Monday, July 25, 2011, the dirt bags who brought us an empty offseason finally announced a new CBA agreement, thus turning back on the lights of the NFL. We are pleased.
The 49ers wasted no time before immediately gorging on the UDFA market, signing all kinds of camp fodder guys you never heard of and, after training camp, never will hear of again. That will probably not be the case for at least two of them, though — Notre Dame NT Ian Williams and Stanford center Chase Beeler. For full list of UDFAs, click on the Matt Barrows blogroll link to the right.
Williams was probably the top UDFA talent out there and he also fills a big need for the 49ers, who are letting incumbent NT Abrayo Franklin go get his wad of dough somewhere else. Nobody seems to know why this talented wide body went undrafted, but signing him is a coup for the Niners. Beeler played for Jim Harbaugh last year at Stanford and practiced with the team during Camp Alex, helping out with his knowledge of Harbaugh’s offense. That knowledge will definitely get him some reps in this squeezed training camp, so we’ll see if he makes the most of his opportunity.
The real action won’t come till Friday, however. Although the Niners are now free to discuss trades with other teams and free to negotiate agreements with UFAs, these deals cannot be ratified until Friday. The current players can start reporting into 4949 Centennial Blvd. today and training camp will officially begin on Thursday.
The above information is for those readers who foolishly rely on this site for hard news. We normally discuss news after it has melted a bit, or apply a torch to accomplish the melting ourselves. But this is a special time in the football universe, so we bow to the necessitities.
One peculiarity of the current timeline of events involves the free agents we sign and/or the players we might trade for. As noted, these deals can be announced Friday. However, these players cannot begin practicing with the team until next Thursday, August 4th, the beginning of the new league year. That’s one full week of training camp these guys will miss. Draftees can sign anytime now and begin camp on time.
Currently, the 49ers have only one QB under contract, David Carr, and presumably will have second round draft pick Colin Kaepernick signed and ready by Thursday. Neither of these two is going to start for the team this year. That means whoever is the starting QB for the Niners this year will miss the first week of camp. We know one candidate will be Alex Smith. We know there will be another candidate also, but this fellow is currently a mystery. Rumors suggest it will be Matt Hasselbeck, but we won’t know for sure until Friday.
It’s possible we will hear about the release of Carr before Friday. There’s no sense bringing him to camp if there are no plans to keep him. This would leave the first week of camp entirely to Kaepernick, with a UDFA guy also flinging a few passes to help out. It would be a good week for Harbaugh to focus on installation of the running game.
Okay, guys. That’s enough rules and regulations. Let’s get the pads on and get this show rolling!