After the flurry of free agent signings, San Francisco 49er fans will likely see several players from NFC West rivals leave the division. Some of the players who are likely to sign with a new team have tormented Niner fans for years, so it will be nice to say goodbye.
It cuts both ways though as fans from the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams will not miss seeing Dashon Goldson, Ted Ginn Jr. or Isaac Sopoaga for two games every season. All of the players are not expected back with the 49ers next season.
Three players from NFC West rivals that are highlighted below have a long history against the 49ers. Hopefully free agency will pull them away from the division.
RB Steven Jackson
Jackson voided the final year of his contract because he did not want to be in a reduced role at running back. He still considers himself a starter, so he will test the free agent market to find a suitable team. The running back has lost some speed, but he still ran for 1,042 yards and four touchdowns this past season.
In 17 games against the 49ers, Jackson rushed for 1,252 yards, six touchdowns and had 53 receptions for 438 yards. His 1,252 rushing yards against the 49ers is the most against any team in his career. While he was successful running against the Niners defense, his numbers only resulted in six wins for the Rams since 2004.
Jackson will sign with another team, but he likely won’t find the starting role he is looking for. No matter which team he goes to, here’s to not having to go up against the running back twice a season.
Jackson Vs. 49ers:
S Adrian Wilson
Even though Wilson has been with the Cardinals the past 12 seasons, the team decided to release him rather than pay him a $1 million roster bonus. At 33 years old, Wilson lost playing time last season and with new head coach Bruce Arians, the team decided to go younger and parted ways with the long-tenured safety.
Wilson has been to five Pro Bowls and is known as one of the hardest hitting safeties in the NFL. In 13 games against the 49ers, Wilson recorded 38 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions. His 38 tackles is the most against any team in his career. My most lasting memory of Wilson was his big hit on Vernon Davis in 2009 which he was fined $10,000.
Wilson Vs. 49ers:
LB Leroy Hill
Hill has been with the Seahawks since 2005 and he helped the team go to Super Bowl XL in his rookie season. He was having a decent season last year until he had to deal with a hamstring injury. In eight games against the 49ers, Hill recorded 27 tackles and two sacks. His 27 tackles is the most against any team in his career.
While Hill was not as menacing to the 49ers as Jackson or Wilson over the years, he laid a dirty hit on Mario Manningham in Week 16 last season. The dirty hit caused Manningham to tear his ACL and he missed the rest of the season. Good riddance to Hill!
Hill’s Hit On Manningham: