For the rest of today we're all going to sit and wait for news on Braylon Edwards' visit to the 49ers facility (currently ongoing). The 49ers added Jonathan Goodwin and are in the running for either Edwards or Malcom Floyd. This follows the signing of cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Phillip Davis, safety Madieu Williams, and linebacker Blake Costanzo.
Prior to this rush of signings, some folks viewed things as pretty bleak. The 49ers were mentioned in connection with a variety of players but nothing was happening. We don't really know how close things were but obviously things did not work out. Jim Harbaugh was asked in particular about Aubrayo Franklin leaving town and what reason he couldn't convince Franklin to stick around. Harbaugh had an interesting response:
"We had a discussion - not so much trying to convince people. The train has pulled into the station, it stopped. There wasn't a whole lot of momentum to it with the way the offseason was, but it pulled in, loaded up a bunch of guys, 80 something guys here when we first started, and it's moving out of the station now and steam is coming out of the sides and we are moving down the tracks. There are some guys that are sprinting to get on it, and our hands are out and ready to accept them, but that train is moving, can't wait for everybody."
It's always about selling somebody, but I think it's in part to some degree when it's a player that maybe you don't really want back quite as badly as some might think you want him back.
The decisions with some of the team's existing free agents along with the signings the team has gone out and made all sort of tie in to the "patience" mantra we've head. We've poked some fun at it with the GNR video, but as a philosophy in this particular offseason, maybe it really wasn't the worse idea in the world to take some time figuring out additions.
This year's free agent market was incredibly unique given the lockout and I don't think it can be underestimated nearly enough. We've seen a lot of veterans signing one year contracts because teams are hesitant to commit bit dollars with a brand new CBA they're still learning and little time to do a whole lot of due diligence. I'm sure people were assessing the numerous free agent options over the past 5+ months, but even still, when push came to shave, people were not willing to throw a ton of money at very many question marks.
None of this means the 49ers are suddenly lining up as the favorite in the NFC West. They've made some important moves, but the volume of change on this team from the coaching staff and schemes to the new players slotting in to starting positions means the 49ers have as many question marks as anybody else. I really like some of these moves, but until we see these units in action, we won't really know what the implications are completely for 2011.
Of course, all of that just makes me more excited for even just preseason football. Patience rules!