Ed Reed and 49ers' championship window


Corey from Florida wants to know the likelihood of the San Francisco 49ers adding Ed Reed to replace Dashon Goldson.

"And how strange is it that the Niners seem to love signing players from teams that defeated them the previous playoffs?" Corey asks.

Sando: The 49ers did sign Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs from the New York Giants after losing to them in the NFC Championship Game. They've now traded for Anquan Boldin after Boldin's Baltimore Ravens beat them in the Super Bowl. Adding Reed would continue that trend. I think those connections are mostly coincidental.

Reed makes sense for San Francisco on a few levels. One, the 49ers' defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, spent five seasons on the Ravens' coaching staff when Reed played for the team. That gives San Francisco special insight into a special player. Two, Reed's agent also represents 49ers general manager Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh. That gives the 49ers access to an honest read on the situation. Three, the 49ers have a potential need at safety with Goldson becoming a free agent.

There are a couple reasons to question the likelihood of a Reed-49ers marriage. One, the 49ers already have a high-priced defense featuring quite a few veteran players. Getting younger and cheaper would seem to be a reasonable goal. Signing Reed would presumably cost the 49ers a valuable chunk of salary-cap space while making them even older on defense. Is that the plan? Two, if the 49ers are willing to set aside meaningful cap space for Reed even on a one-year deal, why not invest in the younger Goldson?

The nature of any deal the 49ers reached with Reed would help answer some of these questions. Adding Reed after adding Boldin would bolster the impression that San Francisco, with perhaps another season or two remaining in Justin Smith's career as a dominant force along the defensive line, has the short term in mind while trying to jump through its current championship window.