This Week in Niners Nation: Free Agency Free-For-All (3/15)

Chris Culliver welcomes Anquan Boldin to the team. - USA TODAY Sports

This Week in Niners Nation, a weekly revisiting of Niners Nation content that you may have missed. There were a lot of big stories, with the start of the league year, but our 49ers played it cool. We covered it all.

I've noticed there's a lot of traffic on the site since the 49ers playoff run. Either us same old folks are reading and then rereading the same article or we've got some new visitors. If you are new to the site in the last few months, welcome. If you've been here forever, then you know you're OG, and you don't need any more street cred.

The week was busy, to say the least. The league year officially began, the gloves were off, and all hell broke loose. The three day negotiating period only served to decrease teams' likelihood of being accused of tampering. Other than that, it was the same as ever, a mad dash to splash the cash. It's great to watch our front office in action, or should I say inaction. The same sorry teams go out and spend all their cap space trying to win now, when their entire roster needs remaking. Miami signed Mike Wallace to a reported $13 million per year. I'm flabbergasted!

The 49ers, on the other hand, remained calm. Baalke traded a 6th round pick to Baltimore for Anquan Boldin, the 'other' hero of the Ravens title run. We signed former Kansas City Chief defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey. And we let a whole lot of people walk. Isaac Sopoaga, Delanie Walker, Ricky Jean Fracois, and Dashon Goldson all found greener pastures (and I mean green with a capital $). Alex Smith was officially traded, in what NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal called, the best move of the first day of the league year. I'll let the links fill you in a bit more.

The Arms, er, Hands Race

Before the NFC West arms race began, a small, nearly unnoticed piece was written by Fooch on exactly why the 49ers should not and would not go after Percy Harvin. Who in their right mind would pay that man elite wide receiver money? You'd have to be a lunatic, right? | Rumors: Percy Harvin from a football and financial perspective (Fooch)

Then a lunatic arrived, in Seattle GM John Schneider. Not only did he give up their first round pick in this year's draft, but a 7th, and a mid-round pick next year. All for the right to pay Harvin like Larry Fitzgerald. I've seen Larry Fitzgerald play, and you, sir, are no Larry Fitzgerald.

The 49ers countered within hours. As soon as I had tweeted that the team should go after Josh Cribbs to fight fire with fire, they landed Anquan Boldin in a steal of a deal. A 6th round pick for a player of his caliber, unheard of. I know he's lost a step, which most observers claimed he never had to begin with ...but did you see the playoffs? I mean....really? His $6 million dollar salary is a bit of a question mark. | Anquan Boldin trade: 49ers salary cap implications (Hurley)

Things began to heat up around Niners Nation Central. Fantrolls from our Seahawks sister site started showing up and bragging. Niners Nation faithful defended the team. We needed an impartial mediator to settle the dispute over who made the better trade. Luckily, our very own, long-time NN staff writer, James Brady volunteered. I won't spoil it for you. | Boldin, Harvin trades: Did the 49ers or Seahawks win the day? (Brady)

Hey, we've got a new scribe around here and his name is Steve Busichio. I want the entire class to say hello to him. You, Tre9er, stop fidgeting in your chair. He wrote an article about what Anquan Boldin's role with the 49ers will be. I never thought I'd write this, but he'll be required to fill the leadership void created by, get this, Randy Moss' departure. | Upon further examination: How Anquan Boldin fits in with 49ers (Busichio)

And it's the greatest comeback since Lazarus. Anthony Ly has been quiet for quite a while, what with life and school happening. Here's his take on the Anquan Boldin move and how it fits the 49ers offseason ethos. The acquisition was a steal by any measure. | Anquan Boldin trade: Trademark Trent Baalke (Ly)

Signings, oh Wait, Glenn Dorsey

While Anquan Boldin's capture was the headline for the week, plenty of potential prey were brought in for a visit. One of them actually signed in the first three days. Glenn Dorsey was a high pick for the Kansas City Chiefs who never quite lived up to his draft status. If I had an old oak tree and a pocket knife, I'd carve Baalke loves failed first rounders inside a love heart. | A look at some scouting on Glenn Dorsey (Tre9er)

And the Defectors

There was some debate heading into free agency about whether or not some team would find Delanie Walker to be a suitable No. 1 tight end. For me it was a no-brainer, and the answer was yes. His size and speed jump off the charts. Most people's judgement was clouded by 'Droptimus Prime's' tendency to, well, drop balls. For once, I was right. | Delanie Walker contract: Now former 49ers tight end got PAID (Fooch)

If abandoning a team that's going down is like abandoning a sinking ship, what is it called when the team is on the rise? Don't get out of the submarine, Delanie...don't open that door. OK, we're at the top, but the comparison makes me giggle. What the hell are we going to do at tight end? Some say we may see more three receiver sets. Others say we may draft someone early on. | Draft implications of Delanie Walker's departure. (Chiamardas)

