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Niner Talk: NFL Free Agency

Posted Mar 14, 2013

Senior national football writer Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com joined our latest Niner Talk podcast to discuss NFL Free Agency.

The San Francisco 49ers have signed one player, Glenn Dorsey, three days into the hectic free agency period. They’ve also acquired Anquan Boldin via trade, pending a physical.

The team, however, is poised to make quality additions in the coming weeks and later in April when the NFL Draft begins.

That’s the opinion of FoxSports.com’s Peter Schrager, a senior national football writer who recently joined us for a special offseason edition of 49ers.com’s Niner Talk podcast.

“I’ll say this about the 49ers,” Schrager began, “free agency will come and go, but I’ve had multiple agents and one team official refer to the NFL Draft in April as, ‘The San Francisco 49ers Invitational.’

“They have that many picks, they will be the power broker at that thing and we’ll see how it all plays out.”

The 49ers are expected to have 14 selections when the draft begins on April 25, but before we break down potential draft needs, the team is currently shaping its 2013 roster with a number of moves and reported visits.

Here are several key points made by Schrager in the podcast interview:

On the team’s decision to trade QB Alex Smith

“In the end, the 49ers played it pretty close to the vest. I think they gave off the impression that they were willing to keep Smith around, but in the end they traded him… It’s going to be the right decision for them… That money helped them speak with a lot of different free agent talent early.”

On the team’s pending trade for WR Anquan Boldin

“You lose Delanie (Walker), I think a GM described him as a ‘human chess piece’ to me, that he could do so many things and worked so well in the Niners offense. He was used in so many different ways that he becomes five different players in one. However, the money the Titans gave him was a lot and I don’t think the Niners were willing to pay that when (they) already have Vernon Davis at that position on the books. So what do you do? You upgrade at receiver. Boldin to me, for at least the next couple years… that is a steal… I think it’s a great upgrade. I think he’s an elite receiver; you have (Michael) Crabtree and Boldin. Those starters and Davis, I love that.”

On reported visits from veteran free agent defensive backs

“I think if you get a Louis Delmas, if you get an Ed Reed, if you get a Charles Woodson, if you get someone of that caliber, I know they’ve met with Nnamdi (Asomugha), those veterans, that their old teams weren’t willing to pay top dollar for… If the Niners can get these guys… that’s great. I think a guy like Charles Woodson has some football left. I think Ed Reed does... You’re pretty good already, if you add some veterans in there, you’re going to have talent back there. If their old teams don’t want to pay them, the Niners could be the beneficiary. I like what they’re doing. With 14 draft picks, cornerback, safety, you could be sure they’re going to get some of those guys, too.”

On Jim Harbaugh’s ability to recruit free agents

“I can tell you first-hand, these guys love him… They all want to play for this guy. I think everything about Jim Harbaugh is what a player wants to play for. He’s smart. He’s diligent and he’s charismatic. He takes care of his guys… He’s got a magic touch with these guys. He’s a straight-shooter. I can’t praise him enough for how he handles his business. I think that seriously makes a difference when you’re recruiting these free agents.”

On DL Glenn Dorsey’s potential with the 49ers

“This is the perfect kind of guy to join the 49ers. He’s had his moments in Kansas City, but was really languishing out there… I remember when Glenn Dorsey was a junior at LSU and there was talk that he’d be a top-5 pick. He went back for his senior year and dominated… The Atlanta Falcons had the No. 3 overall pick that year and took Matt Ryan. A lot of people were shocked they didn’t take Dorsey. He was that dominant of a player in college. The talent was there… I still think that talent is there. He’s a young guy, this could be trouble. You put him with Justin Smith and that coaching staff; watch out, this could be an amazing signing.”

On veteran free agents looking to make a Super Bowl run with the 49ers

“It looks like teams are standing around waiting to see what’s happening… You look a couple of days into this and teams are sitting around waiting to see what other teams do… It’s tough on veterans. It’s almost as if teams want to have rookies they can roll the dice on than these veterans they have to spend money on.”

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