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Yahoo! Shutdown Corner gives 49ers F+ for offseason

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The San Francisco 49ers signed Zane Beadles, and not much else this offseason. It is no surprise then that the team is getting poor offseason grades.

The folks at Shutdown Corner are currently counting down all 32 NFL teams, offering up a ranking and grade for their offseason. Frank Schwab, editor of that corner of Yahoo!, ranked the San Francisco 49ers No. 31, and gave their offseason an F+.

The headline of the 49ers preview sums things up pretty well if you don’t follow the team closely: “What happened to the 49ers?” Schwab acknowledges the Harbaugh-Tomsula swap and how big it was, but points to more issues:

There have been missteps (and that has continued this season, with the mismanagement of the Colin Kaepernick situation) and unavoidable bad luck. A lot went into a horrible 2015, when the 49ers had the worst offseason in NFL history. The 2016 offseason hasn’t been very good either.

It was sort of a perfect storm of problems for the 49ers. They managed to “part ways” with their most successful head coach since Steve Mariucci, lose several key players to retirement, and not get the kind of rookie development they were expecting. The team spent a lot of picks on developmental talent, and while we are starting to see some fruits from those drafts, the timing was not good with Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Anthony Davis, and Chris Borland all retiring or quitting.

Chip Kelly now joins the team, and there is intrigue as to what he can do with this offense. He did great work when he was focused on coaching, and a lack of personnel power in San Francisco will hopefully bring back the coaching upside. But really, this year is about Trent Baalke. In his offseason grade, Schwab points to the lack of significant free agent additions. He points to some nuance in the lack of spending, but this season is really going to be about all those draft picks. The 49ers have had a ton of draft capital the last four years. If they are going to put together something resembling a respectable season, they need the 2013, 2014, and 2015 draft picks taking a big step forward, and get some serious contributions from this year’s class.

The 49ers record may not improve drastically given the difficult schedule they face. Several teams could be on the rebound, and they still have to deal with some seriously talented squads. However, we can still look to these various rookies and other young players for some sign of progress. It’s a long way away from a “championship or bust” mentality, but that’s what we’re left with after two seasons of bad to atrocious play.