Well that makes it 0-2 for me. Just yesterday I published this column on remaining moves that would make sense for the 49ers. Within 24 hours two have already been squashed. I called for the 49ers to cut outside linebacker Parys Haralson and bring back Manny Lawson. This would save cap space and give the 49ers a more versatile backup OLB with Aldon Smith now moving into the starting lineup. The Bengals have since announced that they have resigned Lawson to a 1 year deal. Then early Wednesday the 49ers announced that they have agreed to a 1 year deal with former Giants RB Brandon Jacobs, negating #2 on my list, not to sign or trade for a veteran RB such as Jonathan Stewart or Brandon Jacobs.
Well, for one thing Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh are proving to me they either A) Don’t read Niner Noise or B) They don’t care what I think. The other is they aren’t afraid to shake up the locker room. Chemistry and a great locker room were key ingredients to the Harbaugh led franchise turnaround 14-4 season last year. The team brought in high character players and showed zero tolerance to those showing an attitude or causing disruption in the locker room (see Edwards, Braylon).
This offseason the 49ers have signed three players with we’ll call it rocky pasts. First it was wide receiver Randy Moss, one of the most talented and celebrated WRs of all time. Moss has also been traded or released five times in his career due to issues with the franchise, including three times in one season in 2010, his last in the NFL. They then gave a chance to cornerback/kick returner Perrish Cox. A former fifth round pick who slipped in the draft due to character concerns coming out of college. Then after a turbulent rookie season in Denver he was out of football in 2011 after being accused of rape (later found not-guilty).
Then the signing of Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs who fell out of favor in New York after being upset with his backup role when the Giants demoted him in favor of the younger Ahmad Bradshaw. Jacobs who turns 30 in July has seen his production slip in recent seasons, gaining just over 500 yards last season on only 3.8 yards per carry. Although he expressed discontent with his contract and role in NY, teammates and those around the team insist Jacobs was well liked by his teammates and was not a distraction in the locker room.
Starting in four games this past season with Bradshaw sidelined, Jacobs played pretty well. The knock on him recently is that he is not running with the same type of power he did from 05-08. He’s running East to West instead of North-South and the numbers supported that. As his yards per carry have declined so has his 3rd or 4th and short conversion rates the last two seasons. But Jacobs looked good in that role the last five games of the regular season and in the playoffs for the Giants.
San Francisco did not acquire Jacobs to compete with starter Frank Gore. Gore will still be the main ball carrier for the team. This move is likely made with a few things in mind. Primary being as roster competition for Anthony Dixon. The 49ers signed Rock Cartwright to be a Special Teams ace so Dixons ST supremacy over Jacobs is a non-factor in their roster competition. Cartwright is in essence taking former fullback Moran Norris’ spot. He will serve as backup FB to Brad Miller, ST ace and emergency RB. The 49ers also likely hope that Jacobs can serve as an insurance policy if Gore were to get hurt. The teams other back, Kendall Hunter is a smaller, change of pace type of back the team would prefer not to have to rely on as it’s primary rusher. Trent Baalke has referred to the NFLs trend of needing three RBs that compliment each other. With the powerful Gore and speedy, change of pace Hunter, in theory if things work out, Jacobs can be the backup power back and insurance starter if something happens to Gore.
In other 49er news, it looks like a soft market for inside linebackers and his restricted free agent tag may bring Larry Grant back to SF.
Bout that time for me to get back home and in my business mode.. gotta get it folks.. Big year for the niners!!!! #TunnelVision…
For a look at all the 49ers roster moves to date check out our Free Agency Tracker HERE.
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