You're probably all caught up on the news already, but we're needing a new thread, even at this late hour. It seems we've got a mini-Harbaughcalypse on our hands, without a whole lot of pertinent questions marks to really spark it, but I'll never complain about more discussion. At any rate, Blake Costanzo has left for greener pastures with the Chicago Bears, according to everybody under the sun, but we'll go ahead and link to the confirmation from Costanzo's agent on this one.
Congratulations to client @BlakeCostanzo51 for agreeing to terms on a new 2 year deal with the Chicago Bears— david canter (@davidcanter) March 14, 2012
To put it very bluntly, seeing him go sucks. It's more than just sentimental feelings and things of that nature - I know most of us got pretty attached to the 49ers' special teamers in 2011. It's the fact that Costanzo was really good at what he did, and I don't see why they didn't even make him an offer. He had two on the table, none from San Francisco, made every point to try and come back to the 49ers, and probably would have paid money to remain here.
San Francisco's defense was among the best in 2011 - potentially the best. So the 49ers retained all of their defensive starters, and will likely only make one change (moving Aldon Smith to the starting role over Parys Haralson). Why does the same not apply for the special teams? How do we not keep those guys together, especially given the fact that Costanzo isn't breaking the bank in Chicago.
It's not something that's likely to cripple the 49ers in 2012. Costanzo's absence most likely won't result in a shoddy coverage unit, especially with C.J. Spillman and the emergence of Colin Jones, with the possibility of some help from Curtis Holcomb on the horizon, too. But we're not too far removed from seeing terrible special teams following the loss of a couple guys - you recall losing Michael Robinson, Jeff Ulbrich and Donald Strickland in one season, right? That was disastrous - the 49ers really need to avoid injuries on coverage this season.