49ers Offense - Roster Assessment
Salary cap summary: assuming Alex Smith traded and Akers cut, the team has cap space to sign one impact FA and a rotational FA. A second impact FA could be signed if the team cuts some other big money veteran (Goodwin) and won’t resign more than one of the team’s free agents.
Overall, everyone is surprised than the offense went from liability to team strength. There is quality depth at RB and WR, although the dropoff is higher at TE and the OLine. The team won’t need to sign any veteran free agents here, which is great because the defense needs all the help it can get.
Needs: QB, RB, WR, TE, OT
Colin Kaepernick: He played at a high level with great consistency, and he has a full offseason to improve in the deficiencies he had shown. I would not swap him with any other QB in the league. Peyton and Brady are old and it started to show, Brees is paid way too much, and even Rogers might not be a big improvement. That’s my Nevada homerism speaking, FWIW.
Alex Smith: It seems predetermined that he will be traded. I did not have as much of emotional investment in him as many here. Still, I wish him the best in Cleveland, Kansas City or Jacksonville.
Scott Tolzien: Unkown. He knows the system, the team knows him, but we fans don’t know what Harbaugh thinks about him.
The team lost a started but got a franchise QB. A 3rd QB is needed, so Harbaugh will either draft for QB3, or sign a veteran FA/reclamation project. The FA might end up being Josh Johnson. He was cut only because Tolzien was running the scout team, and ran it well.
Frank Gore: No one expected him to play at this level. 319 yards for 5.1YPC and 4 TDs. And there will be committee members to spell him a little bit more next year.
LaMichael James: He is fast. He also has problems holding on the ball, even on kick returns.
Kendall Hunter: He will be back for the next season, but not for the training camp. Hopefully he will regain his ability after the Achilles tear.
Anthony Dixon: As enthusiastic as he is, the team does not trust him on offense. But he is needed to provide stability on the soon-to-be-turned-up special team roster.
Jewel Hampton: he got this far, we’ll see what he can do in the preseason.
Bruce Miller: besides getting no respect for his blocking, he turned out to be the most reliable receiver on the team (12 out of 13). And he can still improve, given he played DE in college.
The team needs a power RB, or a successor for Gore. Given that, most probably the team going with the current roster for the next season, the team has so many depth needs that any new RB in the training camp would be UDFA signing.
Michael Crabtree: He became a true #1 receiver, even if he won’t break any records.
Randy Moss: I have to think he will be let go. He was good, even if not great until SB week. There he did not consult the team PR on media day, which media ridiculed him for his ridiculous comments, and he lost his willingness to make any effort in the Superbowl.
Mario Manningham: He was the most reliable WR on the team before the Seahawks decided to put him on IR. If he is cut, he will get an injury settlement around $1 million, for a total cap hit of $2M. It would cost another $2.85m to retain him. He has all the tools to be the WR2 on the team, with Moss out. He will start the season on the IR or PUP. I expect a team-friendly extension so he could rehabilitate at the team, and be available for the second half of the season.
Kyle Williams: hopefully he’s back at full health, we need a PR to replace Ginn Jr.
A.J. Jenkins: the biggest problem with rookie WRs is that they are asked to do much more than in college and do it faster. Kyle Williams played 5 games a single target in 2010 (which at least was caught). More was expected from a #30 overall pick, that’s true. But I doubt he was higher than #4 read on most of his routes (after Crabtree/Moss, VD, DW/Gore/LMJ), and Kaepernick usually throws the ball before he gets that far in his read progression.
Tedd Ginn Jr.: He will be let go. The team will draft two players in the next draft that can return the ball, just in case.
Chad Hall: He will get a training camp spot, but should not expect much more. I was thinking about putting a white WR joke here, but refrained.
Rickardo Lockette (Practice Squad): He was on the Seattle roster last year, but suffers from the alligator arms disease. Fastest gut on the roster, and the tallest WR with Moss gone. He was reported to refuse a roster spot in a team. Apparently no one wants to play for the poor Jets.
The team has only 3 roster spots filled, assuming MM comes back late in the season. If MM is cut the team might sign a veteran FA. The team needs a WR2, who might still be AJJ or MM. The team also needs a tall guy. And a punt returner. Which means Harbaalke will not draft a single one and resigns another reclamation project.
Vernon Davis: During the preseason August at least one journalist will write an article, based on regular season stats, about the most overpaid players in the NFL. Vernon Davis will be on the list.
Delanie Walker: Droptimus Prime, yet managing over 16 yards per pass despite of that, so can’t be left uncovered. His versatility is even more crucial in the pistol formations. My bet is that the team will try to bring him back for cheap, with incentive based on dropped passes.
Garrett Celek: The team liked him in the preseason. He was no worse than Walker catching the ball. Will they like any TEs in the 5-7th round more?
VD’s roster spot is set in stone. This is the year to draft a 6’6” guy to catch passes, and the FA market isn’t too shabby either. The team will need to find another jack-of-all-trades if Walker is gone.
Jonathan Goodwin: he is paid top-5 money for top-10 production. Could not do much against double-A-gap blitzes, and had way too many bad snaps. He is due to a cut, either in pay or from the roster. His signing bonus is $667k, and it is his last year on his contract.
Leonard Davis: He was signed for a year. The team has two other guards on the roster who need game snaps.
Wayne Tribue: a guard who was signed as camp body. He could run 5.06 at 330lbs.
The team needs to draft a swing tackle so Boone could stay at RG if Staley/ADavis gets injured. Center might be drafted if Goodwin is cut and Kilgore is not good enough.