Niners Nation #Channel49 Twitter Q&A Mailbag, Vol. 17: Ahmad Brooks, Cap Space and more

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#Channel49 was a bit quiet, with many enjoying a long weekend. That didn't stop us, though. Predictably, most of the conversation surrounded Ahmad Brooks, what to do with him and who might fill in if he experiences some sort of absence. I tackle that and more.

Trevor Woods was not available for questioning this weekend. The manhunt continues, but I heard a rumor he was at a family get-together. Until they find him, I'm on the answers. He'll be back next weekend.

I've noticed how Steph's story regarding Brooks and his potential crime and punishment generated some heated debate. Some are calling for his release. Others would have it swept under the rug. I would like to see him suspended. What he's alleged to have done is so unacceptable that it can't go unpunished. You have one of the veteran stars of the team purportedly bottling a training camp body. If Lamar Divens were accused of hitting Brooks in front of teammates after a night of drinking he'd likely be cut straight away. For a team that touts its family feel and gets the last guy on the roster to selflessly contribute, the message should be clear.

I think a suspension is in order. Two games would be lenient and four games would be bordering on severe. They don't tend to give three game suspensions, and I don't know why. Nobody is really speaking about it while the DA is still deciding whether or not to press charges or what charges to press. That's the advisable thing to do. Once that's sorted out, a lot will depend on Brooks' contrition and what he has to say for himself. We'll wait and see.

The next question is what would the 49ers do in Brooks' absence. Corey Lemonier was drafted in the third round of this years draft and is expected to be a pass rushing outside linebacker. He was well-regarded and many thought it was a great pickup for a pick that late on the second day of the draft. I've noticed a few fans are excited about the possibility of the quarterback pressure he could potentially bring. Not so fast. Lemonier played defensive end at Auburn. He may figure heavily in future plans, but in 2013 he's a rookie who's learning a new position and has a long way to go.

Parys Haralson, who started in 2011, is the more likely candidate. His starting job was given to Aldon Smith even before injury derailed his '12 campaign. Haralson is a solid contributor and more of a jack-of-all-trades, like Brooks. He was ready to go at the end of last year and is probably chomping at the bit. Other options are Cam Johnson, Darius Fleming and Dan Skuta, who was reportedly learning the position during minicamp. The competition should be pretty open. I'd tab Haralson as the front-runner but wouldn't be surprised with a different result.

These next two questions go together, like peanut butter and jelly. We have cap space! All the details from Eric Reid's recently signed contract have yet to be announced, but his figure should be fairly predictable. Over at Niner Cap Hell, the cap space figure given including a projected Reid contract is over $5 million. That's a decent chunk of change. John Abraham was a rumored 49ers target when free agency kicked off. He's yet to be signed, is the biggest name available and his name figures to come up anytime a pass rusher is injured or suspended from now until the start of the season. It's assumed he could continue to be effective in a specialist role.

This would all depend on whether or not Brooks will miss time and, if so, how much. If Brooks misses 4 games or less, I'd rather see the 49ers spend the money on a receiver. If he's going to miss more than that, then I'd start to consider Abraham. As it stands, it's impossible to have an informed opinion until we have a better idea what's happening with Ahmad Brooks.

It's good to see that I'm not the only one worried about the wide receiver position. We cleared the cap space when Justin Smith had his contract extended and many people read that as a sign the team would pursue a wide receiver. One giant problem is that the remaining free agent receivers are underwhelming. Brandon Lloyd is probably the best still available. Austin Collie and Laurent Robinson are also out there. That list makes me think I'd rather roll the dice with the youngsters.

The other option would be trade. This isn't the NBA or baseball where trades happen willy-nilly. The easiest way to make a trade happen is to dangle a draft pick(s). We've stockpiled picks for the coveted 2014 draft and may be able to make something happen. Who that might be, I have no idea. While I am in favor of this option, trusting that Harbaalke would make a deal beneficial to the team, I haven't heard anything on this front, and I do the Golden Nuggets four times a week. Until further notice, we're going with Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, a recovering Mario Manningham and a bunch of inexperienced youngsters.

Ah, a question that can be asked any time, any place...the savior of slow Twitter Q&A sessions. A good one, as well. As for this year's games, I'd definitely go to the home game against Seattle. The ramifications of that one should be massive and that's without going into the whole 49ers vs Seahawks feud. The other obvious selection (one I failed to tab during the Q&A) is the home finale against the Falcons. It will be the last regular season game at Candlestick Park. The game should have playoff implications, as well. I'd obviously exchange this Falcons game for the NFC Championship Game we'll be hosting (getting ahead of myself). Chuckle.

As for all-time. I'd go to The Catch and the second Super Bowl against the Bengals. These two games defined the 49ers dynasty for me. I was too young to remember The Catch but it figured in the collective psyche of all 49ers fans who lived through that era. I remember watching Super Bowl XXIII and not even stressing. I was not acquainted with the concept of my football team losing big games so it didn't even seem possible. When Joe Montana hit John Taylor for the game-winner it seemed like the logical fulfillment of a pre-determined destiny. I also wish I could have been there for the Saints playoff game two years ago, as I'm sure many of you did.

A Message from Malone

With training camp, preseason and real football getting closer by the day, excitement will start to build. If you haven't checked out the chat session you should. It's every Friday, 2pm PT. Woods and I are there. Tre usually sticks his head in and makes a smart-aleck remark, or ten. Steph is frequently around, as are some of the guys from BASG. You can follow the conversation using Twubs or other Twitter chat management tools that allow you to see everything posted with the hashtag. They're simple to set up. You don't even need a Twitter account to follow (you do need one to Tweet).

The other thing I'd like to say is that the post is also a social space. We're down to five and six questions now, due to lack of topics (save for Brooks), but once the action begins, we'll be back up to ten. Please feel free to answer any or all of the questions yourself in the comments. Help us grow this thing. Thanks.

Being a Sheep

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