NFL free agency is just around the corner, which means the rumor mill is only going to get crazier. Teams can begin signing players on March 12, but the NFL has instituted a three-day negotiation period from March 9-11. Although tampering has always existed, I have to think with this negotiation period, front office personnel might be a little more open to passing along news to the media knowing tampering is off the table.
Since that will be getting underway in just a couple days, I thought it would be fun to go on the record with some free agency predictions. I won't begin to try and predict where players will land or what kind of contracts they will get. Rather, I simply went through and figured out which of the 49ers free agents I think will stick around and which will be departing for other pastures (because they'll never be greener!).
The video above is a fairly basic rundown of my predictions, along with some thoughts on why for each. Given that we will have this three day negotiation period, news may break that impacts my predictions. I'll make a note of it, but for purposes of my "final prediction record" I'll probably just go with what's in the video.
Go ahead and post your predictions on all 12 49ers free agents. The 49ers have ten unrestricted free agents and two restricted free agents:
FS Dashon Goldson: GONE
Reason: Can't pay everybody and the team will look to a solid rookie class in the Draft to compete with their existing safeties.
LB Tavares Gooden: STAY
Reason: 50/50 to return in my mind - 49ers special teamer who is still young enough to keep him around
LB Larry Grant: STAY
Reason: Without much time at linebacker, I would not be surprised if there were not a lot of offers out there for him, and the 49ers get him back with a small raise
LB Clark Haggans: GONE
Reason: Parys Haralson is back. Even if Haralson is a cap casualty, the team would look to Darius Fleming and Cam Johnson to compete for the backup OLB role. Team likely adds another OLB if Haralson is cut.
WR Randy Moss: GONE
Reason: Already said he's gone.
DT Ricky Jean Francois: GONE
Reason: The market will push him beyond what the 49ers are comfortable paying him.
NT Isaac Sopoaga: STAY
Reason: 49ers will likely draft a nose tackle, but they would look to Ice as a relatively inexpensive option to be the bridge to the future.
TE Delanie Walker: STAY
Reason: It comes down to whether another team will pay him No.1 tight end money. It is possible, but I think the 49ers are able to make something work.
CB Tramaine Brock: STAY
FS Darcel McBath: STAY
Reason: Restricted free agents are rarely signed by other teams and I think the 49ers get them back for one more year.