The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks have been at it for quite some time now, stealing each other’s players. With the news that B.J. Daniels has also switched sides, it bears recalling just how much these teams try to get an edge. It has not just been since Jim Harbaugh arrived in Santa Clara, either—remember Michael Robinson? The Green Bay Packers also did not hesitate to pick up a couple of former 49er backup QBs prior to the season. Nevertheless, the rate at which players have moved up and down the West Coast has accelerated extremely rapidly since Harbaugh and Pete Carroll came to town. What, however, does it mean to the two teams?
Of the players moving from team to team, few or none have made significant impacts—otherwise they would not have been let go. Whatever knowledge they have been able to provide new teams with probably evened out both ways. The bigger impact players seem to have come from Harbaugh’s time in Palo Alto for the Stanford Cardinal. Richard Sherman is the biggest name to come to mind, with Doug Baldwin also having put up some good numbers. It takes good players, not mediocre ones that played for a rival, to make a team truly good. Carroll just happened to like some of the players he saw on the opposite sideline during his scandal-marred years in the Pac-10 (now 12, but that came later. . .) Harbaugh has chosen a different route. He’ll have at least one more chance this season to prove its worth.