They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

Glad that’s over with. 49er fans have been correct: the football season ended two weeks ago, when the two best teams in the NFL went 15 rounds in Seattle. This game was a true mismatched clunker. Before the game, Joe Montana said there was nothing about the Denver defense that scared him at all. No shit. Seattle didn’t even need its bread and butter running game in this one, as Marshawn Lynch had only 39 yards on 15 carries.

The only bright spot from the Super Bowl is putting an end to two years worth of annoying “Have we signed Peyton Manning yet?” rants. I can’t imagine these words could ever be written again. The only reason Manning reached this game was he got to play against two other fading regular season wonder QBs, Phillip Rivers and Tom Brady.

If the Broncos are the best the AFC has to offer, that is one sorry ass conference. IIRC, this is the first SB blowout of the 21st Century. And if Denver is any indication, there’s going to be a few more on the way. The Broncos specialize in SB butt kickings. This is their fourth one. Once by the Giants (’86), once by Washington (’87), another by the 49ers (’89), and now this debacle.

Moving right along, February is as close as it comes to the NFL being Closed For Business. It does remain open for press conferences by teams admitting they are aware of the recent arrest of one of their players and have no comment while the legal process is ongoing. Other than that, it’s all Free Agent gossip time, while the pre-draft hype machine gathers a head of steam.

The 49ers are facing some crucial roster decisions for this year and next. Below is a list of current and next year Free Agents. How GM Trent Baalke handles this transition period will be crucial to whether the team remains an elite commodity or gets to spend the next few years getting Denvered by Seattle.

49ers 2014 Free Agents
Anquan Boldin
Donte Whitner
Jonathan Goodwin
Mario Manningham
Phil Dawson
Tarell Brown
Colt McCoy
Anthony Dixon
Eric Wright
Kassim Osgood
Demarcus Dobbs (RFA)
Michael Wilhoite (ERFA)

49ers 2015 Free Agents
Frank Gore
Michael Crabtree
Aldon Smith
Mike Iupati
Glenn Dorsey
C.J. Spillman
Colin Kaepernick
Dan Skuta
Adam Snyder
Jonathan Baldwin
Raymond Ventrone
Chris Culliver
Kendall Hunter
Daniel Kilgore
Bruce Miller
Garrett Celek (RFA)
Tony Jerod-Eddie (ERFA)
Brandon Carswell (ERFA)

wordpress stats plugin

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Vacant Observations
65 comments on “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    One forgotten play from the NFCCG was in the 3rd quarter at the 7:22 mark 1st and 10 and Kap is strip sacked by Michael Bennett and fumbles. Goodwin jumps on the ball on the 32 and advanced it to the Seahag 26 saving Kap’s ass.
    On the next play Kap throws his jump pass laser shot through Earl Thomas for a 17-10 lead to Boldin.
    Yesterday we saw how opportunistic the Seahags are relying on turnovers which create huge shifts in momentum and on the scoreboard.
    Ball security is crucial and Goodwin was in the right place at the right time and helped preserve the Niners scoring drive to take the lead.

  2. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    There are six Niner free agents that are must signs for the team to keep up with the Seahags next year.
    1) Boldin 33 years young and showing no signs of slowing down.
    Give him a 3 year contract $15 mil with $10 mil guaranteed.
    G.O.A.T. Rice played at high level until his 40s. Boldin’s leadership is invaluable and should not be overlooked.
    2) Whitner 28 Vet leader of the secondary who’s the glue. 4 year contract $16 mil $2 mil signing bonus and $2 mil guaranteed (looking at this as a 2 year deal and the Niners draft and develop his replacement)
    3} T Brown 28 Steady underrated CB who wants to return 3 year $12 mil $2 mil signing bonus $3 mil guaranteed
    4) Dawson 39 Took away the anxiety that was David Akers. 2 years $5 mil $2 mil guaranteed $1 mil signing bonus
    (also wants to return or would you want to try Feely or Hartly?)
    5) Wilhoite 27 Becomes a higher priority due to Bowman’s injury
    he’s a restricted FA so they might tender him along those lines as FO has control.
    6) Osgood 33 Showed that he was an ace ST player.
    Made $940K last year, sign him $1 mil for 2014.
    Costanzo has tweeted he’s a UFA and would like to come back.
    FO squares away these guys and the draft so they know where they stand cap wise before dealing with Kap, Aldon and Iupati.

