Fooch's Note: And of course, Alex Smith is visiting the Miami Dolphins today as his own free agency tour starts to heat up. This is about to get even more interesting!
It is just like the 49ers to make big news while I am out grabbing a few drinks and a cigar for a friend's birthday. I was anticipating a weekend of basically waiting for Peyton Manning to make a decision on Monday or Tuesday, which really meant a fairly low key weekend. Instead, the 49ers make big news late Saturday with reports that they have signed wide receiver Mario Manningham to a two year deal.
Our 49ers have gone from quiet to the hot topic in a split second and it is all kind of a little crazy. Last year the 49ers took their time in free agency, and when they wrapped things up, the signings were not exactly of the knock your socks off variety. Most all of them worked out extraordinarily well, but they were still a little bit under the radar.
Now we have a team that did make some under the radar signings (Rock Cartwright, Perrish Cox), but are also getting in on the more prominent action. Manningham is not a number one receiver, but he was the most prominent receiver remaining on the market. And considering the 49ers have reportedly scored him on a two year deal, they would seem to have played their cards well.
Now, we likely get to wait until tomorrow or Tuesday to see what Peyton Manning decides. Whether the 49ers sign Peyton Manning or retain Alex Smith, this team is arguably better than last year's squad. They retained the entire defense and would seem to have added a bit of depth at cornerback in a younger, healthier Perrish Cox (as opposed to Shawntae Spencer). Randy Moss still has plenty to prove, but given how little the team got from Braylon Edwards, I'm certainly hoping they score more from Randy Moss. Add in Manningham to replace Joshua Morgan and I can't help but be excited about the 2012 season.