This was an anti-climactic announcement, but Dashon Goldson was signed but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They sent a private jet to pick him up and gave him over $8 million a year for five years. He's 29 now. You do the math, and thank Harbaalke that we don't give out these kinds of contracts. What was surprising was that the 49ers are reported to not have offered a contract. | Goldson reportedly agrees to deal with Bucs after 49ers do not offer contract (Fooch)

Who's the Man with the Master Plan

If anyone says the 49ers don't have the best front office in the world, I'd encourage you to slap them. Look at what Trent Baalke has done, in the draft, through free agency, getting Coach Harbaugh on board. We'd fallen so far from grace, and were mired in neutral toward the middle bottom of the league, when Mr Baalke rode in on his steed and saved us. | Trent Baalke's remarkable transformation of the 49ers image (Busichio)

For any 49ers fans who were dismayed by the lack of 49er aggression at the firing of the starter's pistol, have faith. There is a man who's brain flows out of his ears on busy days. His IQ is topped only by Mt Everest. Instead of a sword, he wields an s-word... Smarts. His name is Trent Baalke and he runs this town. | NFL free agency going exactly as 49ers planned it (Brady)

Other Free Agent News

The Seahawks were also busy, signing perennial Niner-hater Cliff Avril from the underachieving Lions. Remember his run-ins with Anthony Davis and Vernon Davis, both physical and cyber, over the last two years. Now we get the eye-gouging Avril and his unfulfilled potential twice a year. | Seahawks sign Cliff Avril, Anthony Davis gets ready (Fooch)

Now that Dashon Goldson is gone, we need a safety. What we'll do at the position has been the biggest question all offseason after the Alex Smith saga. Luckily for the 49ers, there are plenty of options at S. The top four or five in the draft class have quality written all over them and the free agents on the market include future hall-of-famers and a variety of other serviceable replacements. | 49ers safety market could grow (Fooch)

Jason Hurley is our resident salary cap expert. I don't understand the cap. I wish it was simple, like so-and-so gets paid X dollars next year. It takes a rocket surgeon to figure this stuff out, really. Don't believe me, look on the web for someone's salary and you'll get a different answer every time. It's like the infinite monkeys at the infinite websites theory. Jason breaks down the 49ers cap situation after three days. | 49ers salary cap three days into free agency (Hurley)

Not sure where this fits in, but it's worth a mention. Mario Manningham and the team restructured his contract. It was for the best for both sides. His recovery from his brutal knee injury has been behind schedule and there's no telling when he'll be at full speed. If the 49ers were forced to cut him, there would be no market for him until he could prove himself recovered. Now he'll have security and time to make it happen. He and Colin Kaepernick had some chemistry on the go before he went down and I want to see that rekindled. | Manningham restructures contract (Fooch)

Wes Hanson has embedded himself deep inside our enemies' psyches. To defeat the enemy, you must know the enemy. He gives us all the lowdown on what our 2013 opponents have been up to in free agency. | Free agency news: 49ers' Opponents edition (Hanson)

Daily Recaps

Fooch went and did a good thing. He recapped each day with that days' notable movements, rumors and the general vibe of how it went down. Day one included the official announcements of the Alex Smith and Anquan Boldin trades, the defections of Delanie Walker and Isaac Sopoaga, as well as one of the most hilarious GIFs I've ever seen. Check it out. | 49ers free agency recap, day one: News, rumors and so much more (Fooch)

Day 2 saw Goldson leave while Dorsey signed on the dotted line, our first signing. Feels good to get on the board, doesn't it. | 49ers free agency recap, day two: News, rumors and so much more (Fooch)

Day 3 saw RJF hit the road. A series of rumors, some true and some false, encircle the franchise. | 49ers free agency recap, day three: Few pieces of news, rumors (Fooch)

FanPosts

The winner for this week's FanPost of the week is smokeydesperado91, a Seahawks fan. Now, I know what you're saying, how can a Seahawks fan win the FanPost award. They're not even fans, they're not even human. I didn't vote for it. You guys did...in RECs. Nobody to blame but yourselves. | Seahawks/49ers rivalry (smokeydesperado91)

Next up is a post on exactly why the Boldin deal was great. You don't need me to tell you that a 6th rounder is a steal for a guy capable of doing exactly what Randy Moss couldn't do last year, which is be a No. 2 receiver if needed. | What the Anquan Boldin trade means: wise moves... (DeafWriterJC)

And the final one is in here because it brings up a point that many of us forget. We are a 3-4 defense, except on passing downs. Well, in case you haven't noticed, every down is a passing down in the new NFL. | 49ers are a 3-4 defense? (Graham Moles)

Being a Sheep

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