Monday, May 14, 2012
2012 NFC West offseason glance: 49ers
By Mike Sando
A look at the San Francisco 49ers' offseason to this point ...
What went right: The 49ers kept together one of the NFL's best defenses by re-signing Ahmad Brooks and Carlos Rogers, and by naming Dashon Goldson their franchise player. ... The coaching staff also returns pretty much intact, a relief after the team finished 13-3 and reached the NFC Championship Game. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman's name did come up in relation to the Penn State opening. Reports suggested special-teams coordinator Brad Seely could become a candidate for the head coaching job in Indianapolis. ... Alex Smith did not leave in free agency despite visiting the Miami Dolphins. ... The 49ers secured funding for their new stadium and broke ground on it last month, a huge step forward for the organization. ... The team attempted to address perceived shortcomings at receiver and on offense in general. ... Bringing back Ted Ginn Jr. was an underrated move given the value he can provide in the return game.
What went wrong: The 49ers could not keep secret their interest in Peyton Manning, creating an awkward moment as Smith considered his options in free agency. ... Manning signed with Denver. Adding Manning to the 49ers arguably would have made San Francisco the Super Bowl favorite from the NFC. ... The team did not resolve its situation at right guard in a decisive manner. ... The Washington Redskins paid a premium for free-agent receiver Josh Morgan, a player the 49ers ideally would have retained. ... Blake Costanzo, a tone-setter on special teams, left in free agency. The team got older by adding Rock Cartwright, 32, to fill some of the special-teams void.
The bottom line: The positives outweigh the negatives. The team used free agency to address immediate needs at low cost (Randy Moss, Mario Manningham) while using the draft to build for the longer term (A.J. Jenkins, LaMichael James, Joe Looney). Adding Manning would have been an unexpected bonus. The 49ers' offseason never hinged on making that move. The 49ers essentially stayed the course following a 13-3 season. That was the goal. No complaints here.
Your turn: Any significant omissions here?