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Is the 49er Championship Window Closing?

This question is more a salary cap issue than it is an issue of player's age.

The only players that are likely to decline significantly over the next couple years are Gore and Rogers. J. Smith is getting up there too.... but he is a DL. Strength sticks with older players better than speed. He will be a force till he decides to retire.

Salary cap is a bigger issue. The better we do, the more people will covet our players. Which means it will get more and more expensive to keep guys around. That is why the Goldson contract issue is such a big deal. We already have a ton of money locked up long term in the defense. Lets say in the next year or two Alex Smith and Michael Crabtree have pro-bowl kinds of seasons. All of the sudden, they get much more expensive and if all the money is tied up in the defense, then we loose play-makers on offense. Not to mention the OL... Staley is one of the lowest paid starting LT in the league. Yet he made the pro-bowl. His value will go up.

We have to be very careful about who we lock up long term, or else our window could close very quickly.
Originally posted by blm7754:
This question is more a salary cap issue than it is an issue of player's age.

The only players that are likely to decline significantly over the next couple years are Gore and Rogers. J. Smith is getting up there too.... but he is a DL. Strength sticks with older players better than speed. He will be a force till he decides to retire.

Salary cap is a bigger issue. The better we do, the more people will covet our players. Which means it will get more and more expensive to keep guys around. That is why the Goldson contract issue is such a big deal. We already have a ton of money locked up long term in the defense. Lets say in the next year or two Alex Smith and Michael Crabtree have pro-bowl kinds of seasons. All of the sudden, they get much more expensive and if all the money is tied up in the defense, then we loose play-makers on offense. Not to mention the OL... Staley is one of the lowest paid starting LT in the league. Yet he made the pro-bowl. His value will go up.

We have to be very careful about who we lock up long term, or else our window could close very quickly.
I would say we need to worry about our coaching staff getting raided, but I think harbaugh could find decent replacements.
This question is a bit like the Yahoo sports article on "which Defense is better, Seahawks or 49ers"...what kind of question is that? Now if the question was about the Harbaugh brothers Ds, that would be intersting, but I would still like us as #1. Seahawks D? that's nutty, and so is , "Is our window closing?"
No, it has just opened.
We had one good (great) year in a decade and already our window is closing ha. People got nothing to talk about it is sad.
Originally posted by Oscar:
This week's edition of the Better Rivals podcast is up!

www.49erswebzone.com/podcasts

Let us know your thoughts about the debate, or really anything y'all hear.

IT JUST STARTED. MOST OF OUR TEAM IS 27 yrs old or younger
Originally posted by blm7754:
This question is more a salary cap issue than it is an issue of player's age.

The only players that are likely to decline significantly over the next couple years are Gore and Rogers. J. Smith is getting up there too.... but he is a DL. Strength sticks with older players better than speed. He will be a force till he decides to retire.

Salary cap is a bigger issue. The better we do, the more people will covet our players. Which means it will get more and more expensive to keep guys around. That is why the Goldson contract issue is such a big deal. We already have a ton of money locked up long term in the defense. Lets say in the next year or two Alex Smith and Michael Crabtree have pro-bowl kinds of seasons. All of the sudden, they get much more expensive and if all the money is tied up in the defense, then we loose play-makers on offense. Not to mention the OL... Staley is one of the lowest paid starting LT in the league. Yet he made the pro-bowl. His value will go up.

We have to be very careful about who we lock up long term, or else our window could close very quickly.

Alex Smith is a Saint, and he would stay to play for Jim and the Niners for free!




but seriously, yes.. good post. I'm not especially worried about the finances. Sure, we will have to lose good players here and there. There's not much of a way around it. I do think Baalke and Marathe are particularly adept and better than most at working within the constraints of the cap. We also have a tight-knit group that always seem to love being 49ers... so if we are also consistently playoff-bound, maybe they will reduce their asking prices. ( not everyone's a greedy-Goldson )
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Originally posted by blm7754:
This question is more a salary cap issue than it is an issue of player's age.

