When the offseason arrived, it was a foregone certainty that the 49ers would have to forfeit a few pieces of their championship-caliber team, especially on defense. Everyone figured either Carlos Rogers, Dashon Goldson, Ahmad Brooks, or two of those three would be gone.

Here the team stands on the precipice of training camp for the 2012 season and it not only retained all three (so long as Goldson shows up at some point - which he will) , they also held onto/bolstered their depth.

One of the most unsung retentions was that of Larry Grant. Oddly enough, it was the one the 49ers put the least amount of effort into. After doing a remarkable job filling in for Patrick Willis in 2011 (29 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, and five passes defensed in three-plus games), Grant's value was placed at a 7th round tender.

Amazingly enough, Grant drew no attention on the market as a restricted free agent, landing him back in San Francisco for a little over a million dollars.

Although the situation is not ideal for Grant, it's almost surreal for the 49ers. They bring back an extremely talented inside linebacker at a reasonable price who can make that defense operate without a hitch if the situation calls for it (hopefully not the case). How well Grant played when called upon last year cannot be overstated. The Pittsburgh and Seattle games are especially noteworthy: 4 passes defensed in the former, a game-winning forced fumble in the latter.

How this man didn't garner interest from other teams is mind-boggling, but the fans and the organization will take that any day of the week. Much like locking up Andy Lee and signing back Ted Ginn at the right price, the return of Larry Grant is one of the several overlooked, underappreciated, ever-important moves of the offseason.



Resources: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/31/SP2H1OQ87U.DTL#ixzz1wVu2TSzY