Obviously, I would love to resign all the great players and keep the core of the team together as long as possible. But we all know this isnt possible in the salary cap era. Here is my choice of players that I think the 49ers should consider sacrificing for the sake of keeping under the cap and maintaining flexibility to retain the most important players while bringing in new blood as needed.
Alex Smith: This is not that hard of a choice to make. As well as Alex Smith has played over the past 1.5 years, he is too limited to really take us to the promised land. The passing game will never become a top-10 in the league with him as QB. In addition, Alex Smith is set to make a sizable amount of money next year which will kill our cap space. Niners should try to develop Kaepernick into an above-average QB. Higher ceiling plus much lower salary makes Kaepernick the obvious way to go imo.
Delanie Walker: I understand this may cause some pain. Delanie does some nice things for us like blocking and making the occasional big catch. But you know he will be asking for a fairly large contract this off-season and there will be teams willing to pay him just out of desperation/stupidity. The guy is too unreliable in the pass-catching department and drops too many passes. I say we cut our losses here and let him go .
Ted Ginn: He is basically useless at this point in his career. We already knew he sucked at receiving. But now he sucks at kick returning too. What a shame. Get rid of him.
Dashon Goldson: If the salary cap didnt exist, I would have no issue with signing this guy to a long-term deal. He is a good player that lays some serious wood on opposing receivers . I like the guy alot, I really do. But Goldson will be demanding a top 2 or top 3 salary with 5 years deal. I dont think it is smart to put that much resources into him. As much as I love watching him deliver the big hits, I think he misses way too many tackles and isnt that great in pass coverage.. There is no way I would put him anywhere near an Ed Reed or Troy Palomalu. Except he will probly want to be paid like those guys after this year. Also consider the position that he plays- Free Safety. This is not a high-value, high-impact position. The Niners would be smart to go with a cheaper option in the Draft. Im sure there will be other options out there. There are much more important positions to invest salary cap room in, such as O-Line, D-LIne, CB, etc.
Ray Mcdonald: Sorry but I just dont hear this guy's name being called very often. He doesnt record lots of tackles and doesnt really get to the quarterback. I'm sure we can find a younger, cheaper, more explosive option somewhere. I know he has been a good player for us in the past, but lately? I dunno, maybe I'm just paying enough attention.
Carlos Rogers: The Niners are paying him a handsome salary. He is getting up there in age. He isnt terrible but he is not really good either. I like the way he tackles but he is a bit slow and gets burned by speedy receivers too often. At his age, his performance could fall off the cliff unexpectedly at any time. I think we could find younger, faster players for a lower price. Cornerback is not a position where you want old age and lack of speed. These are two things that Carlos Rogers has unfortunately. Again, I like Carlos Rogers. He has done good things for us. But it wouldnt be the end of the world if we went in another direction. Also consider that we need to think about locking up Chris Culliver and Tarell Brown who are playing VERY well for us and are still young.
Im not saying we should cut all these guys. I think they are good players who have done alot for us. I'm just saying i think the Niners would be ok if they made sacrifices in these areas for the long-term good of the team in the salary-cap era.
[ Edited by Carhanu21 on Dec 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM ]