Potential 2013 San Francisco 49ers roster changes
The 2012 season is over for the San Francisco 49ers, and now we look onto the potential 2013 San Francisco 49ers roster changes. The 49ers will be potentially saying goodbye to 15 players who hit free agency in 2013. The number 1 player the 49ers have to lock down in 2013 is Dashon Goldson. The 49ers tried to get a contract extension done in 2012, but the talks fell apart. Now Goldson will be exposed to other suitors, and that does not bode well for the 49ers. The 49ers defense will not be the same with Goldson in the lineup, and that is why he must be re-signed as soon as possible.
Fans don’t want him going to the St. Louis Rams anytime soon because that could happen. After Goldson comes the biggest question mark of all the free agents in 2013 in Randy Moss. Moss, on one hand, has had a minor resurgence under Colin Kaepernick’s arm, but at the same time will be turning 36 next season. He will probably want a two-year contract, and the 49ers should give it to him, but they need to be wary of the age risk. Ted Ginn Jr. is a free agent and it would be gratifying to see him in 2013, but I’d rather see him gone.
Find a returner in the draft and move on, because Ginn is becoming the Devin Hester of the 49ers, not in a good way either. The 49ers could potentially lose some depth in the linebackers, because Tavares Gooden, Larry Grant and Clark Haggans hit the market in 2013. Haggans is the most likely to be lost, and that leaves the 49ers looking for some good backups in free agency or the draft. Then the defensive line will be potentially missing Ricky Jean Francois, Ian Williams and Isaac Sopoaga.
The 49ers may get a few of them to come back, but that leaves a hole in the middle of the defense at nose tackle. Finding a starting nose tackle in the NFL is as hard as finding a franchise quarterback. That means Sopoaga needs to be re-signed till the 49ers can find a viable replacement. This may come in the next draft, but they also need to find a replacement for Justin Smith who is also showing signs of slowing down. Bottom-line the defense is playing outstanding, but needs some repairs to be vital into the future.
The last player to be mentioned is Delanie Walker. Walker was supposed to develop into a polished dual tight end threat with the 49ers Vernon Davis, but that has changed since Jim Harbaugh took the job. He is up for free agency in 2013 and will be let go as the 49ers try to find more run blocking tight end specialists. Harbaugh is not that big of a fan of tight ends as pass catchers, because of Vernon Davis’ production dipping in 2012. It will be fascinating to see what direction he goes in the 2013 offseason at the tight end position and be ready to possibly see Davis playing on another team as a result.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.