Since the firing of Jim Harbaguh a black hole had formed around the 49ers with Jed York and Trent Baalke seemingly in the middle of it.…That blackhole not only sucked all the success and capability out of the team, it also sucked in the hope and enjoy of an entire fanbase. Even the most loyal of fans confided that for the first time ever, they simply quit paying attention. The team had fallen into such a state of dissaray, that some were even hopeful that John York would take the reigns aways from son... and return the lost era of Dennis Erickson and Mike Nolan. If the 49ers have accomplished one thing this offseason, it is restoring interest to the franchise, giving both loyal and bandwagon fans something to once again pay attention. Even if you follow NFL betting news and odds at Skybook things are improving for the 49ers.
It was time to move on from Trent Baalke. The 49ers needed a clean slate if they were going to reverse the vortex of the black hole that had become the team, and in removing Baalke, Kelly, and Kaepernick seemed to be the measures the team needed to take. The remove of Baalke was without controversy. Kelly had done little to gain support - but people may have given him a chance under different circumstances. Meanwhile, the orbit around Kaepernick is just disfunctional.
The former 49ers quarterback has become the lightning rod of the offseason after a titillating off-field issues. His performance coming back from injury, while on the field though, was not statistically awful, on a team that was full of issues. Yet, no team seems to be willing to take a chance on Kaepernick early in free agency, despite he support of former coach Jim Harbaugh.
Jed York has turned to Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch to fill the leadership roles on the team as rookie Head Coach and General Manager respectively. His patience to land Shanahan, arguably the best coaching candidate of the offseason was the first sign that the team may finally have not only reversed the effects of the black hole, but perhaps even begun to restore hope to the offseason. The Lynch surprise furthered that approach by taking everyone offguard, and putting the 49ers in the hands of two rookie Leaders. Lynch however, quickly proved he knows what he does not know, and sought to add veteran front office managers to his senior staff.
Quite unexpectedly the 49ers seemed to be getting their house back in order, and to their credit, the team has been making itself over to shed ties to the black hole era. Ultimately, that's why Kaepernick won't even be given a chance to compete for a starting role with the team he almost won a Super Bowl just a few seasons ago. Despite having arguably better statistics than either of the 49ers free agent quarterback signings (Hoyer, and Barkley), the desire of Shanahan and Lynch to build on a clean slate, rather than a rocky foundation is clearly the strategy to turning the character of the team around.
Shanahan and Lynch took to the opening of free agency with a clear path in mind. They began to fill out the roster with players who understood Shanahan's system or defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's scheme. In most cases they went after talent that will plug holes, or play specific roles on the rosters rather than the biggest names available, whose interest in today's 49ers would probably be nominal at best. There were a few bigger splashes though, as the team managed to ink six of the better available free agents at their respective positions, with Garcon, Goodwin, Juzcyk, Mitchell, Smith and Zuttah (trade). These 6 in particular will be asked to makeover the fabric of the team, not just bringing talent to parts of the roster that were bottomed out last season.
With long 6-year contacts Shanahan and Lynch have the luxury of time to win a Super Bowl. The expectation that they make the 49ers relevant again though, begins this season. There is no doubt that the team is still going to look to the draft to add the talent that will truly make it competitive again for years to come. In wiping the slate clean, and adding players who both understand what it is like to win, and what it is like to turn a team around , they are making the 49ers interesting again. There is also plenty of salary cap room to go after their quarterback of the future if they can find it... because despite the success Hoyer achieved with Shanahan in the past, the odds are certainly stacked against him bringing greatness to the Niners.