Golden Nuggets: Free agency begins with a bang; 49ers hold tight

Isaac Sopoaga laughing all the way to the bank. - USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the web.

Nothing like a little vacation to recharge your batteries. I was out of range of all communication for four days and it felt great. It all comes down to me being a primitivist at heart. If I could write the Nuggets from a rock, instead of my laptop, well...I'd do it. I'm back though, and just in time for a mega Nuggets.

It was the first 'official' day of free agency and it was a doozie. The three day window of quasi-negotiations...I can't tell what difference they made, other than giving teams a better chance of avoiding tampering charges. There were some big deals all around the league, some that made great sense for everyone involved and some that made no sense whatsoever. There's quite a few links today, so I'll get into them.

I've organized this edition of Nuggets by our player, and then have put any other news regarding their replacement or that position group under that heading.

Delanie Walker Walks

Some of us were confident that Delanie Walker would stay. I don't know why. He's got the speed and size to give people fits, blocks well, and I knew someone would want to make them their starting tight end. Enter Tennessee. They gave Walker a 4-year, $17.5 million deal that the 49ers were never even going to consider matching. Good luck, Droptimus Prime. | Report: Delanie Walker signs 4-year deal with Titans (Gin)

Walker played 57% of our offensive snaps last season. That's quite a bit for a No. 2 tight end. Are we going to find as capable a replacement, or might the team make a switch to using more three wide receiver sets? | Walker's departure signal shift? (Sando)

49ers offense will change without Walker (Maiocco)

Anquan Boldin News and Reactions

Most of us would agree the team still needs a deep threat. Anquan Boldin provides a different kind of threat, a red zone threat. The guy can get any ball, any time, so long as he doesn't have to run really fast to get there. | Boldin brings a threat, but not a deep kind (Gin)

When the Boldin trade was announced, many people were afraid that his post-Super Bowl words, that he'd rather retire than play somewhere else, were still the prevailing mood. Boldin, in Africa and unreachable until now, was finally reached for a quote. To all of our collective relief, he's happy to be a Niner. | 'Shocked' Anquan Boldin likes trade to 49ers (Sando)

Matt Maiocco reacts to the Boldin trade while passing along Boldin's reactions. A 6th-round draft pick for Anquan Boldin, when we, as a team, had 15 draft picks, was a steal. Maiocco also makes an argument for keeping Mario Manningham. | Boldin 'shocked' by trade to 49ers (Maiocco)

Matt Barrows gets his two cents in while also recapping some of the days movement. | 49ers notes: Boldin had 'no clue' he was heading to San Francisco (Barrows)

49ers agree on trade to acquire Boldin (49ers.com)

Dashon Goldson Good as Gone?

Dashon Goldson is one of the top free agents on the market. Seeing the teams strategy and the demand for our hard-hitting safety, and it's pretty obvious that he's gone. Tampa Bay appears to be the first team on the Hawks' radar and have apparently sent out a private jet to pick him up. | Goldson will make first visit to Tampa Bay (Inman)

So if it is safe to assume that Goldson is a goner, who do we get in to fill the void. Many people have insinuated that we will take a safety with one of our top picks, as the safety class in this year's draft is strong. But do you bring in a veteran to teach them the ropes, and if so, who? | Comparing Ed Reed to Dashon Goldson (BASG)

And now for all the speculation about who the 49ers might bring in to replace Mr Goldson. I personally, like the Charles Woodson and a rookie apprentice. It's not that I think that Woodson is the best option, but this is the cheapest and most sustainable option I can foresee.

