It’s July, and we’re two weeks through the awful empty hours between OTAs and Training Camp. Time to get the little play toys out on the board and preside over their fate. While we await the next episode of Extreme Dumbover: NFL.
By my count, there are four starters who are probably playing their last year of 49er football: Jonathon Goodwin, Donte Whitner, Carlos Rogers, and Frank Gore. Gore may squeeze out one more year while Marcus Lattimore gets up to speed, and that would be fine. He deserves to play in the new stadium before hanging up his cleats.
Goodwin took a pay cut to stay on the team this year, but Daniel Kilgore will probably take over in 2014. Parys Haralson also took a pay cut, but it was less a matter of staying on the team as a chance to compete in Training Camp to stay on the team.
Whitner should be replaced, but he’s acquired Mark Roman’s mantle as the brains of the secondary, even though he can’t cover a plate of beans. Rogers is the best slot corner on the team, even though he can’t cover small, quick receivers like Seattle’s Percy Harvin, the Rams former Danny Amendola who has been replaced by the same model of skills in Tavon Austin.
As you can see, two of the going-going-gone players reside in the 49er secondary, which wasn’t that great last year, won’t be great this year, and will be even worse next year if these two are not suitably replaced. GM Trent Baalke declined to address the CB issue in the 2013 draft, but did bring in aging Nnamdi Asomugha during free agency. Nnamdi is either washed up, or is just useless as a zone coverage CB, but still viable as a man to man guy.
Note the word “viable” above because it pretty much describes the 49er secondary. Somewhere between okay and I’m going to scream. Okay if the pass rush is dominant, and tonsil time if it is not.