The Baltimore Ravens have defeated the San Francisco 49ers to become the champs for this season, but the future looks massive for this Niners franchise. No doubt the franchise will take some time to lick their wounds from being upset in Super Bowl XLVII, but they soon enough will turn the page to the 2013 NFL draft as they will have a whopping 14 picks.
In free agency San Fran will have a big decision to make with safety Dashon Goldson as he is looking for a long-term deal in the 5-year $40 million territory, but it is possible that the 49ers apply their franchise tag to him for the second straight season which would cost them $7.5 million in 2013.
Isaac Sopoaga has spent his eight year career in San Francisco so I am interested to see what they do with him, plus Ted Ginn Jr. will be an interesting in-house decision for the NFC champs. It looks like Randy Moss will not be back with San Fran as he seems to be hinting that he wants to find a new system where he feels he can be featured more (he believes he is still a big-time WR…?).
Colin Kaepernick is going to be special, and he will turn just 26 during next season. The fantastic offensive line that protects him has Jonathan Goodwin at 34, but Joe Staley is 28, Mike Iupati 25, Alex Boone 25 and Anthony Davis just 23, so most of them are young too. Only Goodwin is a free agent as early as after next season so this group is locked up for a few seasons to come which will give this offense a strong base going forward.
Perhaps the biggest storyline (if not Goldson) will be where do the 49ers trade Alex Smith, and will it be a straight salary dump or are they going to play hardball and insist on a early round pick? This young (very talented) team has a chance to add even more young talent this off-season. Super Bowl Sunday did not work out for the 49ers, but they will be back there (perhaps even multiple times) under Jim Harbaugh and Kaepernick plus this increasingly talented supporting cast.