The 2013 season is a wrap for the San Francisco 49ers, but before we take the deep dive into free agency and look ahead to 2014, now seems as good a time as any to take a look back at the season that was. We're going to take an initial look at each position group, reviewing what they did in 2013, and taking an initial peak at 2014. We'll start by looking at the quarterback position.
Colin Kaepernick - 16 games (16 starts) | 243-416 (58.4%), 3,197 yards, 21 TD, 8 INT | 92 carries, 524 yards, 4 TD, 1 fumble lost | QBR: 68.6 (7th), DYAR: 795 (8th), DVOA: 16.8% (7th), PFF: 3.2, -3.9 passing, 8.3 rushing
We could spend the entire offseason writing about Colin Kaepernick, and it would still provide only the tip of the iceberg in terms of discussion. Kap is heading into the walk year of his rookie contract, and we're going to have plenty of content on what he has done through his first 29 games as a quarterback, what we can expect heading into 2014, and what kind of contract implications are in play.
His 2013 season was all over the place. He opened the season against the Green Bay Packers with the best passing performance of his career, completing 69 percent of his passes for a career high 412 yards, and three passing touchdowns. The early plan was to try and contain Kap in the run game, but he showed in Week 1 that he could make plays through the air. This was also the game where it became clear that Anquan Boldin was going to be a security blanket for Kap as he awaited the return of Michael Crabtree.
Things went south in a hurry the next two weeks as he struggled against the Seahawks and Colts. These two teams worked to take Anquan Boldin out of the equation, and the passing game struggled. The 49ers would get back on track with a five-game win streak, but the offensive woes showed up again when the 49ers lost to Carolina and New Orleans in back-to-back weeks.
Things took a noticeable turn for the better when Michael Crabtree returned in Week 12. The 49ers finished the regular season with a six-game win streak, and Crabtree's return in the second game of that streak brought forth new life for the offense. Kap's numbers improved with the return of Crabtree, as the 49ers had their most extensive set of passing weapons to date.
Kap is a high potential quarterback, but he also can be inconsistent enough that it drives some folks crazy. There have been people who pine for the days of Alex Smith, and I believe part of that is because the floor was so minimal with him. The upside is not remotely the same as Kap, but you also kind of knew what you could expect week to week. It wasn't flashy, it was not always exciting, but you could steel yourself to the expected result.
On the other hand, Kap is a roller coaster in so many ways. He can beat a team in so many ways, but as a developing quarterback, there will be hiccups along the way. We saw it plenty in 2013-14, and now we hope his development continues along in the offseason. There will be cringe-inducing moments to go along with the jump and scream in excitement moments. We just hope he can work in more of the latter and less of the former.
2014 status: Final year of rookie contract - Base: $973,766, Cap: $1,630,457
Colt McCoy - 4 games (0 starts) | 1-1 (100%), 13 yards | 6 rushes, -6 yards
The 49ers backup quarterback situation in 2013 was an interesting one to say the least. Colt McCoy held on to the job all season, but it was not for the 49ers lack of trying to find a better option. The team brought in so numerous quarterbacks over the course of the preseason and early in the regular season before settling with McCoy the rest of the way. Kap stayed healthy for the most part all season, and McCoy's only playing time came in blowouts.
It seems like just about a lock that the 49ers bring in some new options in 2014. The team invested a fifth and a seventh round pick in last year's draft for McCoy and a
seventh sixth. Personally I would have liked to invest one of those picks in a developmental prospect, but what are you going to do? The team will need to strongly consider a late day two, early day three QB option this year. Even if Kap signs a huge contract and never misses a game, developing a solid backup is good for sanity's sake, but also for potential trade value.
2014 status: Unrestricted free agent
McLeod Bethel-Thompson - 0 games (6 inactive, 5 practice squad)
The 49ers brought back McBLT after he was waived by the Minnesota Vikings. They claimed him to replace John Skelton, and he spent his first six games with the team as one of the inactive players. When Michael Crabtree returned from the PUP list, McBLT was waived, and then signed to the practice squad. This is his second run with the 49ers, and the team signed him to a reserve/future contract for 2014. He'll compete for a roster spot later this summer, but it remains to be seen who else will be in the competition.
2014 status: Reserve/Future contract
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