The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Niners Have Dropped The Ball In Desperate Quest For Wideouts

Matt Maiacco, The Press Democrat

The 49ers continue to search for answers at wide receiver. It is one area of the 49ers' roster in which Scot McCloughan and Mike Nolan have really struggled since coming on board in 2005.
With their release of Darrell Jackson today, the 49ers officially admitted their failure in giving up a fourth-round draft pick to acquire his services a year ago. Jackson was inconsistent last season. He had several critical dropped passes, including one in the end zone against the Rams that could've won a game. Jackson did not fare well for much of the season, as the 49ers received all-around lousy play the passing game. Still, just last week, McCloughan said he expected Jackson and Isaac Bruce to be the starting receivers. In the meantime, the 49ers added receiver Bryant Johnson. Based on what McCloughan said, that means Jackson was no worse than the No. 3 receiver on the team.

Nolan last night called Jackson to inform him he was released. The 49ers aren't doing much talking to the local media these days, so we can only assume why this move was made now.
Perhaps, they figured Jackson was not worth $4 million in salary. That's a reasonable assessment.

The 49ers have no salary-cap issues, but the basic economics of the game dictate that you can't pay a guy that kind of money if you believe his production will not justify his salary. After all, Bryant Johnson is scheduled to make $2 million on his one-year contract. If he was going to be starting ahead of Jackson, that wouldn't have made sense. A year ago, the 49ers traded for Jackson. They coughed up a fourth-round draft pick to the division-rival Seahawks. Obviously, the Seahawks got the better end of that deal. The Seahawks, who have ruled the NFC West for a while, knew what they were doing.

Here are some of the other things that have gone wrong for the 49ers at the wideout spots since 2005:
--Brandon Lloyd was the 49ers' leading receiver in 2005, but he was universally disliked. He made incredible catches but was terrified to go across the middle or block. Any mention of Lloyd has to be regarded as this regime's best move when it comes to wideouts. After all, the 49ers traded him the Redskins in 2006 for two draft picks.
--Rasheed Marshall was selected in the fifth round of the 2005 draft. The 49ers tried to convert the former West Virginia quarterback to wide receiver/return man. He didn't fare well in either duty. His 49ers career consisted on one reception for negative-1 yard.
--Johnnie Morton was at the end of his career when the 49ers signed him in 2005. He caught 21 passes, and was generally a non-factor. The 49ers released him following the season, and he went on to get his butt kicked as an ultimate fighter.
--Brandon Williams was selected with the 84th overall pick. The 49ers envisioned him as a slot receiver/return specialist. He never caught a pass and was ultra-boring as a return man. After just three games of his second season, the 49ers released him to bring in ancient returnman Michael Lewis.
--Antonio Bryant is the most talented receiver the 49ers have had since the departure of Terrell Owens, but his off-the-field issues resulted in a four-game suspension at the end of the 2006 season. This came after Nolan met individually with an unsigned Bryant and felt assured that he had matured enough to be given a chance to join the 49ers. But after Bryant's suspension, the 49ers arrived at the conclusion that he could not be counted on. He was dumped after one season.
--Taylor Jacobs was acquired in a trade with the Redskins for Mike Rumph. There was nothing wrong with that trade because Rumph was going to get cut, anyway. Jacobs had a great offseason last year but never carried it over to the games. He began last season as the No. 3 receiver, but he had a few drops and ran a wrong route against the Steelers that resulted in an interception return for a touchdown.
--Bryan Gilmore is a favorite of receivers coach Jerry Sullivan, who fought hard for him to make the team out of camp last summer. Gilmore was cut. But after Jacobs faltered, the 49ers re-signed Gilmore for the fifth game of the season. Despite being out of work for the first month of the season, Gilmore immediately stepped in to become the No. 3 receiver. Gilmore played 26 games with the 49ers mostly as the No. 3 receiver (he also started three games), yet he caught only 15 passes.
--Ashley Lelie was signed a year ago to a two-year, $4.2 million contract. Lelie was signed as a deep threat. Yet, he rarely got on the practice field during training camp and had zero impact during the season. After a loss to the Ravens, Mike Nolan admitted he had a conversation with opposing defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who said the Ravens were prepared to double-team Lelie because of his speed. However, Lelie rarely got on the field that game. Lelie finished the season with 10 catches for 115 yards.
--Jason McAddley was another player Sullivan really liked after coaching him with the Cardinals. McAddley caught seven passes in 2005 and never played another down for the club.
--LeRon McCoy stole 10 game checks from the 49ers, who placed him on their 53-man roster after five games. He never suited up for a game. And when the 49ers released him prior to the final game of the season to make room for QB Drew Olson, he left the organization for good.
--Jason Hill was a third-round draft pick with a lot of potential. He was hampered by injuries as a rookie. When he was healthy, he was never really given a chance to show what he could do. Hill saw action in just five games and caught just one pass.
--Marcus Maxwell was worth a seventh-round draft pick. Big and fast, Maxwell was seen as a guy who had a chance to develop. He spent just four games on the 49ers' active roster his first two seasons. (He was kept on the practice squad most of that time.) He tore it up in NFL Europe, but did not get much of a chance last year in 49ers training camp. The club released him and he's now with the Bengals.
* * *
It should also be noted, on the positive side, that the current regime renegotiated Arnaz Battle's contract in March 2007. He is signed through 2009 at a very reasonable price. I wouldn't at all be surprised if Battle were the most reliable wideout on the team again this season.
* * *
So that brings us to the moves the 49ers have made this offseason. The club has signed Johnson and Bruce.

The 49ers were not at all interested in Johnson at the start of free agency because they figured he would get more money than he's worth. As it turns out, there were no takers. Johnson fell into the 49ers' lap at $2 million for one year. That's not a bad price for a one-year test drive.
Bruce is near the end of his career, but he has one thing going for him: He's the only receiver on the roster who knows Mike Martz's offense. The 49ers signed him to a two-year, $6 million contract.

You gotta believe these moves will work out better than the other moves the 49ers have made in recent seasons. But, seriously, how could they turn out worse?

No comments:

49ers world is a site for fans of the San Francisco 49ers. is in no way associated with the San Francisco 49ers or the NFL. All NFL logos are the property of the NFL and NFL Properties. All other photos and images are the property of the providers and are used solely for non-profit entertainment purposes. If you would like to contact the 49ers, you can do so by visiting their official NFL team page at .

Pageviews Today