49ers Free Agency Update

49er players are reporting to training camp today with the first practice under Jim Harabugh on Friday.  The 49ers signed all ten of their recent picks ensuring the full rookie class will be on the field tomorrow.  First-round draft pick Aldon Smith and second-round draft pick Colin Kaepernick were signed to four-year deals with a club option for a fifth year.  Other 49er rookies that signed are cornerback Chris Culliver, defensive back Curtis Holcomb, running back Kendall Hunter, receiver Ronald Johnson, safety Colin Jones, fullback Bruce Miller, and guard Mike Person.  It will be great not having any rookie holdouts this season.

While the Frank Gore holdout continues the 49ers suffered another setback with last season’s starting center David Baas signing with the New York Giants.  In response the 49ers re-signed backup offensive lineman Tony Wragge to a one-year deal.  Losing Baas is a big deal as he filled in nicely for center Eric Heitmann when he went down for the year because of an injury.  I thought for sure the 49ers would make Baas one of their top priorities to re-sign however the Giants offered a better deal.  With no good centers available in free agency I think the 49ers should go with lineman Adam Snyder who has experience playing multiple positions on the O-line.  Heitmann is still with the 49ers but had neck surgery that could cause him miss the 2011 season.

With the 49ers first practice tomorrow we could have Alex Smith taking snaps at quarterback.  Smith signed a one-year, $5 million deal however he cannot attend practice until the NFL Union recertifies.  The deadline for that is August 4 so 49er fans might have five days of practice without Smith.  This is a good or a bad thing depending on where you fall in the ‘I support/don’t support’ Alex Smith debate.  It is a good thing because we may not have Smith on the field for five days and we will finally be able to see what it feels like not to have number 11 on the team.  It is a bad thing because he is missing out on training camp and learning the offense.  Either way he is your potential starting quarterback.  Here’s to the 49ers surprising us and signing a free agent quarterback tomorrow.  Or to Kaepernick being this seasons Sam Bradford.  I want anything other than Alex Smith.

There is good news on the 49ers re-signing their players as defensive lineman Ray McDonald inked a five-year, $20 million deal.  McDonald has only started nine games in his four-year career with all of them coming in the 2008 season.  McDonald will most likely be in the starting lineup next season with Aubrayo Franklin not likely to re-sign.  If Franklin leaves I think the best thing for the 49ers to do is to have McDonald take over Isaac Sopoaga’s spot at defensive end and move Sopoaga to nose tackle should Franklin leave.   Re-signing Franklin is the more ideal option but this is a good backup plan.


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