49ers: A Lucky Conspiracy or Pure Genius?

This post was written by Jared A. Quan

When the lockout started I wrote an article stating how lucky the 49ers were to have the lockout. This was because it would give Jim Harbaugh and company time to adjust, not to mention if his first season was a losing record fans would surly blame it on the lockout and not Harbaugh. Of course I made the assumptions thinking that the 49ers would surly hold onto the quality players that would be in free agency, and assuming they would at least pick a player or two up in free agency.

It has been tough to watch the 49ers lose players like David Bass, Takeo Spikes, Manny Lawson, Nate Clements, Joe Nedney and Aubrayo Franklyn. All the while the 49ers add the modest talent of David Akers, Madieu Williams, and McLeod Bethel-Thompson. I could not help but feel the possibility that this could be a lucky conspiracy, or pure genius.

A lucky conspiracy in the fact that if the 49ers managed to play so poorly they would end up with the number one pick  in the next draft, or close enough to it, that Jim Harbaugh would be united with Andrew Luck at the expense of the team, fans, and the 2011 season. Of course the 49ers could end up in that situation regardless of if Harbaugh and GM Trent Balke were trying to sabotage the season, converting the circumstances into a truly lucky conspiracy.

However, Jim Harbaugh could possibly be showing off his pure genius. By playing the free agency cautiously, he and Balke control the salary cap, placing them well in control to address needs and future needs. Also by letting go of some players like Nate Clements and Manny Lawson, which neither truly panned out to the expectations of their salaries, they let go of baggage weighing down the team. Also he is giving younger players more of a chance to break out. It is possible that Jim and company have utilized the lockout time to deeply study the films, and sees some real talent that had been buried under high profile players.

Regardless of whether this is a lucky conspiracy or pure genius; everything will be laid out as the season starts. Though I will still blame a poor season more on the lockout, I seriously doubt the fans will give very much room for forgiveness if the 49ers show up in embarrassing fashion. However it will hardly spell doom for Harbaugh if this first season flops. If the fans have learned anything, they have learned that they finally have a bonafide head coach to work with.


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Tags: 49ers 49ers Free Agency Jim Harbaugh San Francisco 49ers

  • NinerNoise

    I hope it is pure genius. But when you are comfortable with Alex Smith as your quarterback genius is thrown out the window.

  • BryanMcIntyre

    Bah! Alex Smith stuff–come on. Who, seriously, were we gonna get that could offer what Smith does to the team right now? He knows, about as good as anyone at this point, the system. He’s got the hearts and minds and bodies of the players all aimed in the right direction. He’s a -decent- quarterback on the field, but a pretty darned good one, maybe even great, off the field. What more could you ask for to groom your young talent in CK? Alex Smith is hired to be a coach that’s holding the QB position in trust until young master CK comes of age. Simple as that.I’m -very- worried about this season. Are they purposefully tanking it? No way, that’d be just dumb. NOBODY knows how good Luck will be in the years to come. Nobody will until they happen. These cuts and patience are clearing room for future signings after we figure out just WHO the Niners are. Cuz, seriously, we don’t know. We’ve thought we’ve known for the last couple seasons and we absolutely haven’t. This is the ripping of the bandaid. This is raising taxes AND cutting spending. This is the hard part that makes everything else easier in the future. Count on it.

  • jaredquan

    @BryanMcIntyre Like it or not Harbaugh has already brought in a guy he had once scouted for a collage team, McLoad Bethal-Thompson. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that he would want to reunite with Luck, that is what I am suggesting, is the possibility. That said I am favoring the genius part, and I happen to lean towards your opinion of Smith, but lets face it, even if Alex takes the first half of the season it will be a win for CK and Harbaugh. It would give the team time to gel, and protect the new QB. Alex knows he is playing for all the chips at this point, one good season will put him into a halfway decent contract with another team. I would watch for him to take a little more risk, enhanced by a little west coast.

  • Sniper49er

    Alex Smith had potential, and between Nolan and Singltary, it has all been thrown away. Alex is nothing more than a stand in. If you train up CK and tout his as the next best thing, and end up with the numbe 1 pick next year, Andrew Luck is a 49er. That is when the 49ers trade off CK and make some moves to really improve this team. I don’t think Harbaugh is sabotaging the team for this goal, but I don’t think he is helping it at all. I’m all for Harbaugh!!

  • fortyninerstickets

    Alex Smith cannot be underestimate he has the truly the potential.


  • jaredquan

    I respectfully disagree with your assessment of Alex Smith. Also in the short time this article has been posted, Harbaugh and Balke have finally done a few things to patch this team up. Tragically I see a common theme of one year contracts.

  • Sniper49er

    @jaredquan This morning on Mike and Mike in the morning on ESPN, Skip Bayless pretty much sumed up my feelings on Alex Smith. “I don’t know why they keep him around, everyone keeps thinking they can fix him. They needed to move on to someone like Vince Young.” Unless Harbaugh wanted the season to go to the dogs.

  • jaredquan

    @Sniper49er I think it is ironic that your last thought, totally conflicts with Skip Bayless’s thoughts on Jim Harbaugh in the same show, where he said, “Some people think that Harbaugh is planning on purposely throwing the season, I think that is preposterous, I don’t think it is in him,”