The only players that are likely to decline significantly over the next couple years are Gore and Rogers. J. Smith is getting up there too.... but he is a DL. Strength sticks with older players better than speed. He will be a force till he decides to retire.

Salary cap is a bigger issue. The better we do, the more people will covet our players. Which means it will get more and more expensive to keep guys around. That is why the Goldson contract issue is such a big deal. We already have a ton of money locked up long term in the defense. Lets say in the next year or two Alex Smith and Michael Crabtree have pro-bowl kinds of seasons. All of the sudden, they get much more expensive and if all the money is tied up in the defense, then we loose play-makers on offense. Not to mention the OL... Staley is one of the lowest paid starting LT in the league. Yet he made the pro-bowl. His value will go up.

We have to be very careful about who we lock up long term, or else our window could close very quickly.

Alex Smith is a Saint, and he would stay to play for Jim and the Niners for free!




but seriously, yes.. good post. I'm not especially worried about the finances. Sure, we will have to lose good players here and there. There's not much of a way around it. I do think Baalke and Marathe are particularly adept and better than most at working within the constraints of the cap. We also have a tight-knit group that always seem to love being 49ers... so if we are also consistently playoff-bound, maybe they will reduce their asking prices. ( not everyone's a greedy-Goldson )

There's always this issue for any good team. It's the Gm's job to balance the cap, loss of vets and the incoming talent. Right now, I'd say we're doing a great job. Sure we'll lose some good players...like Grant...but as long as we can keep getting aquisitions and drafting fresh talent, we'll be fine.
Originally posted by Jakemall:
There's always this issue for any good team. It's the Gm's job to balance the cap, loss of vets and the incoming talent. Right now, I'd say we're doing a great job. Sure we'll lose some good players...like Grant...but as long as we can keep getting aquisitions and drafting fresh talent, we'll be fine.

Yep. Draft players that show the skills to fit into what we want them to do for our scheme... develop them well (which is something Nolan/Sing sucked at).. and we'll keep going strong for a while.

I'm probably in the minority of those expecting us to be able to hold onto Bowman long-term, but hey, I suspect we will draft a young kid in the next draft with the plan to develop him and have him take over in 2-3 years.
  • Oscar
  • Hall of Fame
  • Posts: 10,234
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
I never want to tick-off a mod, but this thread is a fail.....


Sorry, Oscar....

I'm not ticked at all

This was a discussion based around Justin Smith's comments about windows not staying open forever. Tons of people are on here saying "the window is 5 years!" but that's just crazy talk.

Our defense is held together by two people, Justin Smith and Patrick Willis. Smith has been remarkably healthy, as has Willis (to a lesser degree). What happens when J. Smith is not having a career year? When Alex Smith throws more than 5 INTs? He can't possibly keep up his INT ratio at the level it's at. And turnovers, which helped us win a lot of games, are such a volatile stat. And, as I mentioned in the podcast, WHEN Greg Roman leaves, what will that do to our offense? Yes, there's continuity because it's Harbaugh's offense, but a change is still a change.

Look, I think the 49ers are a good team. They WILL win the NFC West this year (contrary to Richard's belief) but to say that the window is wide open and is going to stay there for 5 years just isn't looking at things realistically. I think we are in year two of a three year window. Coincidentally, it aligns with Smith's contract. When he leaves, Kaep is going to have to take the reigns. And no one knows how that's going to turn out. It could be a huge upgrade or it could be Akili Smith 2. No one knows at this point.
How about Lebron. Is his window Closi......... Oh wait
Originally posted by Oscar:

Our defense is held together by two people, Justin Smith and Patrick Willis. Smith has been remarkably healthy, as has Willis (to a lesser degree). What happens when J. Smith is not having a career year? When Alex Smith throws more than 5 INTs? He can't possibly keep up his INT ratio at the level it's at. And turnovers, which helped us win a lot of games, are such a volatile stat. And, as I mentioned in the podcast, WHEN Greg Roman leaves, what will that do to our offense? Yes, there's continuity because it's Harbaugh's offense, but a change is still a change.

