The San Francisco 49ers are a year removed from one of the ugliest offseasons they might ever have (knock on wood). It started with the decision to "mutually part ways" with head coach Jim Harbaugh. It was followed by the promotion of Jim Tomsula and his awful opening press conference. That was then followed by multiple retirements and free agency departures. Heading into the 2015 season, ESPN gave the offseason a D+.
The 2015 season is now a wrap for the 49ers and 29 other teams, and ESPN is back to re-grade last year's offseason. It should surprise nobody that the 49ers were downgraded. ESPN dropped them to a D-. Here is what they had to say about the offseason:
Promoting Jim Tomsula to the head-coaching job was the ultimate "trust us" move by the 49ers' ownership and front office. It did not work out well enough for the team to give Tomsula a second season, which explains why San Francisco emerged with the second-lowest re-grade. The coaching change predictably did not produce immediate positive results for a team that was turning over its roster to become one of the NFL's younger teams almost overnight. Draft choices Arik Armstead and Jaquiski Tartt showed promise. Torrey Smith could have been a solid addition at wide receiver if the 49ers had gotten better quarterback play. Overall, the personnel additions San Francisco made could not offset the long list of key losses, some of which were beyond the team's control.
Based on this, I imagine the only reasons the 49ers did not get an F was getting at least something from their draft class, and the departures that they could not control. Of course, they were also not completely ready in their depth chart for some of those departures, so that would go in the negative column.
It is going to be hard for any team to replicate the 49ers offseason of 2015. Combining the number of retirements with the free agency departures, with the loss of a great coach is not something you see every year! We already know the 49ers did not suffer the loss of a great coach this year, so they're already light years ahead of 2015!