  3. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Next season Super Bowl odds per

    Seahawks: 7/1
    Broncos: 8/1
    49ers: 8/1
    Patriots: 12/1
    Packers: 20/1
    Saints: 20/1
    Falcons: 25/1
    Bengals: 25/1
    Panthers: 25/1
    Colts: 30/1
    Chiefs: 30/1
    Eagles: 30/1
    Bears: 30/1
    Cardinals: 30/1

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “Worst day for bettors in Super Bowl history (losing $19.7 million in Nevada alone).”

    A lot of people out there not too happy with Manning.

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Defensive lines win championships. If you look at Seattle’s top paid players, there are more D-linemen on the list than any other position.

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    WR Percy Harvin $11 million ($13.4 million)
    LT Russell Okung $8.96 million ($11.24 million)
    WR Sidney Rice $8.5 million ($9.7 million)
    DE Chris Clemons $7.5 million ($9.67 million)
    DE Red Bryant $7.5 million ($8.5 million)
    DE Cliff Avril $7 million ($9.25 million)
    TE Zach Miller $6 million ($7 million)
    RB Marshawn Lynch $5.5 million ($7 million)
    DT Brandon Mebane $5.5 million ($5.7 million)
    C Max Unger $5 million ($6.1 million)
    S Kam Chancellor $4.725 million ($5.825 million)
    S Earl Thomas $4.725 million ($5.47 million)

  7. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    This might interest you. A lot of the Seahags aren’t happy with
    their OC’s playcalling and are bitching. Here’s a story from their Fieldgulls site.

  8. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I’m in agreement there Berger.
    Seattle keeps rotating Dlinemen, wearing down the opposing OLine.

    Can’t have enough of them IMO either.
    it’s also a position that can easily be filled in the later Rds of the Draft.
    If you have a shot at a stud early, take him.
    Rotational guys won’t break the bank.

    Check out Jay Bromley from Syracuse.
    A quick interior guy with a good motor.

    He’s an example of a trench monster that might be had in Rd 4 or later.
    There’s more than a few in that category.

  9. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    DT Kelcy Quarles from So Carolina is another interesting consideration.

  10. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Speaking of TE Zach Miller, I was reading that he’s considered to have one of the worst Contracts Seattle has on their Roster, in terms of pay vs production.

  11. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Seattle wants to re-sign Michael Bennett and the guy that you guys lusted for Jessie Williams is on their roster but was hurt
    most of the year.

  12. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s the site where I read the piece about Zach Miller –

    Interestingly enough, they gave SF high grades for the Staley and Anthony Davis Contracts.

  13. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    The fact that Iupati didn’t bite at the earlier extension offer, suggests to me, they won’t break the bank for him, should he opt to go the FA route.

    We do have Looney and the OG from Seattle, Ryan Seymour to consider, though both are much lighter.
    The Draft affords new options as well.

  14. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit- I’m not even going to read the article about Seattle’s play calling. It isn’t that great but it is better than ours. Seattle struggled much of the year but they got many breaks that we didn’t. It started in the 1st game vs Carolina when Williams was running for a TD at the end of the game and fumbled without being touched. That was a harbinger of things to come.

    Seattle also has a young QB, just like us, who needs to get better. Seattle takes advantage of his ability to buy time and make big plays. They have average WRs but call better pass plays than us while we are stubbornly sticking to more jumbo pocket passing. Their QB while be able to develop a bit faster because of that but Kap will be fine in time.

    In the end you know what they say, defense wins championships and I say more specifically, defensive lines win championships.

  15. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Also, talk about the SB lucking out in the weather department.
    We got 8″ of snow overnight.

    Had this slop showed up Sunday, it would have been a nightmare in terms of travel to and from the Stadium.

    It was a classic clusterf* afterwards, just trying to get everyone out of the complex.

    Typical NJ Transit. Hurry up and wait.

