And just like that, we're all thrust into offseason mode, as the San Francisco 49ers have been eliminated from playoff contention. It was an ugly, frustrating game to cap off and ugly, frustrating season, made all the worse by the fact that it was the Seattle Seahawks who dealt the final blow. The 49ers now face an offseason of uncertainty, and I honestly don't have a real guess as to what's going to happen with Jim Harbaugh.
We'll have a whole offseason of discussion about roster moves, which players under-performed, which players the 49ers absolutely need to keep around and things of that nature. There's no reason to get into the real in-depth stuff right now, but there is one topic I wanted to discuss, partly because this topic is fresh in my mind following Sunday's loss to the Seahawks.
More accurately, I thought maybe we could get just a little bit of offseason discussion rather than sit and think about how we have two meaningless games remaining and a lot of speculation about Harbaugh coming up. I'd be shocked if about half the posts on this very site over the next month or two don't revolve around Harbaugh and what's going to happen with him.
So anyway ... Vernon Davis. If I had to pick one starter not named Colin Kaepernick -- because I think that's something of a reactionary and unrealistic choice -- that I think absolutely needs to be replaced heading into next season, it's Davis.
Davis doesn't look fast anymore, he's never been great at running routes, his blocking is now merely average, he never lays out to catch a pass, he has a tendency to unnecessarily jump up in the air for passes so they hit him in the stomach, he has T-Rex arms when it comes to passes that might be slightly out of his reach and he's basically just invisible these days.
Not only is he not an asset, I think the 49ers are worse off when they're actively trying to use him. He seems healthy and fine, but after all the drama of this offseason with his "brand," he's turned out to be all talk. It's seriously just time for the 49ers to move on from Davis. He's done some excellent things in San Francisco, and for that I'll always be grateful. But I'm just not seeing it anymore, and I don't see a single thing to suggest that's going to change in 2015.
Davis is under contract next season, but I have a hard time seeing him stick around. Behind him, the 49ers don't have much after Vance McDonald. There's some potential in guys like Derek Carrier but other than that, I am really hoping the 49ers spend a high pick on a tight end in the 2015 NFL Draft. That's one of my biggest non-coaching hopes of this offseason.
Taking a look at the rest of the roster, there's honestly very few positions I'm dissatisfied with. So this discussion is simple: which 2014-15 starter do you think needs to be replaced heading into next year? We should probably keep Kaepernick out of this discussion, for obvious reasons. Not that we can't talk about that, but I don't want the comment section to just be another quarterback argument re-hash.