Thoughts on the '49er Way'

September, 3, 2013
9/03/13
11:15
AM ET
As I start covering the San Francisco 49ers, I wanted to relay my thoughts on some of the recent developments made by the team.

One of the reasons why I’m so excited about this new career path is because of just how fascinating the 49ers are as an organization. Even minor, bottom-of-the roster movements smack of intrigue, philosophy and strategy.

The 49ers’ signing of Chris Harper on Monday is a perfect example. He was cut by Seattle after being a fourth-round pick. The San Francisco-Seattle personnel battle is well documented and this is another chapter.

Because of his size and potential matchup problems that he can create, the 49ers reportedly plan to use Harper as a tight end. If it works, it will be another score. If not, it is a low-risk move and further gets the 49ers in the heads of the Seahawks, and that’s always a victory.

I know some 49ers fans were surprised to see the team trade linebacker Cam Johnson to the Colts on Monday. Johnson was a preseason star. He was all over the field in the preseason finale win over San Diego. But the 49ers are stacked.

The 49ers received a seventh-round pick next year for Johnson. It is stunning to me that the 49ers are now in position to have 13 draft picks next year. The 49ers were draft bosses in 2013 and they are set to do the same next year.

Having a surplus of draft picks will allow San Francisco to move up and down the draft and manipulate it. That approach allowed San Francisco to nab injured but high-potential players Marcus Lattimore and Tank Carradine this year. It appears the 49ers will be in position to take risk-reward choices again next year.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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