The current San Francisco 49ers have a winning formula, even if they haven't turned that into a Super Bowl since the nineties. We're talking the current front office with Trent Baalke, Jim Harbaugh, the college scouting personnel and everyone involved. This is a top notch crew that will have a Super Bowl under their belt before it's all said and done.
The aforementioned formula will get tweaked here and there along the way, but it's the deep principles of the team and how it's built that won't be changed. San Francisco relies on stockpiling draft picks, hopefully picking up extra second- or third-round picks, and they rely on making very specific free agent signings designed to get the most mileage out of aging veterans or young players with limited film.
This has led to, at times, this team going after players who have some off-the-field issues. This front office isn't shy about pursuing guys with character concerns or guys with injury history if they think they can work with it. The 49ers obviously feel they've got a strong locker room and can handle those kinds of guys.
Now, this has not been the ideal offseason by any means. In fact, it's been downright crummy and a PR nightmare from more than one angle. Multiple arrests, random "suspicious incidents," and then the nonsense involving Baalke and Harbaugh's relationship. This has led to some asking whether or not the 49ers might consider eschewing the norm and taking some potentially troubled players off their board.
Personally, I think that would not only be a bad idea, but I think there's about a zero percent chance of that actually happening. Sure, the 49ers have had a PR crisis or two, and there are some looming decisions to be made about Aldon Smith in particular, but I don't think those things are going to change the way this team operates. There is no way in hell that the PR aspect will affect how Harbaugh and Baalke think a football team should be put together.
Maybe that results in occasional situations like Smith's. Losing him would be a big, big hit to the team. But it's the way the 49ers have operated for some time now and I fully expect it to continue going forward. They're looking for guys that, ultimately, Harbaugh thinks he can effectively use on the football field. Sometimes that includes guys that have a character flaw or two. Consider that guys like NaVorro Bowman and Tarell Brown both were given the character red flag at one point or another leading up to their respective drafts.
That's something we'll just have to deal with. This offseason has been crazy to say the least, but when the 49ers are deep in the playoffs next season, what happened these past couple months won't mean anything. And the 49ers will get deep in the playoffs next season by sticking to their guns and doing what they've been doing.