Speculation mounts that Ed Reed will be a 49er (PFT)

Could Ed Reed replace Goldson? (Maiocco)

Ed Reed and 49ers' championship window (Sando)

Reed to Niners believed to be smokescreen (PFT)

Safety Shuffle: 49ers in the mix for hard-hitting Laron Landry (Barrows)

Charles Woodson wants to become a 49er (Barrows)

Alex Smith: Respect and Retrospect

Tim Kawakami has a good write up about what Alex Smith has meant to the 49ers and what the 49ers have meant to Alex Smith. | Alex Smith, 49ers better for time spent together (Kawakami)

Maiocco relives the Saints playoff game as an homage to Alex. There's a video interview regarding the game, as well. | Alex Smith to Vernon Davis: 'The Pass' (Maiocco)

And more respect from Maiocco | Alex Smith: A good 49er (Maiocco)

49ers officially announce trade, thank Alex Smith (49erswebzone)

49ers acquire picks in Alex Smith trade (49ers.com)

Alex Smith gave his all - off the field, too (Branch)

Ricky Jean Francois a Popular Man, Sopoaga Cashes In

Four teams are reportedly in the hunt for RJF, none of them being the 49ers. We can pretty well say good bye to Peanut Butter and Jelly, who will join Isaac Sopoaga as defecting defensive lineman. | Four teams linked to Francois (PFT)

And in the shock of the day, from my perspective, Isaac Sopoaga signed a reported 3-year, $12 million dollar deal with the Eagles. He barely played for us last year and played poorly according to most impartial sources. He's getting a long-term deal for a man of his age...does former 49er exec Tom Gamble, the new Philadelphia GM, know something that we don't? | Sopoaga signs with Eagles (Inman)

Ruthless Sports Guy takes a look at the potential replacements for the departed Sopoaga. It may hurt people to see it in print, but some ex-Raiders are among the possibilities. | Could two former Raiders defensive tackles be a fit for the 49ers (BASG)

Glenn Dorsey set to visit 49ers (Maiocco)

General 49ers Free Agency

Finally, my chance to weigh in on the Percy Harvin trade. I think it was insane. I don't have an issue with the draft capital surrendered to get him, but paying him Larry Fitzgerald money when he's never had a 1,000 yard year, nor more than 6 TDs in a year. I know he scores once a year on returns, but...really? $12 million? This is the kind of deal, that if it goes wrong, ruins a franchise, that had the look of being a competent rival for years to come. Now they're title window may close in 2 years when all their defenders who make $400k per year want to get paid. | Niners, Seahawks are offseason rivals, too (NBC)

Cam Inman takes a look at a lot of the early moves. The trades for Boldin and Alex Smith were, of course, rubber stamped, but then the FA action rumors began heating up. | 49ers' busy start to NFL fiscal year: Trades of Smith, Boldin just the start (Inman)

BASG takes a look at Trent Baalke's penchant for picking up other teams' rejected top-picks, while everyone else tries to pay Mike Wallace $13 million per year. He notes that two recently released Oakland Raiders fit that profile. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Huff both could fill needs. Glenn Dorsey, the ex-Chief DT, is also coming for a visit. | As 49ers' free agents flee for other cities, Baalke looks for first-round bargains (BASG)

Christian Gin gives a brief look at each of the 49ers free agents on the eve of the madness. You'll notice some of them are already gone. | Examining the 49ers' free agents (Gin)

Breakdown of 49ers scheduled free agents (Maiocco)

Out of their depth (49erswebzone)

Assorted 49ers News

49ers stadiums' new street address in Santa Clara named after team luminaries (Mercury News)

AUDIO: Joe Staley on 95.7 The Game (49ers.com)

VIDEO - NFLN: 49ers stockpiling draft picks (49ers.com)

VIDEO - 49 in 49: WR Terrence Williams (49ers.com)

VIDEO - Cover 2: Free agency (49ers.com)

With the time change, I may have the Nuggets up late, so I apologize in advance. I have an hour less when I get off of work than I did previously. This will shrink by another hour when Australia does their change. This means I have no time to spell check! YIKES!

Also, don't forget to check out me and Trevor Woods, a Niners Nation draft expert, and our new weekly Twitter session every Friday, 2 pm, starting this Friday. There's tons to discuss after an eventful week, and we're just starting out, so check it out. I don't want to see an cyber tumbleweed blowing through my iPhone!

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