Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
There is also the option of drafting a guard (or center) high to groom as a replacement for Iupati. I seem to recall the Saints letting Carl Nicks walk and they are still rolling on offense. There has been a little bit of a drop off in terms of our running game since Iupati went out, but I don't expect us to stay down for long. The drop off in running is not as bad as how far our passing game fell off without Crabtree. Michael Crabtree's mere presence has allowed Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin to shine even more. When he's at 100%, look out. The only thing in our favor is that there are many talented receivers coming out, so we can address the position 2 or 3 times in the draft. If we don't sign Iupati this offseason, I think we just get Boldin signed for 2 or 3 more seasons, draft a few receivers, and see what things look like in 2014. If Crabtree puts up another dominant season, he stays. If he does not, we go with Boldin and our group of younger receivers.
I agree with the notion that the 9ers should draft a wide receiver and guard in their first couple of picks, but about Crabtree I'm with those who think he will almost surely want more money than Baalke will want to offer. (I would love to have that hunch be wrong, though, for sure.) Hopefully they can get Boldin to stay and he has a couple to few more good years (he strikes me as being a kind of player who could keep playing at a high level into "old" age like Tony Gonzalez).
I wonder if they may be able to keep Iupati for less money than we might think because of his injury and level of play this year that wasn't up to what he did last year.
[ Edited by 49erphan on Dec 22, 2013 at 8:41 AM ]