The wheeling and dealing has begun for the San Francisco 49ers and after a couple of days of free agency, the team has said goodbye to a core player and welcomed three other ones. Here’s a recap of the team’s offseason moves.
Phil Dawson re-signs
Bringing back Dawson was really a no-brainer for San Francisco. During the season he only missed 4 of his 36 kicks and at one point hit 27 straight. This guy proved to be a weapon and the team had complete trust in him. Even though he’s 39, he has shown no signs of slowing down and will be a vital peace in the 49ers’ quest for a sixth championship.
Donte Whitner signs with Cleveland Browns
One of the main pieces of the brilliant 49ers’ defense is gone. Whitner went back to his home state of Ohio and signed with the Cleveland Browns for a reported four years worth 28 million. Even though his loss is a huge one I agree with the front office not forking over the money especially knowing how the departure of Dashon Goldson played out (Eric Reid, Pro-bowler). Whitner had great years in San Francisco and deserves what he is getting paid but at the moment the Niners need to focus on other areas.
Antoine Bethea signed
Well, the mourning period of Donte Whitner’s departure ended rather quickly as the 49ers signed veteran safety Antoine Bethea to four-year $21.5 million deal. Bethea is a veteran who is a very smart football player who has made 96 straight starts and last years recorded 110 tackles and two interceptions.
He comes at a cheaper price than Whitner and is not nearly the same bruiser, but could still be very productive when surrounded by the rest of the Niners defense. One important thing to note is how differently both players get flagged. In eight years, Bethea has only been penalized for unnecessary roughness (15 yards) three times. Whitner was flagged for the same penalty five times last year alone.
49ers acquire Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars
San Francisco gave a sixth round pick, which will more than likely not come back to bite them, but in return the got a guy that has been a complete disaster for the Jaguars. He’s a pretty athletic guy with good size who can move around the pocket, but has not shown any type of consistency throwing the ball.
The 49ers are clearly banking on the fact that coach Harbaugh can bring out the best in what is still a very young quarterback. In the end, this is a low risk move for the 49ers who still have more than enough picks in this year’s draft.
49ers acquire Jonathan Martin from Dolphins
This was the move that had the media outlets talking. The Miami Dolphins basically gave away Martin to San Francisco for a conditional 2015 seventh rounder, reuniting Martin with his former coach at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh. Of course we all know that Martin was victim to the bullying scandal in Miami so this gives him an opportunity for a fresh start. Although he hasn’t played his best, he is still a second round pick and could potentially see a lot of playing time with the 49ers.