Let me be the first one to say something (OK, others have probably said this, but...). I was wrong. I've been wrong about Alex Smith many times in his career. I don't know if I've ever been right about him. I had high hopes when he came into the league to save our franchise. I was wrong. I had expectations that he would grow with the franchise. I was wrong. I gave up on him, convinced he was a bust, grasping at quarterback straws to replace him. I was wrong. Coach Harbaugh made the move to Colin Kaepernick, and I felt it wasn't the right move, not because I didn't have faith in CK, but because that choice left no going back. I was wrong. And, finally, to complete the pentumvirate of wrongness (I made that word up according to my spell check), when I tried to predict what other teams might be willing to give up to get Alex's services this offseason (a 3rd rounder would be great, I said)...I was wrong.
We all know the ups and downs of Mr Smith's time here in San Francisco. He had some great moments. He won what many consider the most exciting game in franchise history against New Orleans. He nearly set the single-game completion percentage record this season. He's been great. And he handled his very public demotion in the most respectful, dignified way possible. He mentored Colin Kaepernick, and if the time comes for Colin and the 49ers to don Super Bowl rings, Alex Smith should get a special one called "Friend of the 49ers" or something suitably touching. We will miss him. That is my soliloquy. Thank you.
Alex Smith Trade
To begin with, a refresher. Here's one of the numerous posts breaking the story and speculating about what we might get in return. What a day for everyone involved. It's great to be the talk of the town. | Alex Smith trade: What draft picks might the 49ers be getting from the Chiefs?
Jason Hurley, our salary cap guy, discusses the fallout from the Alex Smith trade, from a cap-nerd perspective. I don't understand the salary cap. OK, look, I'm not dumb. I get that it's a limit that we have to sneak under. It's not the basic math, it's the mastery that's the mystery (how poetic). | Alex Smith trade: How does impact the 49ers salary cap space (Hurley)
Now that that $8 million backup is on his way to Kansas City, what are we going to do at No. 2? Scott Tolzien is there. What do we know about him? Not much, really. We've only ever watched him get third-team reps in preseason. I think the FO brings in a veteran as an insurance policy for our running Kaep. | Alex Smith trade: What does it mean for backup QB position? (Fooch)
The Combine (The Other Story)
Did anyone notice that the NFL had a scouting combine? Most of you would have forgotten by now. Our very own Trevor Woods was there, and he and Nick Chiamardas, our resident draft gurus, have plenty of coverage for you, both now and on through the draft.
One position that was supposed to have been upgraded last season was wide receiver. It performed better, but when you have the worst unit in the league, the only way you can go is up. Do we need to spend another high draft choice on a wide receiver? Will Mario Mannigham be back? | Combine: Wide receiver and quarterback notes (Woods)
Who likes to have a bit of fun. Here's a look back at what Colin Kaepernick said at the 2011 Combine. How well will the pistol offense translate to the League? | Combine transcript: Colin Kaepernick back in 2011 (Fooch)
Trevor Woods was at the combine and he shares his experience with us. The hotel, the stadium, the food. This hard-hitting, tell-all will blow the lid off of what you think about the combine. Do you think he didn't meet Jevon Kearse? Think again! | My NFL combine experience (Woods)
The other position that we're dying to get some added depth at is defensive line. This draft is so deep at D-line that the 49ers should be able to get some quality help throughout the draft. Or we could sneak up and get one of the monsters available in the early and middle first round. | NFL Combine: Defensive line and linebacker notes (Woods)
Whether or not we need a TE will depend on what happens with 'Droptimus Prime,' aka, Delanie Walker. He does some amazing things and then displays his 'manos de piedra' on every third pass coming his way. He's a conundrum. If he could catch, he'd be one of the hottest commodities on the FA market. | NFL Combine: OL/TE notes (Chiamardas)
And the position we need the most help at, in light of its poor play during the postseason, secondary. Nick has all the notes on the DBs, including the risers and sliders, winners and losers, movers and shakers. | Combine winners and losers: Defensive back notes (Chiamardas)
Dylan DeSimone wants the 49ers to add a difference-maker. Enter Tavon Austin. I know Trevor is also keen on him. Should we trade up to get him. Look what happened with the Falcons passing game after Julio Jones was added to Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. | Exploring the possibility of Tavon Austin and the 49ers (DeSimone)
Tre9er profiles top prospect Jonathan Cyprien. He's a safety, and if you believe the reports, we could be without the services of Dashon Goldson next season. Lots of people are high on this kid. | Jonathan Cyprien prospect profile (Tre9er)
