In the last couple of weeks, the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball pulled off a signing coup that the San Francisco 49ers hope to do this offseason.
Atlanta was able to sign four of their top young talents to long term extensions, ensuring that they keep their foundation for the next several years. The 49ers are hoping to do the same as the likes of Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, Michael Crabtree, and Aldon Smith, who are all set to become free agents within the next year or two.
Meanwhile, Tarell Brown, Donte Whitner, and Anquan Boldin are all set to become free agents in March and the 49ers would like to bring them all back next season.
Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh will enter the 4th year of his 5-year deal in 2014 after signing back in 2011.
The time to win is now for the 49ers. Those teams fortunate enough to have continued success in the current NFL era, might only realistically have a two-to-three year window where they have a legitimate chance to win a Super Bowl.
For the Philadelphia Eagles and Donovan McNabb, their window lasted four seasons (2001-2004) resulting in one Super Bowl appearance. The 49ers will look to repeat Philly’s streak of four straight NFC title game appearances next season, this time however, they’ll look to change history by capturing the 6th Super Bowl in franchise history.
They certainly have the team, the players, and the coaches to do it, money and time on the other hand, may not be on their side.
Kaepernick is looking at a long term deal that could possibly pay him between $17-19 million a year if the 49ers choose to sign him this offseason. A year’s wait and another Super Bowl run, and possibly a Super Bowl victory could up the cost to Aaron Rodgers type money ($22 million).
According to CSNBayArea.com writer Matt Maiocco, the 49ers are currently locked in at $121.2 million for the 2014 salary cap. The 49ers have some cap room available and will probably part ways with defensive back Carlos Rogers, whose salary is at $6 million for next season. Whitner may prove to be to expensive to re-sign, meaning the 49ers could pull an Eric Reid type move and make a trade to select a safety in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The 49ers are riding that fine line where teams are looking to pick apart their sustained success, and in the process, San Francisco will lose key parts of their current mini-dynasty.
Smart spending, smart drafting, and key long term deals to their core players will play a role in how long the success of this 49ers squad lasts. It starts with their head coach and ultimately falls onto the shoulders of their quarterback.
Here’s hoping that the San Francisco front office is able to work their magic to ensure that this current group of 49ers stays together and hopefully, wins a Super Bowl together.