Could you live with a 34% turnover in the opening day roster?

There is very little doubt that this will probably be a screwy year for all NFL teams ... no mini-camps, a delay in distributing playbooks to new players, a delay to the start of training camp and therefore shortened preparation for the season, an inability to sign free agents, etc., etc.  The situation is even more complex for the Niners since they have almost an entirely new coaching staff ... bringing new systems and different player expectations from anything in the recent past.  Further, it sounded like to me that Baalke / Harbaugh had a very different focus on the types of players that they wanted in this draft versus what was targeted by Singletary's decree last year.  Further, my guess is that Harbaugh and friends want to use the guys that they drafted this year, particularly on special teams, versus the generally poorly-coached prior backup players.  I would expect a big focus on teaching and real honest-to-God coaching.  Accordingly, I fully expect a significant turnover in the roster from last year.  What is "significant"?  I have put together my projected season-opening roster of 53 and I have 36% turnover on offense, 32% on defense, and 33% on special teams, for an overall 34% change in the roster from last year.

That's a BIG change.  So what are the components of such a change? 

1.  Just as all 2010 draftees made the team, I project that all of this year's draftees will also make it.

2.  I don't expect the Niners to be BIG players in the veteran free agent market, if and when a new CBA is consumated, but I do think that they will play ... I am hoping for two veteran free agent signings and one trade:

Cornerback:  Since we were unable to draft Patrick Peterson (who would have been a sure starter at CB), I hope that the Niners will seek TWO veteran corners in the free agent market.  I would love to sign Nnamdi Asomugha, but I think that he will just be too expensive.  Thus, I would take that money and try to sign BOTH Johnathan Joseph (Cincinnati Bengals) and Richard Marshall (Carolina Panthers) for our starting corners.

Quarterback:  Neither David Carr or Troy Smith are IMO worthy of the backup QB position ... we would be screwed if either one had to play for other than a few plays.  Colin Kaepernick will be the third QB and in learning mode for most of the year.  Therefore I think that we should put together a package of players and/or mid- to lower-round draft choices to trade to Tampa Bay in exchange for Josh Johnson.  Tampa was able to satisfy two of their four biggest needs (DE and TE) in the draft just concluded.  They still need help at ILB and OG.  How about a package of David Carr, Tony Wragge and Keaton Kristick for Johnson?

Next, as soon as the new CBA is done, I hope that the Niners will sign the following undrafted free agents:

1.  WR Terrance Tolliver (LSU) 6' 4"   212#  4.52 in the 40.

2.  WR Ricardo Lockette (Fort Valley State) 6' 2"  211#  4.34 in the 40.

3.  NT Blaine Sumner (Colorado School of Mines) 6' 2"  335#; 5.36 in the 40; 1.82 in the 10; 55 reps of 225#; 9' 5" broad jump -- this guy is undoubtedly the strongest of all prospects (including Paea) in this draft class.

4.  DE Marc Schiechl (Colorado School of  Mines) 6' 2"  252#; 4.67 in the 40; 1.66 in the 10; 38 reps of 225#; 10' 5" broad jump -- Division II football career record in sacks at 45.

5.  DE Brandon Bair (Oregon)  6' 6"  276#  4.92 in the 40; 1.75 in the 10; 26 reps of 225#; 9' 6" broad jump.

6.  K Fai Forbath (UCLA)  5' 11"  197#.

There certainly will be competition to sign these guys, but fortunately the Niners have met with each of them in private workouts and hopefully made an impression, at least enough to cause them to want to be a Niner.

So, given all that, here is my projected 2011 final season-opening roster:


Quarterbacks (3) --

Roster:  Alex Smith, Josh Johnson, Colin Kaepernick

Resign Alex Smith, trade for Josh Johnson.

