ers have two young QBs, Josh Johnson and Colin Kaepernick, who both have superior skills and talent than incumbent QB Alex Smith. At least that’s the widely held opinion. But Smith excelled last year in making smart decisions. Smart decisions lead to victories, and the 49ers had a bunch in 2011. If Smith continues to make smart decisions, he will be difficult to unseat. Except the way Montana lost his job — through injury.
With the defection of Adam Snyder to the Cardinals, Smith and Frank Gore are the last men standing from the 2005 draft. It’s hard not to wonder if both of them are wearing the red and gold for the last time this year. It’s expected the 49ers will draft an RB to eventually take Frank’s starting job, and our brave hearted warrior is obviously wearing down. These two guys have seen the best and the worst of NFL life during their seven years here. One of them will always be remembered fondly in Ninerland, the other will be remembered, but perhaps not so fondly.
The new CBA signed last August includes a restraining order on the coaches. They cannot come within a playbook or a practice field of the players until April 16th. They can wave from across the street and monitor rehab progress, but no more. The players can workout at the team’s headquarters, as long as it is unsupervised. They can also practice on their own and study the playbook on their own. It’s kind of a Camp Alex time of year.
Bountygate has not played its hand out yet, since the players who enthusiastically participated have not been punished. Punishing players means stroking the NFLPA first, so that is probably the reason for the delay. While everyone continues to nod solemnly and give lip service and appropriate hand wringing to the impropriety of the bounty hunters, it is also routine to refer to the “whistleblower” as a “snitch.” These two words are worlds apart in terms of respect and courage. A word to the wise seekers: read their lips.