  16. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    What I would consider doing is signing Iupati and trading Anthony Davis if I had to choose between the two.
    You at least would get a draft pick in return
    My reasons are Iupati is a two time Pro Bowler and Davis is inconsistent and sometimes disappointing and in my estimation nothing special. We can always kick Boone out to RT.
    Just my opinion that I believe Iupati is a better Olineman now and in the future than Davis will ever be.

  17. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I should have more specifically said above of Seattle’s struggles, their offense struggled most of the year. The team did quite well, overall.

  18. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Anthony might do well if you kicked him inside to the OG position too.

  19. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Anthony is an excellent run blocker, struggles at times with the speed rushers.
    Has a bad habit of reaching and getting too far over his feet.

  20. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Dick Sherman is now claiming they knew what plays Manning was going to run by reading his hand signals.

  21. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Remember “the hefty lefty”? That would be QB Jared Lorenzen.
    He is now even heftier.
    There is hope for fat guys.

  22. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit I’m just looking forward to hearing NOTHING more from Sherman.
    He’s overkill already.

    We just need to find someone to handle him Offensively.

  23. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Did read a good tweet put out on CBS last night regarding Peyton’s horrendous showing.

    Order a Papa Johns’ Pizza Online using the promo code PEYTON.
    When it arrives a Seattle DB will eat it for you.

  24. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger –
    Here’s a bit of press I’ve uncovered on one of my late Rd NT options.
    I believe he’s gotten an invitation to the Combines too.
    Zach Kerr from Delaware.

  25. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NJ- Reading about Kerr reminds of Kenrick Ellis without the legal problems!

  26. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    #53 is having his surgery today.
    Wishing Navarro a speedy and full recovery.

  27. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Seattle was by far the best team in football this year. And, I also agree that we were the 2nd. This SB win feels a lot different than the Rams one did. I can’t stand either team but what the Seahawks did to the Broncos showed how a well rounded team with “good” coaching can do(I hate Petey). My best wishes go out to Navarro we need him desperately.

  28. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Kawakami’s column today.
    Something of interest regarding the playcalling is noted.

  29. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well thet cetainly falls in line with what some of us have said here all along.

  30. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    How about that. According to Kawakami, Harbaugh was not so happy with Roman’s play calling. I guess the improvement I saw later in the year was Harbaugh doing some of the play calling. But then I threw that out as what could have been happening along with having more influence on the game plan. Would somebody please hire Roman away from us!

    The article specifically cites one of my ongoing complaints, Kap needs more options. My opinion is that is true for play calling and weapons. I can’t say how accurate Kawakami is, I’d like to think it is very accurate, but I’m glad to see some affirmation of what I’ve been saying.

  31. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Let’s hear it for options.

  32. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The fact that Harbaugh had to step in and take over some of the play calling gives me hope for next year. How much? We’ll see next year. At least it is good news that Harbaugh saw the problem with the play calling too. It was really depressing me that a former NFL QB, and more importantly our coach, was allowing such bad play calling. I guess Harbaugh wasn’t reading too many of Greg Roman’s press clippings like so many fans and Greg Roman were.

  33. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    Winder, beg to differ that Seattle was the best team ‘by far’. Suffice to say evenly matched. We were one play and one play call short. Remember Spy vs. Spy? That will be the Seapickles vs Niners for the next decade.

    Next year it will be our turn. Then the Seapickles… you get the idea…

    ‘Seapickles’ is going to stick for me. My compliments to whoever launched that one into the twittersphere and urban dictionary. Brilliant.

    Skeebs, not to shift gears here, but can I go ahead and start the drumbeat for the ‘Sammy in San Fran’ campaign? I realize I might have been a ‘smidge’ off in my armchair draft analyses and teen-like crushes on Mark Sanchez and Taylor Mays. But even VP Dwight Clark thought JJ Stokes was going to be the heir apparent to John Taylor, so cut me some slack.

    Sammy Watkins is quicker than a sneeze off the snap, acceleration of a Veyron, and what Boldin would look like if he had dreadlocks.

    Please Boldin, don’t jump NW to the Seapickles.

    Cheers, Franchise

  34. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The article is also 100% speculation on Kawakami’s part. At least in the play-calling aspect of it.

