It had been awhile.
1) Kap: Wow. Anyone who is complaining about this deal really doesn't know what they are looking at. SOOOO team friendly on so many levels. To me, the question is whether Colin knowingly put himself in this position to help the team or if the agent kinda got snookered.
First off, yes...it's a lot of money. It's the price of doing business though. Would it be nice to have a QB making 1 mil a season so that the team could always have a ton of money to pay everyone else? Of course it would. That's one of the reasons some on this site advocate just drafted a QB to take that spot because "almost any QB could win on this team". No, they can't. People have gotten the faulty impression that Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick having success means that any QB can do what they have done. To do so is folly.
If you decide that they need to keep Kap, then the next question you have to look at is what it costs to keep a QB in todays NFL AND more importantly what it will cost moving forward. The point many of you have about making sure your QB doesn't eat up to large a % of your cap space is NOT incorrect...its just that you are looking at it from an unrealistic viewpoint. Its not realistic to expect to constantly bring in a cheap rookie and expect him to win. What's real is finding a way to keep the guy you have and believe in (as they clearly do) and lock him in long term before the cost to do so rises so dramatically.
The cap is about to skyrocket. Next year, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson might be looking at north of 25 million per year. in a few years, 30 mil might be the benchmark. With the cap rising 10+ mil per year, agents for top shelf QBs will be looking to get larger and larger contracts. Meanwhile, Kap is signed for SEVEN YEARS.
If the true number was 21 mil per, then that would be enough for me to say this was a decent deal. But it isn't. The De-escalators kill 2 mil per if he doesn't take 80% of the snaps AND either make All-Pro or a Super Bowl. The "guarantees" are year to year so they can let him walk if he doesn't perform. The signing bonus is only 12 mil so there isn't a HUGE cap hit to let him walk. He makes less money every year if he gets injured. His cap number this year is so small that they might be able to resign 1 or 2 other guys.
Holy smokes, the Niners covered every base. As I said before, if this deal makes you mad then you don't know what you're looking at.
2) Gore/Hyde/Lattimore/Hunter/James: As they said on draft day, an embarrassment of riches. I predict Gore will slow down every year and he still puts up 1000. This year is different though. Not only might he be slowing down, but he's also in the last year of his contract. They need to find his replacement this year. The good news though is that they have a number of possible heirs. Lattimore should be healthy and we'll finally get to see if he can regain that pre injury form. Even pre injury he had an unorthodox running style. Carlos Hyde intrigues me. When I watch him, there are times he reminds me of Ricky Williams when he was at Texas (might be the size and the number). There are also times where I think he relies too much on his speed and getting the corner...and that won't happen in the NFL. Dunno. It'll be fun to watch tho. I've always liked Hunter, but I just dunno if he's the answer as the #1. I like James as well....but I think the writing might be on the wall there.
3) Crabtree/Boldin/Johnson/Lloyd/Patton/Ellington: Jeez...ridiculous depth. That's a far cry from early last season where it was Boldin and.....um.....nobody. I think Crab, Boldin, and Johnson are pretty clear at #1, #2, and #3, so its really the competition between Lloyd, Patton, and Ellington that interests me. Barring an injury, I just can't see Lloyd making the team. I like Patton, but he doesn't have Ellingtons speed....and that is the one thing this receiving corps lacks.
4) Defensive Backs: This is the main area of concern for me. I like Brock. I like Culliver....but it gets really thin after those 2 and we really don't know what we're gonna get from Culliver this year. With the injury and the legal situation, its and unknown. I like Jimmie Ward, but will he be ready to play the slot? Are Wright, Morris, Cox, and the rooks good enough depth? Dunno.
5) Draft: I love Trent Baalke. LOL. Peeps can harp on 2012 all they want, but nobody hits all the time. Bill Walsh wasn't perfect and was one of the best personnel men ever. Terrance Flagler. Reggie McGrew, Earl Cooper...all first round picks by Walsh. What Baalke has done in every year NOT 2012 has been to work the draft like no other. Draft Ninja. Actually...even in 2012 he was moving picks into 2013 to create that draft haul. Every year, they just keep coming away with player after player that was projected to go higher. VALUE picks. Picking the best player, not the player you need the most. He does this in the truest sense. If he needs a player, he'll go get him when he IS the best player available.
6) Seattle and the NFC West: As much as I've like the personnel moves this year, the other teams in the division all got better as well...including Seattle. They get Harvin back. They add Richardson. Speed, speed, and more speed on the outside. The combination of Lynch/Turbin/Michael on play action and those receivers streaking down the field is deadly. Oh and I hear their D is kinda good too. Ya know what tho? I wouldn't have it any other way. Competing with Seattle all year and having to play the Cards and Rams only makes the 49ers better. Iron sharpens Iron as Harbaugh says. If you can get out of the crucible of the NFC West, you can beat anyone.
7) Aldon Smith: Sigh. So much talent, so little self control. I really hope he's learned his lesson. I'd hate to see this be a Charles Haley situation where they trade/release him only to see him come back and be their nightmare. My guess is a 4 game suspension this year, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it were 8. That's OK with me tho....IF he finally learns the lesson. I want these issue DONE this year. No more. That's it. Any more and I think I'm done (not that my opinion matters).
8) Vernon: I'm sorry...I love the guy, but Vernon? Shut up and play.
9) Boone: OK, THIS guy needs a raise. Dunno what he's asking for, but he's clearly underpaid.
10) Levis Stadium: Man...after all these years, we finally get a new home. I remember back in the 90's watching my TV all night when the votes were coming in to get the ballot measure passed to build the Stadium/Mall complex on the Candlestick site. I remember it being behind most of the night and then tip near the end and the joy that ensued in thinking we were going to get a new stadium. I was so naÃ¯Â¿Â½ve. LOL. All these years later...it finally a reality. The time can't pass quickly enough.
I think I might just take a walk at lunch here to go see it again. Its right around the corner.