The blossoms are on the trees these days, coloring up the bleak winter view, and attracting the sleek black crows to the nests of robins where they can eagerly gobble up the little robinettes, ending their poor little lives before their brains even know how to cheep, and then fly off licking their bloody beaks …
Hmmm. Let’s try this again.
Spring is in the air! The hills are alive with the sound of free agents singing “Show me the money, mofo!”
This is Trent Baalke’s fourth year on the job, but only his third year running the free agency show. In his first year at the helm, he was loudly criticized for doing nothing the first week of free agency, letting the big name players sign elsewhere. The second week, however, he swooped in and picked up Carlos Rodgers and Donte Whitner. That was the last time anybody criticized Baalke, who won Executive of the Year for his efforts then, both in FA and the 2011 draft.
So, none of us expect Baalke to be active in the initial frenzy when the FA bell goes off next Tuesday at noon, PDT. After the Albert Haynesworth and Philadelphia Dream Team debacles, you would think no GM in the league would want to buy up an overpriced, overhyped top tier free agent anymore, but as sure as picking your nose at a stop light, there will be at least one. And usually more.
For those who have relentlessly avoided football for the past month and are just now eeeeking back into the fray, here is the list of 49er free agents who will be loosed upon the league next Tuesday:
WR Randy Moss
WR Ted Ginn
TE Delanie Walker
OG Leonard Davis
DL Isaac Sopoaga
DL Ricky Jean-Francois
LB Tavares Gooden
LB Larry Grant
LB Clark Haggans
DB Dashon Goldson
DB Tramaine Brock (RFA)
DB Darcel McBath (RFA).
Goldson is the biggest name on the list, unless you subscribe to the Gospel of Moss, which was deemed to be heretical last month. Goldson is a good player, possibly even the best free safety the 49ers have had since Ronnie Lott hung up his cleats, but he’s also one of those guys who needs to have the biggest house on the block in order to feel properly superior. Unfortunately, the block he’s going to live on isn’t going to be prime real estate. No offense to cities like Cincinnati or some other area where players go to disappear.
IOW, Goldson is a player who is perceived as caring more about the size of his wallet than the size of the trophy he gets to kiss at the end of the year. This value system does not play well with fans. There’s little doubt the team would be better this coming season with Goldson at FS than a young guy learning the ropes or a lesser talented FA brought in to replace him, but that doesn’t look likely.
It’s possible that Goldson will discover, as he did two years ago, that other teams don’t value him as much as he does himself, and will show up back in Santa Clara with a five year contract, claiming the Roger Clemens defense that he was mis-perceived greed-wise, and is thrilled to be back with the 49ers. Being the gracious fellows that we are — after a hearty round of snickering — we will gladly welcome him home.
We’ll see, we’ll see. Which is better than we’ll wait, we’ll wait. Or we’ll cry, and cry some more.