Over the past two seasons, the San Francisco 49ers proved that they have talent. From Patrick Willis to Michael Crabtree, the team features playmakers on both sides of the ball. Their homegrown players have been paramount to their recent success. But during this offseason, the front office has brought in veterans who have something to prove, which bodes well for the 49ers heading into the 2013-14 campaign.
San Francisco’s first pickup was 11th-year wideout Anquan Boldin. After winning the Super Bowl, he clearly stated that he wanted to retire a Baltimore Raven. But due to cap concerns, the Ravens had to part ways with him. In exchange for his services, the 49ers only had to give up a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft.
Heading into the final year of his contract, Boldin not only wants to play for another deal, but he also intends to demonstrate that he’s more valuable than just a late-round selection. He’s an established leader and makes big plays under the bright spotlights. Joe Flacco may have had a postseason run to remember, but Boldin played an intricate part in the quarterback’s success (22 receptions, 380 yards, four touchdowns in the playoffs).
Defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey marks another addition who has incentive to play effectively from the get-go. After missing most of 2012 with a calf injury, Dorsey is attempting to reclaim his status as a top draft pick and defender.
Even though his position is not set in stone at this point, the sixth-year pro is a high-end run stopper who can help right away. However, Dorsey’s best moments came when he played in a 4-3 defense. With the 49ers implementing a 3-4 scheme, it’d be interesting to see what defensive coordinator Vic Fangio gets out of him. If he is capable of serving as a utility lineman, that will only give Fangio’s unit more versatility. The 49ers signed the former Kansas City Chief to a two-year, $6 million deal.
The latest member to don the red and gold is cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. After two horrendous seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Asomugha arguably has the most to prove. If the veteran fulfills a certain number of incentives, he could earn up to $3 million.
After getting burned on countless occasions as an Eagle, Asomugha could regain his All-Pro form to some degree if the 49ers allow him to play toward his strengths.
Asomugha confirmed that he always plays with a chip on his shoulder, but acknowledges that it’s different this time around. Earlier this month he said (via ESPN) “I think, obviously, it’s bigger this year because of the adversity I went through in Philadelphia. But it’s always been a part of my game, coming in and showing what I can do and now being able to be here and start fresh with that, it’s a great opportunity for that.”
Jim Harbaugh, Trent Baalke and the whole organization must be thrilled to hear that claim.
San Francisco already featured elite talent, but adding hungry veterans to the mix can make them an even more potent squad. The newest 49ers are armed with plenty of motivation to perform, which should only aid Harbaugh and Co. in making another deep playoff run.