It’s great to have football news again. I see everyone has been enjoying it. The first few days of free agency have been a whirlwind of league activity which the 49ers, true to their word, have more or less refrained from.
It seems safe to say, this was not a wildly popular approach.
Through four days of free agency, the team has lost its starting center, starting nose tackle, a starting ILB, a starting OLB, and might still lose the starting free safety. They have added exactly nothing. And they still need a third QB.
All of these losses were planned for with the exception of the center, who somehow translated a six year career of ineffectiveness and injury into a pro bowl salary in New York. Fans in NY who might take the time to scrutinize this center’s career here could possibly wish their own team had more or less refrained, also.
Most of the BIG NAME$ are off the market now, having established the salary structure the lesser names will be working with, and there are still a lot of these FAs still out there as yet unemployed. One of them, who has generated zero interest or ink thus far, is Abrayo Franklin. You might remember him as the 49ers starting nose tackle. Many felt he was irreplaceable here and would command big money in free agency. So far, that has not been the case.
None of these FA players can start practicing with their new teams until next Thursday, so there is still almost a week for a lot more transactions to occur. This second stage of free agency is where the 49ers have operated in the past few years, and will operate this year as well.
Mostly obscured by the free agency noise, the 49ers quietly started Training Camp on Thursday, taking the field Friday for their first practice. According to the beat writers, Jim Harbaugh is 180 degrees opposite of Mike Singletary. Singletary stood around looking regal, while his assistants did the work. Harbaugh is neck deep in the mix with the players, from telling the crane cameraman what angle to take film from to even making a few snaps at the center position, evidently attempting to teach a new technique that would increase the speed of the snap by a few split seconds. That sounds kind of funny, but I suppose when you only have two or three seconds to get the ball and throw it, a split second extra bit of time might be looked kindly upon. In addition, a fumbled snap from center in a real game can be blamed on the new technique and not on the two clods who effed it up.
This week of enforced inaction for FAs and re-signed players will be an opportunity for the young players on the team, and the rookies, to get some invaluable practice reps and perhaps catch the eye of the new coaching staff. On the first day, third round CB pick Chris Culliver broke up some passes and looked pretty sharp. Needless to say, the team could use a good young corner about now.
Those who have not enjoyed the 49ers lack of participation in the free agency game should stay tuned now. In the next few days, the team will be adding some players who can be insulted and demeaned to your heart’s content. Unless by some miraculous chance, you are pleased. If, however, you have taken up a position of NO HOPE, then by all means, carry on.