The 2012 Free Agency period roared into action Tuesday afternoon, as it usually does. What was not usual was the 49ers being among the early roarers. Last year, they waited till all the roaring had subsided before picking through the bargain bins.
By the end of the first day, the team had re-signed Carlos Rogers, taken a flyer on CB Perrish Cox, and had visits scheduled for WRs Brandon Lloyd and Chaz Schilens. Unfortunately, popular WR Josh Morgan decided to go for the money and signed up with the Redskins.
Jim Harbaugh loves to confound the “experts.” That’s one view. Another is that he gets a bang out of winning football games and doesn’t care a rat’s patootie what others may think of his decisions toward accomplishing that agenda. He has full confidence in himself.
As we all know, there are more experts in the football world than there are grains of sand on all the world’s beaches. After all, you don’t need a diploma or a degree to be a football expert. All you need is an internet connection and at least one functioning digit. Or even just an acrobatic nose or petite elbow. You could probably even use your tongue, but that would risk arrest for some sort of general lewd weirdness or health infraction. Besides, nobody wants a tongue with carpal tunnel syndrome. I think. We could ask the Weird Sisters to verify or debunk this.
[Ed note: Weird Sisters are okay. Weird Brothers are not. Ask the first a wrong question, you get a quirky smile. Ask the second, you get a black eye.]
Back to the grid grass. Last year Harbaugh confounded all by taking a QB with a bad rep and turning him into a top ten, championship caliber guy. This year, Harbaugh has signed Randy Moss, a WR with a bad rep. The jury is out on how Moss will perform, but one thing is certain: there’s no way a guy like Moss would have signed up with the 49ers anytime in the past eight years.
Hopefully, this inclination to view the 49ers as a “preferred” team of choice will translate into some decent FA signings over the next few weeks. But it’s probably more an incentive to older players who have gotten their money, but not their ring, than it is to young players who have million dollar eyes, like Morgan.
The team assured itself of returning the entire defense intact from the awesome 2011 team, and then some. The addition of Cox and re-signing of Tramaine Brock gives the secondary five quality CBs. This might be in direct response to the 2012 schedule, which has the 49ers facing off against Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, and Matthew Stafford. And maybe Peyton Manning, if he signs with the Cardinals.
Everyone’s beloved QB Alex Smith has not yet re-signed with the team, indicating that he might not be happy with the team’s contract offer. Or that both parties are waiting till Trent Baalke has finished his FA shopping before figuring how to structure Smith’s new contract. Another guy who could restructure, should the need arise, is Patrick Willis. Willis has a $17 million cap figure for 2012, which could probably be futzed around with.
At any rate, it’s fun to have all this action going on after two months of mostly dead air. Here’s hoping Day Two of FA can bring a decent WR into the locker room. If the 49ers accomplish that, the rest of FA should be devoted mostly to backups and special teamers. Not your knock out entertainment, but better than nothing.