The San Francisco 49ers let a number of players walk in NFL free agency this offseason. And, not surprisingly, the wide majority of them have yet to sign with another team.
We all know how bad the San Francisco 49ers were in 2016, and we need not go into the record, stats or production from a year ago. It’s in the past.
But the ramifications from last season are still being felt. Especially from players who wore the red and gold a year ago.
I took a look over at Pro Football Focus’ free agency tracker to see if I had missed any deals from some of San Francisco’s departures this offseason. A few I knew signed elsewhere. But the majority remain unemployed.
Here’s the list, in case you were wondering:
San Francisco brought back defensive tackle Chris Jones on Thursday, which is fine. He’ll add depth and competition for training camp. And we all know about wide receiver Jeremy Kerley’s return.
As for the rest, well, not much.
Safety Antoine Bethea and kicker Phil Dawson landed with the 49ers’ division rivals, the Arizona Cardinals. And wide receiver Torrey Smith signed on with the Philadelphia Eagles after being released.
Yet a number of other players have yet to find a home for 2017.
Just shows you how bad San Francisco’s roster was a season ago and, in deeper measure, how poorly former general manager Trent Baalke constructed last year’s cast.
No Market on Colin Kaepernick
It’s not a shock there isn’t a market on the Niners’ other quarterbacks — Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis.
But for Colin Kaepernick, who played notably well enough last season in spite of a bad supporting cast, there hasn’t been much of anything either.
Niner Noise broke down why the market on Kap has been so quiet. And it doesn’t take much to draw the conclusion it’s because of his national anthem protest and the various stances he took on social issues.
Whether or not you agree with him isn’t the point. If anything, his argument turned off more than a few NFL executives around the league. So even quarterback-needy teams out there are surely hesitant to make the phone call.
A guess would be some team eventually signs him to a backup deal. Quarterbacks, even ones with his on-field limitations, command value.
And there surely have been NFL players who have done far worse than stir up the social narrative and still managed to sign on as a free agent somewhere.
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As for the rest? Well, another guess would be a number wind up signing on minimum deals between now and the regular season.
Teams’ NFL Draft plans could go haywire, rosters fluctuate all the time in training camp and one season-ending injury can change everything.
Still, the lack of attention given to the wide majority of now ex-49ers just tells how bad things were for this franchise before this offseason.
Remember that as San Francisco literally starts from the ground up.