There aren’t a lot of things going on in the world of the 49ers right now, but when there is just a little, it seems to be a lot… (let me explain). The 49ers have not shown any interest at all in the recently released WR Jeremy Maclin, but his name is thrown around a lot in the 49ers community. There has been confirmations from 49ers insiders (Matt Maiocco), that the team hasn’t shown any signs of interest in the 29 year old WR ( https://twitter.com/MaioccoNBCS/status/872150327385915392 ), but every major 49ers website has an article asking whether or not John Lynch should reach out to him in attempts to sign him ( http://www.nothingbutniners.com/49ers/should-the-49ers-make-a-run-at-jeremy-maclin/ ).
The notion of signing yet another veteran to this team got me into a little tizzy. I wanted to know what the allure is, and specifically, during what is widely accepted as a “rebuild” year. If the fans of this team have accepted that this year is one for discovering and adding to the foundation, why do we clamor for every vet at the first chance we get? The answer in short, is that I honestly think that the fans of this team believe we have a legitimate shot at a playoff push ( http://www.nothingbutniners.com/49ers/kyle-shanahan-the-odd-man-out/ ). If that is the case, I understand the fans wanting to see more quality players being brought into the locker room to tutor and mentor the youth that will contribute to the future while becoming cornerstones of this team.
But again, I get a little deeper in thought when it comes to the need for these guys to join the long line of youth awaiting to get their turn. I think its more than that. Think about how the 49ers pursued (and landed) the likes of Elvis Kool Dumervil. Think about how the faithful reacted to the signing of a 30 year old (soon to be 31) WR. The fan base was elated and hopeful! And this is exactly how they reacted when they learned that the team landed yet another vet. with experience in Shanahan’s system, 30 year old TE Logan Paulsen. They didn’t seem to mind as long as it was someone with familiarity in the system, and someone that could help them win immediately. But I want to tell you all of the problems I have with this kind of logic, as it directly relates to the future of this team. Simply put: I would rather see a solid foundation being laid going forward.
I’m not one of the people who think the 49ers have a shot at going to the playoffs this year. Yes, I think that the team will win more games that the average viewer expects. Yes, I think that a healthy Brian Hoyer can get more wins than the typical 49ers fan expects. And I even think that Carlos Hyde is capable, and will have a career year! But that does not mean that I think we need to put young talent on the bench and make a push for the post season. Hear me, and hear me well when I say this: I would rather miss the post-season by a game or two, and fully develop and understand the talent this team has, or doesn’t have, than I would to make the post season, lose in the first round, and have to retire 6 veterans that we picked up along the way.
What most people aren’t considering is that in order to sign of these guys, we have to let someone go The fans seemed to be elated that we were able to land the best pass rushing free agent available, but I have yet to see an article that indicates which player was tallied as collateral damage. I don’t know what corresponding move has been made to make way for Elvis to enter the building. I know that the 49ers need offensive line help, and I for one, would be disappointed if we cut the likes of Darrell Williams Jr. I understand that most people may not know who Williams is, but as an avid viewer and one who takes every step in this process to heart, I want to be sure we aren’t trading a 24 year old lineman for a 30 year old edge rusher coming off an Achilles injury.
Is it that this coaching staff has no faith in the youth on the roster? If that is the case, who am I to argue it? I know that when I reflect on the young talent here, I often struggle to come up with someone that has not been on IR or missed more than 2 games in a season. I think I could make an excuse as to why this team is bringing in the hard nosed veterans, but I don’t know if I fully agree. Yes, we can sit here and say that the youngins on the roster have not lived up to the expectations, and that we think they will be right back on injury reports, but isn’t that all apart of the process? When do we get to see what someone like Smelter can do? We won’t if we are grabbing up the likes of Maclin or Decker as soon as they become available. We will never know what the likes of Taumoepenu can do if he is constantly being pushed aside to make room for someone like Elvis Dumervil. How do you think a player like Carlos Hyde felt when someone like Hightower was brought on board? I know, it’s not for us to decide who comes and who goes, the ages of said players, or even the roles they get when they join the squad. But all I know is that I have sat by, idly, while young talent keeps seats warm on the bench to allow players like Moss, Manningham, Lloyd, Boldin, and Smith to take up precious practice reps and playing time. I think its time for the likes of Lynch (Aaron), Armstead, Smelter, Hyde, Kilgore and Reid to show and prove what they have before the clock runs out on their time here in San Francisco!
What say you faithful?