The 2017 offseason of personnel additions and subtractions is not quite fully finished, but for the most part, 90-man rosters are set. We’ll see some players added here and there, but for the most part, the bulk of additions are complete.
We’ve seen grading and assessments across the board about the offseason, but CBS Sports offered a different look. Sean Wagner-McGough ranked out all 32 teams by their performance this offseason. This is not a ranking of the best teams overall, but rather, who did the best job this offseason.
CBS Sports ranked the San Francisco 49ers No. 2, behind only the New England Patriots. I don’t really know anybody who doesn’t think the Patriots had the best offseason performance. They added WR Brandin Cooks, RB Mike Gillislee, and CB Stephon Gilmore, while also retaining Malcolm Butler. They are in a strong position to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
The 49ers success is based on slightly different metrics. They are not building to repeat as Super Bowl champions (I know, shocking), but instead are beginning the rebuilding process as near doormats in the league. Their performance in the first round and acquiring some key picks and players, coupled with not over-spending in free agency is what Wagner-McGough used to give them a high ranking. Here’s what he had to say.
Give it up for John Lynch. In his first offseason as an NFL general manager, he swindled the Bears to give up a a king's ransom to move up one spot in the draft. He still managed to draft the player, Solomon Thomas, he wanted all along. Getting Reuben Foster, a first-round talent if you don't factor in his injury history, late in the first round was huge too. The 49ers also didn't overspend in free agency, which is sensible because they are light years away from playoff contention. So, they did the one thing that a team devoid of talent can do: They stockpiled assets to draft a new, young core group of players. That's a successful offseason.
One move that made no sense: Taking developmental quarterback C.J. Beathard in the third round. That's way too early for a marginal talent.
The Patriots success this offseason is based on the addition of quality veteran players. Some or all of them could flame out, but based on the recent past, their veteran additions all make sense. It’s hard to say any of them is a bad deal. If they don’t won’t win the Super Bowl it could be for a host of reasons, but for now, these are strong additions.
For the 49ers, there is a lot more projection involved. The No. 2 ranking is more about the phrase, “trust the process” than anything else. They acquired two of the top three players on their big board, and added some quality 2018 draft picks. They could end up netting some serious impact players out of the 2017 and 2018 drafts. However, there remains a lot of projection needed to figure this out. They’ll likely hit on some of these guys, but how many, who, and by how much is entirely up in the air. I’m optimistic following free agency and the draft, but there remain a lot of unknowns.