For the first time in a long time, we really are going to get a brand new version of the San Francisco 49ers. As great of a coach as Jim Harbaugh is, he took over a team that already had most of the players who would help the 49ers get to the Super Bowl. Obviously, as we know by now, Trent Baalke wasn’t doing anything helpful in adding new talent. With a change at head coach (Kyle Shanahan), GM (John Lynch) and QB (Who Knows), San Francisco will look a lot different in 2017, and then perhaps we’ll really know what sort of identity their intended future will have by 2018.
Right now though, they need to clean out the cupboard. That won’t be hard with so many free agents, cap casualty candidates, and roster spots that will need to be devoted to the untested and unproven. Could any of these players help the Seattle Seahawks?
Impending Free Agents
Colin Kaepernick, QB
Counting him as a free agent because that’s what he’s always been destined to be. The two parties will be going their separate ways. That ushers in a new era at QB for Shanahan and we’re not sure what that will be yet. The loss of Kaepernick doesn’t really matter just because we haven’t really seen the Kaepernick who did good football things for four years, basically. He’s a weird case as far as where he goes next, if he’ll be the starter or in a competition, and if we’ll ever hear from him again in a meaningful NFL way.
Glenn Dorsey, DL
Even as someone who only barely followed college football in 2007, I remember how dominant Dorsey was at LSU. The numbers kinda don’t back that up (seven sacks, 12.5 tackles for a loss as a senior) but when you watched him play, it didn’t seem like there was a tackle or guard who could block him. Again, I could not back this up with evidence and you might prove me very wrong on this. It’s just what I remember. One thing I’d note about any player like Dorsey, who is turning 32 this season, is that Lorenzo Alexander just had a breakout season at age 33. Not saying that is common, only pointing it out to say that sometimes players will go their whole careers without finding the right system for them. Dorsey isn’t too old to find a system that generates a breakout season and he’s already been pretty effective over his career. The only place I could see for him on the Seahawks is maybe trying him in the old Brandon Mebane role. But at what cost? Seattle has the added benefit of pitching any veteran the “We could go to the Super Bowl” line but I’m not sure Dorsey is the one to pitch it to. If they signed him to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, I wouldn’t be mad.
Quinton Patton, WR
Patton was a fourth round pick in 2013 and it seems like he’s been a guy that Niners fans have been hanging their hats on for that entire time, as if he was the one who was going to breakout and star on offense. Patton has caught one touchdown in his entire career. I imagine he gets into a camp next year with little hope for him winning a meaningful job with that team.
Nick Bellore, LB
Gerald Hodges, LB
Bellore and Hodges are linebackers who most have never heard of but finished second and third on the team in tackles. Hodges also had three sacks, two interceptions, and is only 25. He’s someone they may work to keep, since they’re going to have over $100 million in cap space anyway.
Torrey Smith, WR
The 49ers released Smith on March 6, making him a free agent. It’s a bit odd to me that they re-signed Jeremy Kerley to a three-year deal and opted to pay him instead of Smith (their value seems comparable at worst) but perhaps it was the right thing to do. It was definitely the right move to release Smith, who is a very incomplete receiver.
Others: K Phil Dawson, TE Jim Dray, QB Blaine Gabbert, G Andrew Gardner, QB Christian Ponder, QB Thad Lewis, RB Shaun Draughn, WR Rod Streater, DL Tony Jerod-Eddie, DE Chris Jones, RB DuJuan Harris, S Marcus Cromartie, LB Michael Wilhoite
Cap Casualty Candidates
Antoine Bethea, S
Zane Beadles, G
None of these moves are necessary because of San Francisco’s cap room but also none of these players are going to help the 49ers in any way that’s significant. They’re all going to be retired when the Niners are relevant again and in their current state, none of them should warrant a roster spot over a younger player with potential to do something great. Also, they’re not John Lynch or Kyle Shanahan guys. Plain and simple, the roster needs to be brand new when you get a brand new GM.
Beadles is the obvious one for the Seahawks’ concerns, but also not really. There’s always been talk about Beadles whenever he’s hit free agency, but now is really the time to move on.
More 2017 NFL Free Agent News: