49ers 3 Year Outlook

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Fooch's Note: Brother Girth did some solid work with this FanPost, so I thought I would move it to the front page for a little more discussion.

The recent PFF top 101 rankings got me thinking about the roster and how it will turn over the next few years. What will the starting lineups look like in 2013? 2014? 2015?

In 2011, the Niners went out on the free agent market and picked up Carlos Rogers, Donte Whitner, Jonathan Goodwin and David Akers. All four immediately upgraded our roster. Aubrayo Franklin, Manny Lawson, Nate Clements, and Takeo Spikes were replaced with Isaac Sopoaga, Ahmad Brooks, Tarell Brown, and NaVorro Bowman. We drafted a D-line player to transition to full back, Bruce Miller. Bruce became our starter by the mid-point of the season. If you exclude special teams, that was eight new starters. We also moved from Chilo Rachal to Adam Snyder early in the season. In the end, over one-third of our 2010 starting roster was overhauled, a testament to the genius we now know as Harbaalke.

Going into 2012, we placed the franchise tag on Dashon Goldson and let Adam Snyder walk. We promoted Alex Boone to starting Right Guard and Aldon to starting OLB. That's it. 20 of 22 starters returned. Oh, some new guy did take over at QB halfway through the season.

Going into 2013, we've let starters Isaac Sopoaga, Dashon Goldson, and injury-promoted starter Randy Moss leave. We've also let our No. 2 tight end walk. While technically not a starter, Delanie effectively was one. We have a new kicker, but I am excluding special teams here.

To summarize,

2011, 13 of 22 starters returned or remained starters

2012, 20 of 22 starters

2013, 19 of 23 (counting TE#2 in total)

So, how does 2014 look? I'm penciling in Reid and McDonald to replace Goldson and Walker. We have the following starters with contracts expiring after this season. I've also listed their potential replacements from our roster:

Player Possible Replacement (yrs under contract)
Anquan Boldin Lockette (2), Jenkins (3 + 1 option), Patton (est 4)
Jonathan Goodwin Kilgore (2), Looney (3)
Justin Smith Dorsey (2), Carradine (est 4)
Donte Whitner Spillman (2), Robinson (3), Dahl (3)
Tarell Brown Culliver (2)

Carlos Rogers is still under contract, but his cap number is $8M in 2014 and $9M in 2015. There is a good chance he is cut, if nothing else then to resign Tarell.

What's cool about this is that, other than CB, we actually have multiple people competing for each position. Something tells me there is a good chance our first pick next year is a cornerback.

The other two players under contract but with large cap numbers are Ahmad Brooks ($7.5M) and, I hate to say it, but Frank Gore ($6M). currently estimates the Niners to have about $12M in cap space for 2014. Kaepernick and Aldon both become eligible for renegotiation, but are still under contract for that year.

Going into 2015, we have the following contracts expiring after 2014:

Player Possible Replacement (yrs under contract)
Colin Kaepernick
Aldon Smith Niners can exercise option to extend contract through 2015
Frank Gore Hunter (2), James (3), Lattimore (4)
Michael Crabtree
Bruce Miller
Mike Iupati

It's harder to predict who will be possible replacements for this group because, other than at RB, there is a good chance that the replacements for these players are not on the roster yet. Players drafted next year would have a whole season to sit before being asked to start in 2015. Colin and Aldon should have contracts in place before 2014.

So, this is far from scientific, but it's possible that only 10-11 of the 23 starters on our Super Bowl roster are starting in 2015 (I am assuming Rogers or Brown are gone and Brooks is the bubble). In the quest to continue to improve and manage the cap, the front office really doesn't have a choice. The Niners will have cap space in 2015, currently estimated at $35M, but Kaep and Aldon could easily consume the bulk of this.

Nation, what are your predictions for how this plays out? Did I miss something in this write up? Who do you see remaining, or going, that is not on this list? If you're insistent that we resign Iupati, or Crabtree, how do you see that happening?

My predictions:

* Colin and Aldon are resigned after this season (I know, bold)

* This is the last year as Niners for Frank Gore and Carlos Rogers

* After great 2013 campaigns, both Dorsey and Hunter get contract extensions

* Tarell Brown is resigned after this season, in the 8-9M range

Nation, your thoughts?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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