I’ve said time and time again that the 49ers have a load of cap space, but that can go to zero real quick if they aren’t careful. That said, everyone wants to see upgrades at every position, but the reality of the fact is every team will have wins and losses in free agency.
KThe 49ers added The 49ers added Kwon Alexander, Tevin Coleman, Jason Verrett, Jordan Matthews, and Dee Ford (traded and extended, mind you). There were rumors, but there was nothing that linked any of those players to the 49ers as a done deal. The big headlines were about trading for Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr., while Earl Thomas was a distant sleeper to come to the 49ers if the Dallas Cowboys didn’t work out and the 49ers could pony up the cash. Thomas went to neither team.
So the big names were not free agents at all, but possible trades. Two years ago, the name Kirk Cousins was a shoe-in to fill the quarterback need when Shanahan arrived, but then Garoppolo happened. Thomas was really the only name one saw the 49ers linked to with all the speculation and plugging from Richard Sherman.
And while it’s nice to see Jimmie Ward coming back (due to his experience in the system, in those rare moments healthy), it’s not a fix to a position playing backups of backups. I’d love it if the team followed through on Thomas, but that contract would have hurt and goes against my preaching of being frugal. If Thomas was out, there was my backup name, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who the Chicago Bears got at a steal of a price with a total cap hit of $3,250,000. The 49ers could have made that work, and then they could have added another safety in the draft. Yes, there are red flags given that he was traded mid-season on the last year of his contract, and the team he was traded to didn’t do enough to keep him around, but he still could have been an addition.
Which brings me to a question to you: what’s the one player you wish the 49ers could have signed, but to the same deal that said player actually signed? Would you be fine with taking Clinton-Dix? Or would you want the 49ers to go give Thomas that contract? Or who would you want the 49ers to have gone after?