5 Moves That San Francisco 49ers Have To Make
Predicting The 5 Biggest Free Agency Moves For The San Francisco 49ers
In coach Jim Harbaugh's three seasons, the San Francisco 49ers have reached three NFC conference championship games and one Super Bowl appearance. The 49ers have been sustained winners due to the development of their previous draft picks and some key and timely free-agent signings. In the ever competitive NFC West, with the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and improving teams like the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams, this sustained excellence has become a necessity just to survive in the NFC West. That is why the 49ers need yet another strong offseason in 2014.
In 2012, the 49ers signed receivers Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, and in 2011, the 49ers signed Carlos Rogers, Donte Whitner and Jonathan Goodwin. While the 49ers have not hit their mark in the draft the past three seasons -- with only five players now starting for the team -- free agency is this team's main method of building their team.
Offensively, the 49ers need to find some more explosive playmakers on the outside while on the defensive side, and some secondary help will complete an already elite defense. Most of the major signings this year will concern the 49ers' own free agents as most of their good players are up this year.
Here are now are the 49ers' biggest free agent moves that the team must make this offseason in order to keep their winning edge in an increasingly tougher NFC West.
5. Phil Dawson
The 49ers' kicking game was greatly improved last year as Dawson was a major upgrade over David Akers. Dawson's clutch kicks helped the 49ers advance to within one game of the Super Bowl. Even another one-year deal for Dawson will be a great move in keeping one of the best kickers in the league.
4. Asante Samuel
The Atlanta Falcons recently released the former Pro Bowl cornerback. The former New England Patriot, Philadelphia Eagle and Falcon still has plenty left in the tank and would be an immediate upgrade for a good but not great secondary. Samuel's playmaking ability and ball skills are something that the 49ers' cornerbacks desperately need.
3. Tarrell Brown
Re-signing Tarrell Brown, even on a short-term deal, is the move the 49ers need to make. The other starting corner in Rogers has had his share of injuries and is approaching the back end of his career. In Brown, the 49ers keep one of their young defensive backs, who is a good corner but not great yet.
2. Donte Whitner
Free Agent Whitner was a great mentor to rookie Eric Reid as both had good seasons for the 49ers. No one on the 49ers roster is capable of replacing Whitner should the free agent be let go this offseason.
1. Anquan Boldin
The 49ers must re-sign Boldin. Without his services last year, the 49ers passing game would have only had Vernon Davis catching passes for most of the season. With Michael Crabtree gone for the first half of the year, Boldin's contributions were significant.