NFL San Francisco 49ers

Five San Francisco 49ers Who Shouldn’t Be Back in 2014

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Five San Francisco 49ers Who Should Not Be Back Next Season

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The San Francisco 49ers have gone to the NFC Championship Game in each of head coach Jim Harbaugh’s first three seasons, but their loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday leaves them a win short of the Super Bowl for the second time in that span.

With a 12-4 regular season record and two road playoff wins this year, the 49ers are primed to remain one of the best teams in the league next year and into the foreseeable future with one of the top defenses in the league and a talented young quarterback with room for improvement in Colin Kaepernick.

The most notable 49ers that are headed for free agency this offseason are wide receiver Anquan Boldin, safety Donte Whitner, cornerback Tarell Brown and center Jonathan Goodwin, and all four could be elsewhere depending on what they seek in a new contract. Otherwise the other looming free agents currently on San Francisco’s roster are mostly depth pieces, with kicker Phil Dawson the lone substantial exception, and can be easily replaced.

With multiple key players in line for new contracts after next year, the 49ers may get a jump on things and start to make some tough decisions on players starting this offseason. I don’t expect a full-on salary purge, and general manager Trent Baalke will surely navigate any potential salary cap trouble to give Harbaugh and his coaching staff a talent-laden roster again next season.

On the heels of a disappointing (but dramatic) end to their season, here are five San Francisco 49ers who should not be back next season.

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5. TE Garrett Celek

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Celek is not enough of a factor (two catches this season) to be missed, and his absence could open up some playing time for Vance McDonald behind starter Vernon Davis next season.

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4. QB Colt McCoy

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McCoy attempted one pass all season as Colin Kaepernick’s backup, and he will now become a free agent. The 49ers may look to bring him back, but they can find a better No. 2 quarterback if they choose.

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3. WR Jon Baldwin

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Baldwin was acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs during the preseason, but he had just three catches in seven games played as he failed to earn a significant role for the 49ers even with Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham out for a large chunk of the season.

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2. RB Anthony Dixon

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Dixon will go into free agency with the positive vibe of a touchdown in the NFC Championship Game, but he has just 78 carries over the last three regular seasons and San Francisco’s running back depth will only get better with Marcus Lattimore possibly ready to contribute next season.

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1. CB Carlos Rogers

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Rogers is due to make over $6 million next season, but he has just three interceptions over the last two seasons and he’ll likely have to take a pay cut to stay with San Francisco. Re-signing Tarell Brown will be a top priority for the 49ers, and with solid depth at cornerback otherwise (Tramaine Brock, Eric Wright, Perrish Cox) they don’t need to hang onto an aging (33 in July) underachiever like Rogers.