As I mentioned last Friday, the 49ers have assured us they have a Plan A, B, and C for this off season of uncertainty. I may have left out D and E, but if we get that far into the alphabet, we’ll be talking about scab football next season and single wing offenses. And if we are talking about that, the brewing companies will be working overtime next fall to satisfy a populace seeking peace in the depths of a bottle.
I also remarked Friday that these plans would not be revealed to us, except in retrospect, when they can be rearranged to suit the facts. Obviously, this leaves us no choice but to do what we do best — make shit up and speculate.
It appears the team has no plans to sign any of its current players who are about to become restricted or unrestricted free agents. Not until the new CBA is signed. And maybe not afterward, either. The prominent members of that group have been discussed previously — Abrayo Franklin, Dashon Goldson, David Baas and Manny Lawson. Others are Demetric Evans, Ray McDonald, Travis LaBoy, Takeo Spikes, Barry Sims, and Tony Wragge. Most of these players are defensive guys, and with a new DC in Vic Fangio, the value of these players to him is unknown.
Except for Franklin and Goldson, none of the players would be a devastating loss. A couple of them would be owies, no doubt about it, but owies can be smooched away and do not leave scars. This group does not appear to have membership in the Alphabet Plan scenario. When there is a new CBA, they will be dealt with or not. The Alphabet scenarios are therefore applicable only to the quarterback position.
Plan A would seem to be signing Alex Smith, keeping David Carr, and drafting a QB in April. That gives the team 3 QBs and a serviceable game plan for the uncertain off season if the CBA BS drags on into the summer and seriously impinges on the 2011 season. Anything beyond this bare bones scheme would just be a plus.
That plan, however, has a four day shelf life, since Smith must be signed before 9pm PST this Thursday, March 3rd. If he is not signed, and chances are good that he won’t be, the team will break out Plan B. This is where things get murky.
Plan B would be the plan that, in a normal year, would send the blogosphere into various degrees of ecstasy, since it is the plan that does not include one Alex Smith, and relieves them of the terror associated with his possibly winning the starting QB job. It also doesn’t include any other QBs except Carr and whomever the 49ers draft in April. This plan therefore assumes the CBA will be signed sooner, rather than later, and a normal off season will occur, featuring the Free Agency period and the trading period. The 49ers would be acquiring a starting caliber QB from one of these two periods.
Plan C goes beyond murky and into groping in the dark. The CBA stalemate drags into summer, maybe even into September, and the Niners will have to jump into the 2011 season after a minimal training camp with either Carr as the starting QB or … some other QB, like ->alex smith<-, who is acquired during the two week frenzy of free agency and trading periods that occur from the moment the new CBA is signed until the sabotaged “season” begins.
Plan D is what sort of players are out there in the UFL and sandlots of America that can fill out a scab team to play a scab season of scab football. IOW, a near death experience.
I’m getting an itching attack all of a sudden. Pardon me while I go pick at some scabeous corpus.