This is the multi-million dollar franchise future defining question that Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh have to answer. I'm finally over the piercing agony of the defeat, although memories of the loss will linger forever. It won't fade away till we win another Super Bowl. I hope we can do what we did in 1984 after the PI call on Ronnie against the Redskins in 1983 cost us a title shot.
The defeat not withstanding, I'd have to say that this season was a success. Nobody expected the season we had from us. Nobody. Not the analysts, not the fans and perhaps not even the team. I'm happy we're relevant again. I'm happy we have a team that is viewed as one of the most loaded with talent in the NFL. And not just by us homers. I'm happy that many 49ers made the Pro Bowl. Yes, I'd be ecstatic if we were in the Super Bowl, but all things considered, I'm happy with what we were able to achieve. Now, I'm fully into the offseason mode thinking about the scenarios that can play out:
Scenario 1: Peyton Manning is healthy and available. I know Alex gave us a good season, but a healthy Peyton would be hard to overlook. We could win a couple of Super Bowls in his 3 to 4 year stay with our all around team including the best defense in the league, stellar special teams and a strong running game. The hope then would be that Colin Kaepernick is ready to assume the mantle after Peyton.
Scenario 2: Sign Alex and keep building team. There are a lot of ifs around the availability of Peyton. The clearer path is to sign Alex and add WRs and retain key free agents and to keep building this young team. The hope would be that Alex continues to grow and thrive in this offense, especially with a full off-season to improve and the continuity of the coaching staff. The wild card would be Kaepernick who would hopefully improve and compete with Alex for the starter role.
Scenario 3: I don't see any other realistic scenarios. If not Alex or Peyton, there is no other option out there that would upgrade the QB position. I also don't see Kaepernick supplanting Alex the next season.
Now the agony is waiting to see how Baalke/Harbaugh handle the offseason .....
[ Edited by ninerball on Jan 26, 2012 at 1:14 AM ]