In a somewhat perfect offseason

The season's not over yet, but I think we have enough data to be able to make our suggestions for who to keep, who to release, who to try to extend, restructure and target in the draft.

Who To Keep

  • Boldin - I could point out dozens of stats that would support this argument. He's rated the 9th best WR this season. We resign him. We show him the respect. I don't think he is necessarily wanting big money...just some respect. A three year deal worth $18m could be structured to where his CAP figure next year is between $4.5m-$5m and we could release him after year 2 if his skills start to diminish because of age.
  • Whitner - I'd been convinced he wouldn't be worth re-signing. His age and last year's stats were not in his favor. This year he was rated the 5th best Safety by PFF. And he'd have been higher if not for his rating on penalties. He was rated the 5th best cover safety and 8th best against the run. He might want top five money...but let's not get too carried away. A 4 yr/$23.5m deal could be enough.
  • Dawson - He'll take a one or two year deal for what he made this year. He loves it here.
  • Brown - Again, I didn't think he was worth keeping. But as a Nickle Back behind Cully and Brock, he fits nicely. He is one of three SF CBs with a positive rating by PFF. I'm hoping he'll accept a 3 year/$11.5m contract.
  • Wright - Yes, that's right...I want both Brown and Wright back. If Wright will take a 2 year deal for perhaps $4-5m, he's worth it. He, like Brown, had a positive rating by PFF. As a dime back and perhaps occasional starter, he's a steal at that price.
  • Wilhoite - We hold his rights...he's ours and one of the best ST in the league and a great back up ILB.
Who to Let Walk
  • Cox - Tempting to at least make him a QO, to get a 5th rounder if someone signs him. But at $1.3m for the QO, there is too much risk he won't get another offer and we need the $1.3m in cap space.
  • Dobbs - would be nice to keep...but far too many better options
  • Goodwin - Kilgore or a draft pick will take his place for much less. He'll retire.
  • Manningham - too many injuries to warrant giving him another contract.
  • Dixon - One of the best STers, but he wants a chance to play and there's no place for him.
  • McCoy - There are better options...maybe even a Boyd in the draft.
  • Osgood - He made some memorable plays on ST, but his PFF ST rating is extremely low. Not worth the money
Who to Release
  • Rogers - foregone conclusion. We all know the reasons
  • Baldwin - Too many good big receivers in the draft to waste the roster spot on a million dollar per season bench player
  • Snyder - second goodbyes are much easier. We'll draft a better interior back up
  • Dahl - With resigning Whitner, there is no more need to keep a $1.4m/year STer. We can get someone else either in FA or in the draft.
Who to Restructure or Extend
  • Brooks - Restructure saves over $3m in CAP
  • Bowman - Restructure saves nearly $4m in CAP
  • Gore - Extend two more years...hopefully a bit favorable to the team
  • Aldon - This might be the best time to extend Aldon because of his off the field issues.
  • Crabtree - Time to consider extending him. We'll find out if he's dead set on getting $10m+/ Year
Who to Target in the Draft
  • Wide Receiver - Boldin and Crabs' respective status is a big risk for us. Not to mention losing Osgood and releasing Baldwin. We need WRs, this draft. I've run several mocks and honestly feel we can get 3-4 weapons in this draft
  1. Benjamin (Florida St.), Matthews (Vanderbilt), and Robinson (Penn St.) would all be a good 1st Round selection.
  2. Moncrief (Ole Miss), Street (Pitt), Coleman (Rutgers), Abbrederis (Wisc), and Davis (Texas) are available somewhere between end of 2nd round and end of 4th round.
  3. Cooks (Oregon St.) might be available mid-late 2nd. Herron (Wyoming) in the 4th-5th round, and Reese (Baylor) or Archer (Kent St.) in the 5th-6th rounds
  • Offensive Line - Goodwin retiring and releasing Snyder leaves us needing a couple of linemen. With Brykowski and Marquard sitting ready to be Tackle back ups, it would seem we need some interior linemen.
  1. Center - Swanson (Arkansas) is the only 1st round/early second round quality Center in the draft. But not the only starter quality Center, Larson (Utah St.), Martin (USC) and Stork (Florida St) are all starter quality.
  2. Guard - Yankey (Stanford) and Richardson (Baylor) are instant starter quality Guards. Do we really need an OG that can start day one? Perhaps....if, as some among us have suggested, we decide to trade Iupati in the off-season. If not, then Su'a Fila (2nd rd - UCLA), Jackson (4th rd - Florida St.), Martin (3rd rd - Notre Dame), Lindor (4th-5th rd. - Miami), Groy (4th rd. - Wisconsin), and others could be high quality projects.
