Monday, March 22, 2010
On guard: Sims, Smiley and Incognito
By Mike Sando
Last offseason, I thought the 49ers should have made a run at Seahawks free agent Ray Willis, who seemed well-suited for their needs at right tackle.
Willis re-signed with Seattle, but another Seahawks free agent -- albeit a restricted one -- again appears to be a good fit for the 49ers.
Guard Rob Sims doesn't project as an ideal fit for the Seahawks as they make a full conversion to the zone blocking scheme, but Sims would seem to fit the 49ers' system while providing an upgrade for the 49ers. Adding Sims in San Francisco might make even more sense now that offensive line coach Mike Solari has made the jump from the Seahawks to the 49ers.
Seattle tendered Sims to an original-round pick, meaning another team would have to offer its fourth-round choice for signing Sims to an offer sheet. I don't think the Seahawks would match such an offer. The price could be negotiated down if a fourth-round choice were too steep, but if the 49ers wanted to buy some flexibility on the line heading into the draft, Sims would make sense.
Seattle appears likely to add a veteran with roots in the zone scheme. The Broncos' Ben Hamilton comes to mind as a candidate.
Elsewhere in the guard market, the addition of former Rams guard Richie Incognito in Miami could end the Dolphins career of former 49ers guard Justin Smiley. Smiley has started 24 games and earned $12 million from the Dolphins since signing with them minutes into free agency after the 2007 season, his last with the 49ers.