Practice Squad:  nobody

Released (or traded):  David Carr, Troy Smith

67% turnover

Running Backs (3) --

Roster:  Frank Gore, Anthony Dixon, Kendall Hunter

Practice Squad:  Xavier Omon

Released:  Brian Westbrook

33% turnover

Fullback (1) --

Roster:  Bruce Miller

Practice Squad:  nobody

Released:  Moran Norris

100% turnover

Wide Receivers (6) --

Roster:  Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan, Dom Ziegler, Kyle Williams, Ronald Johnson, Terrance Tolliver

Practice Squad:  Kevin Jurovich, Lance Long

Released:  Ted Ginn, Jr.

33% turnover

Tight Ends (3) --

Roster:  Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Nate Byham

Practice Squad:  nobody

Released:  Colin Cloherty

0% turnover

Offensive Tackles (4) --

Roster:  Joe Staley, Anthony Davis, Adam Snyder, Alex Boone

Practice Squad:  Chris Patrick

Released:  Barry Sims

25% turnover

Centers / Offensive Guards (5) --

Roster:  Mike Iupati, Chilo Rachal, David Baas, Dan Kilgore, Mike Person

Resign David Baas.

Practice Squad:  Nick Howell

Released (or traded):  Eric Heitmann (retired due to injury), Tony Wragge

40% turnover

TOTAL OFFENSE = 25 players, 9 new players (or 36%) on the offense.

Nose Tackles (2) --

Roster:  Aubrayo Frankin, Blaine Sumner

Resign Aubrayo Franklin.

Practice Squad:  nobody

Released:  Ricky Jean Francois

50% turnover

Defensive Ends (4) --

Roster:  Justin Smith, Issac Sopoaga, Will Tukuafu, Ray McDonald

Resign Ray McDonald.

Practice Squad:  Marc Schiechl, Brandon Bair

Released:  Demetric Evans

25% turnover

Inside Linebackers (4) --

Roster:  Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Scott McKillop, Takeo Spikes

Resign Takeo Spikes.

Practice Squad (if not traded):  Keaton Kristick

Released:  Alex Joseph

0% turnover

Outside Linebackers (5) --

Roster:  Ahmad Brooks, Parys Haralson, Thaddeus Gibson, Manny Lawson, Aldon Smith

Resign Manny Lawson.

Practice Squad:  nobody

Released:  Travis LaBoy

40% turnover

Cornerbacks (6) --

Roster:  Johnathan Joseph, Richard Marshall, Shawntae Spencer, Phillip Adams, Chris Culliver, Curtis Holcomb

Sign Johnathan Joseph and Richard Marshall as veteran free agents.

Practice Squad:  nobody

Released:  Nate Clements (assuming can't negotiate satisfactory salary cut), Tarell Brown (performance), Will James (age and injuries), Tramaine Brock (performance).

50% turnover excluding veteran free agent signings.

Safeties (4) --

Roster:  Reggie Smith, Taylor Mays, Dashon Goldson, Colin Jones

Resign Dashon Goldson.

Practice Squad:  Curtis Taylor

Released:  C J Spillman, Chris Maragos

25% turnover.

TOTAL DEFENSE = 25 players, 8 new players (or 32%) on the defense.


Kicker (1) --

Roster:  Fabrizio Scaccia OR Kai Forbath

Practice Squad:  Fabrizio Scaccia OR Kai Forbath

Released:  Joe Nedney (age and injury), Jeff Reed (pick a reason)

100% turnover.

Punter (1) --

Roster:  Andy Lee

Practice Squad:  nobody

Released:  nobody

0% turnover.

Long Snapper (1) --

Roster:  Brian Jennings

Practice Squad:  nobody

Released:  nobody

0% turnover.

TOTAL SPECIAL TEAMS = 3 players, 1 new player (or 33%) on special teams

ENTIRE ROSTER = 53 players. 18 new players (or 34%) on entire roster.

So, there it is ... my projected roster for opening day.  I fully realize that this is a pretty substantial year-to-year change, but it seems to me that it is warranted in light of recent disappointing performances.  Yes, there will be a lot of rookie mistakes, but it seems to me that with the level of improved coaching that all of these guys will get, and the probable improved performance that they will deliver during the 16-game schedule, it's well worth the investment.  Go Niners!!




This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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