2012 NFL Free Agents: Who Needs 2011 Experience!

Although the 49ers have not been crazy busy the last couple days, the team did open free agency having added Randy Moss and Perrish Cox via free agency. They have since re-signed Carlos Rogers and Tavares Gooden and have had a variety of players in for discussions and workouts.

Guard Leonard Davis is apparently back in town for a second day with the 49ers coming off a year in which he did not play. The 49ers are also reportedly going to host offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz early next week. Schwartz played right guard and right tackle in 2010 before spending last season on injured reserve. He has some versatility like Snyder, but is also four years younger.

I find it interesting that the 49ers are really pushing the market of players who did not play in 2011. Moss was retired for the year, Cox was dealing with legal issues, Davis was out the first half and inactive the second half, and Schwartz was on IR. Moss and Cox signed inexpensive deals with extremely low risk contracts and would seemingly look for something similar with Davis or Schwartz. It might cost a little more for either of them, but it would likely be relatively low risk nonetheless.

We really can't call it a bad approach quite yet, but it is almost taking last year's patient, low risk approach to a whole new level. Each of these players came from a different circumstance for missing 2011 action, but nonetheless they did not play in 2011 and will be looked at more in terms of hoped-for upside and potential rather than any automatic expectations of performance.

On the one hand, expectations are low so if guys like this don't pan out, so be it. On the other hand, the team can't be content to sign several guys like this and if nothing works out, so be it. There's a certain point where you have to look for some hits on these rolls of the dice.

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