After months of a lockout and finally the return of football, the next step takes place today as 2011 NFL Free Agency officially gets under way. Players have been able to speak with teams over the phone thus far but have not been able to meet in person and have not been able to officially sign contracts. Players are agreeing to new deals left, right and center, but nothing is official yet. It will be interesting to see if any of these verbal deals have one side or the other reneging when it comes time to sign the papers.
The 49ers enter free agency with arguably more needs than they had a week ago. We've got some folks on the ledge ready to jump, but I say just hang on for a few more hours and see what happens. Maybe Baalke and company are in over the heads and things are falling apart. But maybe not. These guys are professionals and for now I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Let's see how the next 24 hours plays out. There are still some talented football players out there that could help the 49ers in a variety of ways. And considering the salary cap space this team has, maybe the 49ers will pull out a few surprises.
In the meantime, the 49ers did agree to terms with kicker David Akers yesterday to replace the retiring Joe Nedney. I have some friends in a fantasy football league who have referred to David Akers as "The Captain" for years now. They don't even remember why they call him that, but they do call him that. So, for the foreseeable future it is my goal to introduce The Captain into the Niners Nation lexicon. For now, enjoy this old nfl.com Fantasy Files video of David Akers from several years ago: