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This Week in Niners Nation: Cold cuts, trade trends and free agents edition (15/2)

This week in Niners Nation, a weekly revisiting of Niners Nation content. This week, the first full week of the offseason allows us to get back to normal. We're doing what every other team is doing...talking about potential. Potential trades, potential free agents and potential cap casualties.


This is the first week completely dedicated to the offseason. It's only the offseason for the players, though. We here at Niners Nation never sleep. Sleep is the cousin of death, a wise man once said. And if you think about it, one of us should be awake at all times, especially with me living in Australia, and the rest of us living somewhere between the east and west coasts. I digress.

At this point in the offseason, there are really three main topics of conversation. The action won't heat up for a little while longer, but first on the agenda is what to do with our own free agents and who on our roster may be cut before their time. There are some obvious front row candidates for the executioners axe blade. David Akers is at the top of any list, alphabetical or by importance (I love recycling jokes, it's good for the Earth).

Finally we have potential trades. This isn't basketball and this isn't baseball. We won't have the Florida Marlins unloading two thirds of their team, we won't have expiring contracts thrown in to make things work out, and most likely, we won't have a trade at all. Only one player on our roster, Ted Ginn (and for how much longer, no one knows) was acquired via trade. But with Alex Smith as an $8 million dollar backup quarterback who would lead the league in completion percentage, you never know.

I know you draft geeks always want more, but there will be more in due time.

Free Agents

This is the time of year when our family fights the most on the site. One hot topic has been whether or not we need to add to the WR position. We can assume Randy Moss is gone, or in a reduced roll, and that Ted Ginn Sr will get his wish and his son will be free to run horrible routes for a last place team. We will need another body at WR. But do we need a No. 2 receiver? Are they on our roster? | NFL free agency first look: 49ers and the wide receiver position (DeSimone)

Another big fight on the site is in regards to Dashon Goldson. He played amazingly this season. He wants to get paid and deserves to make top-5 money. Can we afford it? Is he too old for a long-term contract? Can we keep both him and Donte Whitner? The more I read, the more convinced I am that we won't have both next year. Who goes, only Harbaalke knows. | Dashon Goldson: Franchise tag vs long-term deal (Fooch)

Cap Casualties

We've got a series here on possible cap casualties, hence the header for this grouping. Parys Haralson played well in 2011 and was nominally the starter. He missed 2012 due to injury and Aldon Smith, already named the starter in camp, made most of us forget him. Is he a luxury at $2.87 million? | Cap cut candidates: Parys Haralson (Fooch)

Jason Hurley, our salary cap guru, takes a look at Jonathan Goodwin. I'd look from afar if I were going to insult him by insinuating the team might cut him. You'd think Goodwin would be safe, after garnering Pro Bowl accolades, but he is getting on in age, and you know how the FO operates. We have no indication that any of the backups are ready to assume his role, but we had no idea Alex Boone was going to be a beast in 2012, other than the fact that 'Harbaalke said so.' | Cap cut candidates: Jonathan Goodwin (Hurley)

Next up for Mr Hurley's hypothetical hangman's noose is Mario Manningham. Manningham played well, and appeared to be developing chemistry with Colin Kaepernick before his knee was demolished in the Seatlle nightmare. Reports have hinted that his recovery is going slowly. A full offseason would have been perfect. | Cap cut candidates: Mario Manningham (Hurley)

I don't know if any player's stock took as big a hit from the end of the regular season to the end of the postseason as Donte Whitner. He was seriously exposed in coverage in the playoffs. The pass rush falling off gave quarterbacks some extra time, but seriously... | Cap cut candidates: Donte Whitner (Hurley)

Possible Trades

Percy Harvin was the name thrown around most this week when it comes to trades. He wants out of Minnesota. He's a dynamic and unique player. He is also a dynamic pain in the butt with unique headaches (migraines that keep him out of games). Some players are high-maintenance, which can be dealt with, but I think Harvin shows the lack of awareness (like Brandon Jacobs and Braylon Edwards) that gets you cut from the 49ers in Week 13. | Could the 49ers make a play for Percy Harvin? (DeSimone)

When talking about possible trades and the 49ers, one must bring up Alex Smith. What's hard to nail down is what exactly is his value. The Carson Palmer trade has distorted all since of reality for what a former starting quarterback is worth. Don't see a team saying Alex is their future, but he's a great mentor to a young quarterback as well as a seriously accurate passer. | Alex Smith rumors: Michael Vick contract restructure likely removes Eagles (Fooch)

Hot Topics

It's safe to say that Alex Smith will not return as an $8 million backup. Harbuagh may have made some noise to the contrary, but it's not happening. What do we do at the backup? Is Scott Tolzien ready to be the No.2? I'm not sure. Do we need a veteran safety net. PFF said Jason Campbell. I'd rather dunk my head in a vat of diarrhoea. Is that too harsh? Maybe that was too harsh. What would you rather dunk your head in before we pick up Jason Campbell...this should be a good thread. | Backup quarterback situation: What happens after Alex Smith? (Fooch)

Gearing up for the offseason is hard work sometimes. You know that nothing is really happening on 95% of the days. Doesn't mean that Harbaalke isn't working harder than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking competition during that time, but most days will pass with no poignant news. Dylan lets us know what to expect. | Top-5 things to look forward to this offseason (DeSimone)

Boy did the 49ers start slow in each of the playoff games. It was as though we were playing early games on the East Coast. Danny from Football Outsiders gives us some stats to help us examine this trend. If stats can't help us, no one can. This read is for all the smart people out there. All the dumb ones can follow me to YouTube to look up one-legged men in ass-kicking competitions. | Statistics on San Francisco's slow offensive starts (and why you shouldn't worry) (Tuccitto)

Who will take steps forward in 2013? A.J. Jenkins is at the top of the list, because, well, you can't catch -1 passes, can you? Other names are on there, some of them Pro Bowlers. We've got some young players playing at a high-level that might take that step to being top-3 in the league and some youngsters that need to pick their game up. | Players to expect growth from in 2013 (DeSimone)

Anthony has done a great job all year on the Booth Review and this is his swan song for the season. He'll be back, though. He notes the talent on our roster and states the future couldn't be brighter. Who has a better roster, top to bottom? No one. 14 picks in the draft and an FO that makes the right moves. Nothing could be finer than to be a 49er. | The booth review - season finale: "The shape of things to come" (Ly)


The FanPost of the week for this edition comes from flibbidy for their wrap up on the Colin Kaepernick vs Alex Smith debate. Hard to argue with the decision, seeing how things worked out. Throw in the fact that Kaepernick will still improve and you know the right call was made. | A final analysis of the Smith vs Kaepernick debate (flibbidy)

49erFanSince1950 generates comments if nothing else. They've got a killer write up here, with a proposed to-do list for the offseason that may be more detailed than Harbaalke's at this early stage. And the skies opened up, and it rained comments for 40 days and 40 nights. | Disposition of Niners free agents and pre-combine mock draft (49erFanSince1950)

Grantmp gives us bold predictions for the 2013 draft. It takes a bold person to make bold predictions because they (almost) never come true. Nailing one makes you look like a genius until someone reads your next prediction. Andrew Perloff for gets called an idiot more than Stimpy. | Pre-Combine bold predictions for the 2013 draft (grantmp)

Being a Sheep

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