Want to get an insight into what Jim Harbaugh is thinking? Tough, he's not letting you in. But you can read the limited, vague and foggy details he chooses to feed you, giving you just enough to stay alive. Info is gold. | Jim Harbaugh talks about the draft process and Robert Woods (Fooch)
The gruesome twosome gives their post-combine mock draft. Mocks are impossible to predict, so I give the boys some due credit for their bravery. I noticed Trevor doesn't have Aussie prospect Jesse Williams going in the first round. He runs the risk of incurring my wrath. I'm racing him to 1,000 followers on Twitter. So unFollow him! | Post-combine: Niners Nation mock draft 2.0 (Chiamardas feat. T Woods)
Dylan has a post on what the 49ers can do with all of this draft capital. 15 picks is an impressive treasure chest full of booty (Chest & booty in the same sentence...is site decorum off?). Trade up, sit tight, trade for veterans. All of the above? | Exploring the 49ers' next move (DeSimone)
Hard to call this section hot topics when the hottest topic, Alex Smith, has already been covered. But I loved hearing about this story when it first broke. The Packers are convening a special council to figure out how to stop Colin Kaepernick. OK, that's not what they're call it. I imagine it like the heads of the five families in some oak-encrusted room discussing what to do. I have a fanciful imagination. | Mike McCarthy, Packers studying read option offense in the wake of the Colin Kaepernick show (Brady)
One rumor that snuck under my radar, what with all the commotion and all, was Josh Cribbs coming to the 49ers. With Ted Ginn all but gone, is LaMichael James ready to handle all of the return duties? | 49ers express interest in Josh Cribbs, according to report (Fooch)
James Brady takes a look at the safety position. Going into the playoffs they were a strength. After getting burned repeatedly, costing us a title, the entire secondary is under scrutiny, with Donte Whitner bearing the brunt of the examination. He notes that we've gotten more than we could have hoped for from Whitner in his first two years. Keep that in mind before you hate him. | 49ers positional review: Safeties (Brady)
The other giant question for the front office to answer before the league year starts is what to do with Dashon Goldson. The latest reports have the 49ers deciding against franchise tagging him, allowing Goldson to test the open market. I think some team will outbid us. His intensity would be hard to replace. | Dashon Goldson rumors: 49ers 'leaning' toward not using franchise tag (Fooch)
After Goldson, Ricky Jean-Francois seems to be generating the most headlines out of our free agents. There are never enough defensive linemen to go around in this league, and he's shown versatility and puts the team first. There's a lot of interest out there if the rumors are to be believed. We may have seen the last of peanut butter and jelly. | Eagles, others might be interested in Ricky Jean Francois (Fooch)
Darrelle Revis and Percy Harvin are two of the biggest names being linked to the 49ers. Both are reportedly on the trading block and the 49ers have the draft capital to make the moves happen. Both raise as many questions as they resolve. You could make a case to add either, but the front office has shown an unwillingness to bring in these types of veterans. Then again, they think outside the box and surprise us frequently. | Let the Darrelle Revis, Percy Harvin rumors begin (Fooch)
Trent Dilfer is an expert. He just came out and called Trent Baalke the best GM in the business. I have to say I agree. And it's not just based on the haul he's received in the Alex Smith trade. If only that AJ Jenkins pick would pan out, he'd have a flawless track record. | "Trent Baalke...is the best general manager in football" -- Trent Dilfer reacts to the trade
Why isn't anyone rec'ing the fanposts? What's wrong with you guys? Alex Smith trade got your tongue? If you guys don't judge the fanposts with rec's, I will. And I'm not fair. Winning this weeks award is 49erFanSince1950 for their complete offseason to-do-list. I love to-do-lists. I always put 'write list' at the top, then cross it out, helping me get a productive start to the day! | How best to upgrade the roster? (49ersFanSince1950)
Next up is a guide on how to handle your foes through the draft. Nickbradley lists our future rivals and how we can draft players that would help us beat those teams specifically. Interesting tactic. | Drafting to beat your rivals -- who should we look at? (nickbradley)
And for anyone out there who wants Darrelle Revis, here is the counterpoint. He's coming off an injury, wants a raise and comes from a poisoned atmosphere (I added the last item). | Why I don't want Darrelle Revis: A rent-a-cornerback (DeafWriterJC)
Now, I know this is a mega-edition. I went all out because I'll be away for 5 days next weekend. I won't be doing TWiNN. I'll be skipping some Nuggets duty as well. So enjoy it while you can. Be back in two weeks time with the next edition.
Being a Sheep
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