  • Strong Safety - Ideally, signing Whitner clears us of any pressing need for a starter quality SS in the draft. We have time to develop a player. That being said, I think we have several options:
  1. Clinton-Dix - Alabama - not exactly a Strong Safety, but has played the position. But he'll be gone by the end of the 1st round.
  2. Bucannon - Washington St. - My favorite SS in the draft. He's a hitter, a great cover safety and a ball hawk. If we decide NOT to pursue Whitner or just can't meet his demands, he'd be gone by the end of the 2nd round.
  3. Loston - LSU - 2nd best pure SS and Reid's partner at LSU. That's a big plus. (2nd or early 3rd rd.)
  4. Bailey - USC - some rate him the best SS. (2nd or mid-3rd rd.)
  5. Dixon - Baylor - might be the sleeper SS. He could be around in the 4th (or gone by the end of the 2nd). If he's around later he might make the perfect project to replace Whitner AFTER his new contract.
  • Cornerback - Under my ideal scenario (seen above), we have Culliver, Brock, Brown, Wright and Morris as our cornerbacks. Yet, with Wright being questionable long term...and Brown aging, it would be a good year to line up a CB or two for future development. I think that means we have no need to go after the top 5-6 CBs who'll all go in the 1st round. Some quality CBs I think we could take later are:
  1. Exum - Virginia Tech - former Safety. Big, strong, good cover, great against the run. Would be amazing on ST as he develops
  2. McGill - Utah - very tall (6'2") and quality cover corner.
  3. Hampton - South Carolina - Might be gone by the end of the 2nd round or make it to the 5th round. There is a huge division over how good he is. If he falls, I'd love to take him. He'd be a great starter in a couple of years.
  4. Davis - Auburn - inconsistent right now, but high upside. Big and strong and fast. Can also do returns.
  5. Jean-Baptiste - Nebraska - another big, strong cover guy. Needs help of foot work but lots of upside
  6. Desir - Lindenwood - Again, big/strong and good upside
  7. Purifoy - Florida - had an up and down year. Tall, but not big. Not great against the run, but excellent cover corner.
  8. Benwikere - SJSU - one of my sleepers and with such a huge CB class, he might actually be available as an UDFA
  • Quarterback - Is Colin Kaepernick an elite QB? I don't think he is, yet. He has the potential to be one. But right now he is still inconsistent. That being said, it is not unrealistic to believe that he will still command an $18m+/year contract after 2014. Can we afford that? I don't know. That's a huge cap jump for that position. That being said, I think it wise to consider taking a mid-round (3rd-4th) QB.
  1. Boyd - Clemson - Big question with Boyd is whether he was so successful BECAUSE of Watkins...or was Watkins so successful because of Boyd...or both. His height may be a factor.
  2. McCarron - Alabama - More of a pocket passer...but is more mobile than he let on during his college career.
  3. Murray - Georgia - a sleeper who's career ended in a bad injury. He could be the Lattimore for us this year. That is, if some other team doesn't take a fly on him early.
  4. Fales - SJSU - not terribly high on him, but some have us grabbing him in the 4th rd.
  • Front Seven - We have lots of depths right now in our front seven. Dial, Williams and Dorsey at NT. Justin, McDonald, J-E, Okoye and Tank @ DE/DT. Aldon, Brooks, Lemonier, Skuta, and Fleming @ OLB, and Willis, Bowman, Wilhoite and Moody @ ILB. However, many of those names are either untested, very expensive (and potent cap casualties if we need to resign CK for a huge contract), coming off injuries, or getting up in age. It would NOT be uncalled for to seek out a good DE, DT and/or OLB.
  1. Murphy - Stanford - DE - He's the only DL I would dare to consider taking with our first pick. As unlikely as that is, I list him anyway. Just because I like him so much. I see the next JJ Watt in Murphy.
  2. Other Defensive Ends - Stinson (Alabama), Ealy (Missouri and Hageman (Minnesota) will all be gone by the end of the 2nd Rd. Mauro (Stanford), Jackson (NC St.) and Pagan (Alabama) will need to be taken by the 3rd Rd.
  3. Defensive Tackles - Ferguson (LSU), Jernigan (Florida St.) Jones (Penn St.), Quarles (South Carolina), and Tuitt (Notre Dame) will be gone between the mid-2nd and the end of the 3rd round.
  4. Outside Linebackers - My only reason to even consider an OLB, is because I am not sure we can extend Aldon and/or keep Brooks more than a year or two more. Therefore, consider: Jeffcoat (Texas) and Sam (Missouri) might make it as far as pick 77.
  5. Inside Linebacker - Honestly, no need here. Perhaps something late in the draft...expect this is a very poor ILB class.

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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