The 2015 Free Agent market opens for business on Tuesday at 1:00pm PST, as well as the new NFL year. Bear in mind, Seattle still lost the Super Bowl to end the 2014 season and the jeering period has not yet expired.
There will be a lot of high priced beef moving hither and yon around the league in the next few days, so it should be fun times on the Twitter wire. And all the speculation about the Niners’ own free agents will shortly be resolved. As of this morning, it appears Michael Crabtree, Frank Gore, Chris Culliver, and Mike Iupati are all taking the bus out of town.
With the new rules allowing pre-FA tampering, we already know many of the big name players who will be changing teams at 1:00 Tuesday. GM Trent Baalke doesn’t normally shop at the prime meat counter, but now that the team is his, and not Jim Harbaugh‘s, it’s not surprising he’s rumored to be ready to go all in on an instant offensive upgrade with speed burner wide receiver Torrey Smith.
Baalke has already signed Jerome Simpson on the cheap, a fast and talented but troubled WR who was out of the league last year after two suspensions and some jail time. During that hiatus, Jerome somehow acquired the prerequisite amount of “class” to enable him to join the team, and more of it evidently than twice accused but never charged or suspended former 49er Ray McDonald. “Class” is apparently a euphemism for “PR related appeasement action necessitated by howling from the media or league office.”
Owner Jed York went from meddler to know-nothing almost overnight. When asked about the Jerome signing, he claimed ignorance and passed the baton to Baalke. When asked about Gore, he said his feeling was they’d find a way to keep him. The next day, Gore let everyone know he was signing with Philadelphia. Keep it up, Jed. There could be hope for the Niners yet. An ignorant owner is far preferable to a meddling weasel owner.
On a lighter note, the 49ers now have an Australian rugby star and a British discus thrower on the team. Next up on the international list: a Japanese Sumo wrestler who plays nose tackle and doubles as a blocking sled.
Update: The 49ers are bracing themselves for the loss of LB Patrick Willis. Expecting him to retire today.