  35. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    WRs are such a crapshoot, and this coaching staff has difficulty using the guys they have. Ginn being the latest example of a speed guy we didn’t use very well.

    They could hope Odell Beckham is there at 30. They have to burn a lot to get Watkins. Although if he can run an official sub 4.3 40, he’ll be even harder to get but all the more worth it.

    I womder what these guys are cooking up for draft day.

  36. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I’m predicting 2 WRs 2 DBs from this Class Chuck.

    Beckham, Landry, Matthews, Robinson, Davante Adams, Donte Moncrief and even Brandon Coleman would be early favorites of mine in the WR group.
    I don’t see any reason to risk moving up in Rd 1 for one guy.

    As much as I’m impressed with Kelvin Benjamin, he’s light on playing time.

    If size is the predominant factor, I’d take a shot with Coleman at a cheaper Draft slot.

    But, Baalke makes that call.

  37. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It might be speculation, but he does say the info comes from a league source. There is no truth to the rumor that I was the league source! LOL!

  38. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Florio and PFT make a living at reporting from unnamed sources Berger.

    It generates traffic on their website.

    Most anything is speculation until it’s confirmed.

  39. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    League souse maybe . . .

  40. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Projected cap room for all NFL Teams for 2014
    Niners are at $5,166,959
    Raiduhs have the most cap room $63 mil and they are mandated to spend most of it because there is a Salary Cap floor this year.
    The Cowgurls are in salary cap hell minus $24 mil

  41. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Where did all the FA spending take Miami and TB last year Bullit?
    Sure, having Cap space is nice, if the GMs know what to do with it.

    I’m always entertained by Jerruh myself.

    No one whips a Roster into shape like that Ol’ Cowpoke.
    Chief Cook and Bottlewasher Extraordinaire that Jerr.

    I think he should lock Dez up with a 10yr deal while he still has time.

  42. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Those Dallas ’88’ jerseys are MONEY in the merchandising coffers.
    Buys a lot of diesel for that Cowboys Luxury Bus too.

  43. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Directly reflects the POWER of Americas Team too.

    Nobody does it better….with more consistency either.


  44. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Franchise did bring up a nightmare scenario.
    If the Niners decide to pass on Boldin and Petey and the Seahags
    sign Anquan it would be tough and damn discouraging having to face him twice a year.
    Boldin had his best season since 2008 and age is irrelevant if a player is productive and stays healthy. In Boldin’s case speed was never a major factor for him to succeed.
    Boldin has plenty left in his tank so Niners should sign him to a mutually beneficial offer for both.

  45. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I think Baalke appreciates what Anquan brought to the Roster Bullit.
    No doubt they’ll make every attempt to retain him.
    Especially with what will likely be a couple of new WR Draft choices added to the mix.

    Having him in the locker room, as well as on the field, is huge.

    Yes, I saw the piece on Jimmy Hat too.

    Quite the sobering reminder,to realize how bad we were, just a few short years ago.

  46. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit –
    What’s your take on TX WR Mike Davis?
    I’ve seen some mention of him having Return Skills?

    Is he potent enough in that regard to consider as a dual threat guy?

  47. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Mike Davis is inconsistent. He is a fast receiver but doesn’t run crisp routes. He really wasn’t a return man for the Horns.
    6th or 7th rounder in my estimation at best.
    If you wanted a speed guy last year Marquise Goodwin was that guy and the Bills drafted him.
    I’d sign Davis to a FA contract if he was undrafted and let him prove himself in training camp.
    Still think Devon Wylie can be a great PR and slot receiver and he’s on our PS.

  48. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    This is a reminder on what a crapshoot the draft is.
    Is K Benjamin another Baldwin?
    Scouts thought a lot of Baldwin’s upside in the draft similar to Benjamin as their scouting reports are similar.

    The remaining year of Baldwin’s contract is guaranteed. they need to figure out in the OTAs and TC if he’s a fit and if he can contribute.

  49. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Boldin talks like he wants to stay. Let’s hope he doesn’t try to break the bank.

  50. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Yeh Bullit – I made a similar observation on Wylie a short time back as well.
    Kid has wheels.

