Your San Francisco 49ers have a lot ahead of them in 2014. The offseason has drove us insane for the amount of waiting. After the crucial NFC Championship loss to the rival Seahawks, every 49er fan could not wait for 2014. It is here. There was a lot that had happened in the offseasn, so let's take a look.
The 49ers made a trade prior to the draft for WR Stevie Johnson on the Bills. the 49ers gave up a pick for him and eventually would trade back in the draft which means they got a similar pick back, making Johnson's entrance to the 49ers almost without consequence.
The 49ers drafted what they needed this past spring. Key notable players drafted include: Jimmie Ward, Carlos Hyde, and Bruce Ellington. Ward brings defensive help in specifically safety or defensive back. Hyde is a running back who closely resembles that of Frank Gore and may take the helm in the coming years for San Francisco. Ellington is a receiver who may not produce in his rookie year but has some nice talent and can help in the future.
The 49ers had some mishaps this offseason. The NFL recently suspended linebacker Aldon Smith for the first 9 games of the season. Smith pleaded no contest in May to three felony charges of possessing illegal assault rifles and misdemeanor DUI, stemming from separate incidents in 2012 and 2013. He was sentenced last month to 235 hours of community service and three years of probation and will spend 11 Mondays on a sheriff’s work crew.
Defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested for domestic violence on Sunday. The NFL recently changed its policy on domestic violence this past week. That new policy includes a minimal six-game suspension for a player's first offense, and a lifetime ban for the second. The NFL can also suspend him for longer.
The 49ers did have some positive things happen. Offensive guard Alex Boone was holding out of training camp to get a new deal. Boone, 27, who has started all 32 games since 2012, was scheduled to earn a combined $3.2 million base salary over the next two seasons, including $1.2 million in 2015. Boone’s total pay will jump from $3.7 million to $6 million over the next two seasons, ProFootballTalk.com reported. In addition, the 49ers will not be able to place the franchise tag on him when his contract expires and his fines connected to his holdout were waived.
Preview of 2014
San Francisco has their hands full. The Seahawks look strong and the only weak area they may have is offensive line. The Cardinals have some strength to them. Their defense is top 10, solid run game, and average quarterback play. The Rams are most likely out of contention since QB Sam Bradford went down in preseason.
The defense for San Fran will probably be lacking a great deal for the first half of the year. Linebacker NaVarro Bowman was put on the PUP list for a knee injury suffered in the NFC Championship game against the Seahawks, Aldon Smith is suspended, and now Ray McDonald will be suspended. The core of the defense was in linebackers Willis, Bowman, and Smith headed that defense. Justin Smith also was a big contribute. Now, without Bowman and Smith, it's hard to determine how good the 49er defense really is.
Colin Kaepernick has a bit of a question mark. Usually you should take training camp very lightly but the 49er offense didn't look good. Even failing to score in the first two games. The offense is stacked at receiver with Boldin, Johnson, Davis, and Crabtree there. The pressure will rely on Kaepernick throughout most of the year if they really want to push to the top.