Free-agency recap: How 49ers fared

February, 12, 2009
2/12/09
3:58
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

49ers Player
How Acquired/ Lost Bad move?
J.T. O'Sullivan
UFA Addition
No
Bryant Johnson
UFA Addition
No
Justin Smith UFA Addition
No
Dontarrious Thomas UFA Addition
Yes
Donald Strickland
UFA Re-sign No
Billy Bajema
RFA Re-sign
No
Marques Douglas
UFA Lost
No
Kwame Harris
UFA Lost
No
Maurice Hicks
UFA Lost
No
Justin Smiley
UFA Lost
Yes

The 49ers arguably should have re-signed guard Justin Smiley. They shouldn't have paid a $400,000 signing bonus for former Vikings linebacker Dontarrious Thomas.

As free-agency miscues go, those are minor ones.

The chart shows the 10 unrestricted or restricted free agents San Francisco added, re-signed or lost before the 2008 season.

The prime addition, Justin Smith, played very well most of the season. He met the 49ers' expectations.

J.T. O'Sullivan did not develop into the long-term answer at quarterback, but the 49ers never paid him as if he would. For that reason, I would not hold his signing against the team for our purposes here.

The 49ers expected more from Bryant Johnson as a full-time starter, but he gave them what he had given the Cardinals for years: at least 40 receptions and about 12 yards per catch. The 49ers paid him $2 million on a one-year deal, a modest sum for a starting receiver. They did not overcommit to him.

Tackle Kwame Harris would have found his way onto the field if the 49ers had kept him, but Barry Sims gave them similar contributions at a reduced rate (Sims does not appear on the list because he did not sign as a restricted or unrestricted free agent).

Harris started 11 games for the Raiders after receiving a $2.4 million signing bonus. Sims made eight starts, earning $900,000 in bonuses.

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