While this is true it is only true for the moment. I believe Baalke and Harbaugh will continue to bring in J Smith's and Willis' through FA and the draft. They may not be as good but the team will continue to build. Dean to Haley, Montana to Young...great teams seem to stay great as long as the management and coaching (HC) remain intact.

Edit: Both Harbaugh and Baalke are young guys and could keep this thing going for ten years or more.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Jun 23, 2012 at 9:32 AM ]
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
No, it has just opened.

Agreed.

We have a young offense that finally has some real leadership, along with another year of experience under Harbaugh. We also added some key role players (Moss, Manningham, and Jacobs), all of which are able to contribute on day one.

Our entire defense returns as one of the NFL's best units. There are Pro-Bowlers at every level of the D, and all, save Goldson we will have for at least the next 2-3 years.

Our special teams, ranked best in the league is also returning in tact with no significant losses. And to top it all off, we didn't lose anyone from our stellar coaching staff.

How, after only year one of the Harbaugh experiment which has already yielded a NFC championship game appearance, can our window be closing?

Looks to me like we're just getting started.
Originally posted by Oscar:
I'm not ticked at all
Tons of people are on here saying "the window is 5 years!" but that's just crazy talk.
but to say that the window is wide open and is going to stay there for 5 years just isn't looking at things realistically.

Glad you are not overly sensitive, so I feel I can be free to say that your full post is horribly negative. I know this is the quiet time of the forum, but this hardly seems the time for so much gloom-n-doom just to spice up conversation. Why is it unrealistic to think we have a good shot at the SB over the span of 5 years again? We have a lot of young talent... and we have coaches that know how to select and develop players. I think it is more unrealistic to think we will simply fall apart over the loss of... what, one or three players over the course of that 5 year window. Why so negative?

  • Oscar
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Originally posted by oldman9er:
Originally posted by Oscar:
I'm not ticked at all
Tons of people are on here saying "the window is 5 years!" but that's just crazy talk.
but to say that the window is wide open and is going to stay there for 5 years just isn't looking at things realistically.

Glad you are not overly sensitive, so I feel I can be free to say that your full post is horribly negative. I know this is the quiet time of the forum, but this hardly seems the time for so much gloom-n-doom just to spice up conversation. Why is it unrealistic to think we have a good shot at the SB over the span of 5 years again? We have a lot of young talent... and we have coaches that know how to select and develop players. I think it is more unrealistic to think we will simply fall apart over the loss of... what, one or three players over the course of that 5 year window. Why so negative?


I think there's negativity and then there's realism. A 5-year window is a long time to be consistently vying for a championship. Usually when windows are open that long there is a wonderful Head Coach/QB relationship where each is coaching/playing at an elite level. Belichick/Brady, Manning/Coughlin, Bress/Payton, Manning/Dungy, McNabb/Reid - and we simply don't have that. We relied on our defense to win games and while we certainly loaded up on some pieces offensively, we do not have a Stafford/Megatron kind of pairing on offense. We do on defense. So what happens when one part of the pair of the duo begins to decline? Well, the strength of the team does as well.

I WANT the 49ers to have a 10-year window. I want Alex Smith to win a ring. I want Harbaugh to be the new Belichick. I want the 49ers to be the first team to go three years in a row with the Lombardi trophy. But to think that it's likely, or that our window will be open that long, well, probability says otherwise. I really do hope it's open for 5-10 years. But reality says that this is year two of three. And honestly I don't know if we are ever going to get as easy of a road as we did in this year's playoffs (home field).

But hey, that's why we're fans, right? We want the team to win and I will celebrate those wins and scream from the rooftops. I just don't have to think the team will be successful for 5 because it was successful for 1.