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What positions do you value the most on the team?

  • fryet
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With our starting QB making 1 million this coming year, we can afford to keep everyone for at least one more season. However, the following year, CK is going to want and probably deserve a major pay raise. At that point, we will have to let some talented players go, because we can't afford everyone. That is actually a problem in having Pro Bowl and AP awards given to the team. They will want to be paid like the top players at their position.

Anyway, here is how I value the team by position, keeping in mind that players that we currently have.

Defense:
DL - Medium - The only above average player we have is Justin Smith who is declining. We will want to get some youth on this line, but we probably can't afford more than one Pro Bowl player on the line.
LB - High - We have 4 very good starters, and we don't want to break them up
DB - Medium - While it would be great having a shutdown corner, we just can't afford the money at the position. Dashon Goldson is the only Pro Bowl player that we should keep in the DL. I like Tashon Brown, but hopefully he doesn't demand too high of a contract when it is time to resign him. Whitner isn't worth Pro Bowl money, and we can only hope that Culliver will improve. To cover our coverage deficiencies, we will need to depend on our front 7 to pressure the QB.

Offense:
QB - High - A good QB can mask a lot of other deficiencies on our team. CK will demand a monster contract next year, and we will have no option but to pay him.
OL - High - We spent a lot of draft picks on our current OL, and I think we need to keep them together.
RB - Medium - A mediocre RB behind a great line should be pretty effective. It would be great to have a great RB as well, but we have to save money somewhere. Chances are, whoever we have behind our line will get good stats, and will probably then demand high RB money. We will have to let them go, and keep on drafting replacement RB.
TE - High - If we didn't have Vernon, I don't know that I would put that much money into the position. If we had to release a very skilled player on the team, VD might be the place that I would look.
WR - Medium - I think we need to keep Crabtree, but our second and third WR will probably need to be poorly paid. If I had more money to spend, WR is probably where I would look. It is hard to plug WR into a system, so keeping the good ones for a long time is important.

Special Teams
Poor - It is cheap to find young players to play special teams coverage units (key is finding good ones). You want a reliable kicker, but we have shown you can get along without a great one. Andy Lee is fantastic, but I am not sure I would sacrifice other areas to keep him.

So, I have 4 High, 4 Medium, and 1 Poor. Hopefully we can keep our players, but we will probably have to draft replacements for players like Whitner, Andy Lee, and possibly Vernon Davis. If you were the GM for the 49ers, where would you focus on spending your money?
[ Edited by fryet on Feb 8, 2013 at 10:41 PM ]
Well, you get Baalke to try to negotiate long term contracts with the key players, which he has been doing. Then you draft well and when one of your vets get offered silly money by someone else, like Morgan or Baas, you have someone younger and cheaper behind them.

It's quite simple but the drafting is key. I don't think you plan it by position as you have suggested so much as falloff between the vet starter and the potential replacement. But you stay out of the high price FA market.
Originally posted by English:
Well, you get Baalke to try to negotiate long term contracts with the key players, which he has been doing. Then you draft well and when one of your vets get offered silly money by someone else, like Morgan or Baas, you have someone younger and cheaper behind them.

It's quite simple but the drafting is key. I don't think you plan it by position as you have suggested so much as falloff between the vet starter and the potential replacement. But you stay out of the high price FA market.


In most cases the FA has played for 5 years, most are near 30. If you get two good years play you're lucky and the hit to the cap isn't worth it. The 49ers have a franchise elite QB in place and he's only 25. We've seen that an elite QB can keep a team contending for years. I believe this team may look into moving up in the draft, the question is how far do they want to go.
  • fryet
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Originally posted by English:
Well, you get Baalke to try to negotiate long term contracts with the key players, which he has been doing. Then you draft well and when one of your vets get offered silly money by someone else, like Morgan or Baas, you have someone younger and cheaper behind them.

It's quite simple but the drafting is key. I don't think you plan it by position as you have suggested so much as falloff between the vet starter and the potential replacement. But you stay out of the high price FA market.
I agree, but all of those Pro Bowls are making me worried. Is Dashon with 2 Pro Bowls being silly when he wants to be paid like one of the best safeties in the game? We have a young OL that is very good, but we can't pay for 5 Pro Bowlers on the line. So that is why I think we need to prioritize where we want to spend our money. Personally I would be willing to sacrifice some in RB and WR to keep that line together (and of course the QB behind them).

I think you are also correct that the draft is very important. I mentioned the places where I would be willing to let some good players go, and if you do that, you want to have backups that are good enough to step in without much drop off. So even though we don't have many holes, we need those capable backup replacements.
  • fryet
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Originally posted by RishikeshA:
In most cases the FA has played for 5 years, most are near 30. If you get two good years play you're lucky and the hit to the cap isn't worth it. The 49ers have a franchise elite QB in place and he's only 25. We've seen that an elite QB can keep a team contending for years. I believe this team may look into moving up in the draft, the question is how far do they want to go.

