As more and more positive news flows in regarding the current NFL lockout, ESPN has begun posting a variety of pieces related to the upcoming season. I say ESPN because then we can blame them if this thing blows up in the coming days. In the meantime, Football Outsiders put together a post for ESPN looking at the first move each NFL team should make once the lockout ends. For the 49ers, they suggested that signing Alex Smith was a fait accompli and thus looked at the move after that, re-signing Dashon Goldson:
During the brief period when the lockout was lifted, the 49ers showed that quarterback Alex Smith is in their plans for 2011 by giving him a playbook. Re-signing the former first overall pick appears to be a fait accompli, which allows the 49ers to turn their attention toward re-signing Goldson, who has 174 tackles, three quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles and five interceptions as a starter the past two seasons.
I know not everybody here will agree with this assertion. So, if you were running football operations and had to make the first phone call after taking care of Alex Smith's one year deal, who would you call? You have to make that first call to somebody on the free agent list, so who would it be? After Smith and Goldson, you've got a whole host of names:
These names aren't in any particular order. For me, the first call is probably to David Baas or Ray McDonald. Baas wasn't the ideal center last season but he took some solid steps forward considering he hadn't played the position since college. McDonald is a guy who could be brought back but wants to be shown some love before that will happen. Aubrayo Franklin is a tough one for me to figure out given that I think somebody will back up the Brink's Truck for him. Once this lockout mess is figured out, teams will have a day or two to chat with their own free agents. They'll have to optimize those phone calls.
Who is your first call?