Two weeks into the FA period, it looks like GM Trent Baalke has concluded that last year’s 5-11 record wasn’t the least bit his fault. No, the roster’s fine. The record was all the fault of Jim Tomsula and Colin Kaepernick.
To illustrate Trent’s POV, let’s start by looking at the defensive line.
Quinton Dial and Arik Armstead are set at the two DE spots. Ian Williams flunked a physical, had his 5 year contract extension shrunk to a one year deal, and won’t be ready by the season opener due to ankle surgeries. So, at NT, we have Mike Purcell. Glenn Dorsey won’t be healed from his ACL injury until late in the season, so scratch him from the scene. Tank Carradine and Tony Jerod-Eddie are fairly ineffective bit players. And that’s about it for the D-line.
On the offensive line, we have Joe Staley, Dan Kilgore, and a bunch of wannabes, used-to-bes, and never-will-bes. Lots of bodies, but not much talent.
There’s no one left in Free Agency who can dramatically improve the team, leaving that chore entirely up to the Draft. Ha ha ha ha! Since the 2012 draft, the only guys who have been immediate starters are punter Bradley Pinion and safety Eric Reid. Jimmie Ward started as a nickel slot CB his first year and, though he played great last year, spent his rookie season getting toasted in every game.
The Kaepernick trade saga has provided the only entertainment so far, but it’s nothing more than a one star Netflix rated production. When teams consider a third round pick, instead of a fourth rounder, to be a deal breaker, we’re not talking about a player who’s highly regarded around the league.
The 2016 plan seems to be drafting as many players as possible, hoping some of them can play sooner rather than later, and relying on a new and improved coaching staff to move the team out of the Dregs portion of the league and up into the Thoroughly Mediocre section. Be still my heart.