I agree. We can only go for value free agents. We don't have the cap space to sign a big name.
I think positions such as running back can be plugged in without too much difficulty. Call me old fashioned but I believe in keeping an O line together for extended periods.
  • fryet
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One other thing is that the rookie salary cap makes the draft even more attractive. Paying CK only 1 million next year? That is like stealing. If we can effectively draft/train new players, we may be able to keep our salary cap manageable and extend the length of a potential dynasty, as opposed to mortgaging our future for a few years to reach the SB.
Originally posted by English:
I think positions such as running back can be plugged in without too much difficulty. Call me old fashioned but I believe in keeping an O line together for extended periods.

Absolutely. Running backs are the dixie cups of the NFL. Sometimes you strike gold and get a stud like Gore, but provided you have a decent O line, you don't need anything fancy back there. The O line and your QB, on the other hand, are the ante price for being a competent team.

A position that I think is criminally undervalued is your kicker. Given that seasons routinely turn on the feet of kickers, it's amazing that they're frequently treated as an afterthought. Moreover, the difference between a good kicker and a competent kicker is huge, and the difference between a bad kicker and a competent kicker is enormous.
Originally posted by fryet:
I agree, but all of those Pro Bowls are making me worried. Is Dashon with 2 Pro Bowls being silly when he wants to be paid like one of the best safeties in the game? We have a young OL that is very good, but we can't pay for 5 Pro Bowlers on the line. So that is why I think we need to prioritize where we want to spend our money. Personally I would be willing to sacrifice some in RB and WR to keep that line together (and of course the QB behind them).

I think you are also correct that the draft is very important. I mentioned the places where I would be willing to let some good players go, and if you do that, you want to have backups that are good enough to step in without much drop off. So even though we don't have many holes, we need those capable backup replacements.

I get your point, but we don't have 5 Pro-Bowlers. We have 2, maybe 3. As for Goldson, people can debate whether or not he's the best FS in the game (the Associated Press seems to believe he is however, making him first team All-Pro), however, the guy is legimiately a top 5 FS. So what exactly is the problem with paying him like one of the best safeties in the game?

If we draft well, as you and others have said, then we'll be fine.

What I do like is that we have some top players on offense and defense at positions (ILB, FS, TE) that aren't that expensive.

I can't honestly say I value one position over the other though outside of QB, OL, and DL. All of the positions are necessary and effect the other, but it seems some have greater influence on the others. If we get another world beeater on our defensive line, at least two of our linebackers will go to the Hall of Fame.
My feelings are cap wise, cut Alex(or Trade is possible), Haralson, Akers, and Goodwin(Would redo his deal if he is willing to).

Re-sign Goldson.

Extend the following over the next 2 offseasons.

Aldon Smith
Michael Crabtree
Colin Kaepernick
Anthony Davis
Mike Iupati
Kendall Hunter (If he returns 100%)
Chris Culliver (I might try him at S)
Justin Smith (Really the anchor of the defense)

Draft replacements for Haralson, Akers, NT to replace Sopoaga if he leaves, DE for groooming under Justin, and 3rd OLB. Also depth at Safety and CB, and OL.
  • fryet
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Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
I get your point, but we don't have 5 Pro-Bowlers. We have 2, maybe 3. As for Goldson, people can debate whether or not he's the best FS in the game (the Associated Press seems to believe he is however, making him first team All-Pro), however, the guy is legimiately a top 5 FS. So what exactly is the problem with paying him like one of the best safeties in the game?

I believe we had 9 Pro Bowlers this past year. Now we can argue about whether some of them really deserved it (Whitner got one?! Really?), however they are going to want top level money when it comes to resigning them. In some cases, we will have to let them go, because they just aren't worth that money. We will have to make some tough choices, I think, and that is what I was trying to determine in this thread, was which areas people felt were important to keep at a high level, and which areas we would be willing to cut/hope that draft picks can replace.
Originally posted by English:
I think positions such as running back can be plugged in without too much difficulty. Call me old fashioned but I believe in keeping an O line together for extended periods.

Spot on. Look at almost all of the successful teams and you see that.
Originally posted by fryet:
I believe we had 9 Pro Bowlers this past year. Now we can argue about whether some of them really deserved it (Whitner got one?! Really?), however they are going to want top level money when it comes to resigning them. In some cases, we will have to let them go, because they just aren't worth that money. We will have to make some tough choices, I think, and that is what I was trying to determine in this thread, was which areas people felt were important to keep at a high level, and which areas we would be willing to cut/hope that draft picks can replace.

The comment was referencing our offensive line. At the present time, we have two Pro-Bowlers. I said maybe three because I could see Alex Boone possibly making it at some point in time or Anthony Davis could sneak in there if our run game continues to dominate and we get so many prime time games.
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