    One of the sure options for my 2014 Draft Wish List is RB Dri Archer from Kent St.
    For some reason, LMJ is not even close to what I had expected to see from him since he was selected.
    Loved him at Oregon, thought he’d bring the razzle-dazzle option to this Offense and STs.
    Not sure what his deal is, especially after reading that he’s on record using social media to request a trade already.

    Something smells with that scenario, ala Brandon Jacobs.

  51. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve had a tough time finding info on the web regarding DBs/WRs with PR/KR abilities.
    Perhaps these Bio’s focus on their primary starting tools moreso?

    One kid I was able to see, from UNC, was WR Ryan Switzer.
    Again, not seeing a whole lot of info on him just yet.
    Not even sure if he’s entering the Draft either.’

    Not that we need to focus on the position but, LMJ hasn’t busted out as a Return guy just yet.

    Maybe there’s room for improvement there?

  52. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well LMJ seems hell-bent to get his ass out of here. It’s curious at best. Is he that deep in the dog house that he doesn’t even rate any kind of playing time? Word is he hasn’t picked up the playbook or the blocking schemes very fast. But really, who knows?

  53. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    De’Anthony Thomas is a possibility as a PR/KR. He’s a WR/RB besides, and he’s faster than hell. He’s also tiny. 5’9″ 176 lb. Put him in the slot and let him loose.

  54. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    It’s a headscratcher for sure Chuck.

    S/Teams is one area I thought we were lacking this past year.

    For all the crap I’d given Ginn for running away from contact, he at least was reliable enough to catch and scoot.

    We could certainly benefit from a more productive option there, especially in the PR game.

  55. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Agree with you,D’Anthony Thomas has some skills too.

    He’s gonna go much higher than Dri Archer however.

    As with LMJ, another small RB doesn’t seem to warrant an early Pick IMO.
    If we can get a late Rd RB/DB/WR with Return skills, I’d be all for it.

  56. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    No question, we need a viable slot weapon.
    Anxious to see how Baalke attacks the Draft Board in May.

    Excellent Class of WRs this time around.
    Have to get younger and faster there.

  57. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Might not be such a stretch to think of D’Anthony to replace LMJ if he can bring improvement.

    But, with both guys, size limits what you can expect from either as a RB.

  58. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Unca- We have a slot receiver. We drafted him last year and he is two De’Anthonys! He’s the 270lb slot receiver! He’s slow but he makes up for it by dropping passes! He’s the perfect decoy. He goes to the slot, the defense thinks he’s a receiver and then boom, he blocks for a 1 yard Frank Gore running play after being motioned back into a jumbo formation.

    He’s like Gore’s wonderfully designed running plays. Frank gets 1 yd here, 0 there, -1 next and every other game breaks one for 40 yds to bring the average up to about 3+ yards. The 270 lb slot receiver blocks from various positions and every other game gets a pass thrown his way so that Roman can show Baalke he drafted a receiver! He doesn’t need to catch it, Roman just needs to assure Baalke he knows what a pass play is and that his draft choice is a slot receiver.

  59. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I think DMorris is a good option for Tavon and Pussy Harvin too.
    He might be the answer for our Nickel in terms of speed vs speed.

    I’m thinking either Calvin Pryor or Deone Bucannon would be nice options to consider at SS too.
    Gotta see them move if they have invitations to Indy.

    Also wouldn’t eliminate the option of putting a slower CB with good tackling skills back there either.

  60. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, Bergs / NJ, the whole Ted Ginn thing was a bit nauseating for me. Here’s a guy we couldn’t use for shit in the passing game, and he flourishes in Carolina. His low in Miami was 34 catches in his 1st year. Last year in Carolina? 36. His 3 years here he TOTALLED 33. A whopping 2 catches in 2012 on a team desperate for WR play.

    It’s shit like that which really worries me about the coaches.

  61. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve seen teams add ‘Passing Game Coordinators’ Chuck.
    We may be in need of such an option.

    And/or, replace our current WRs Coach John Morton?

    With Kaeps’ big arm, he needs a deep-threat option other than VD.

  62. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Located this site which claims to have the entire Combines Invitation List –
    Very heavy on WR/DBs as expected –

  63. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17