San Francisco 49ers: What Should Be Their Next Move?


Things just keep on getting better for the San Francisco 49ers.

Jan 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) in the first half against the Denver Broncos during the AFC divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After some speculation on how the Niners could bolster their receiving corps, the team pulled one out of left field and traded for Ravens’ receiver Anquan Boldin.  Now, I won’t delve too much into it, but this will pay huge dividends for the team, as Anquan Boldin is a great possession receiver who will serve as a great target for Colin Kaepernick.  There are some who still are clamoring for a deep threat, but with Boldin, Vernon Davis, and Michael Crabtree (who still hasn’t reached his ceiling), I’d say that they are set at ball-catchers.

On the same day, however, the Seahawks traded for Percy Harvin, providing them with a good complement to Sidney Rice and giving the Niners’ biggest threat in the NFC West another asset.  On top of this, the Rams and the Cardinals have their own pieces in Danny Amendola and all-world superhuman Larry Fitzgerald, respectively.  Give those two teams a competent quarterback, and the NFC West could become very wild.

So, what do the NFC champions need to stay ahead of the pack?  Well, every team always has a need, all the time, but the Niners are sitting relatively pretty.  But, the Boldin trade does raise some concerns about an ability to keep safety Dashon Goldson.  And, given the changing landscape of the division, and the NFL itself, the secondary is not an area where there is much room for error.  In short, then, the best idea right now is to start taking a look at defensive backs.

Though the trade will take a bigger chunk out of the salary cap, the Niners were doing pretty well following the trade of Alex Smith and the release of David Akers.  Now, San Francisco has an exceptional front seven, so the defense will mostly be able to maintain its performance from last season.  Who is available to bolster the ball hawks, though?

Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) reaches for the ball on fourth down in the fourth quarter against Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed (20) in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Names being thrown out include Baltimore safety Ed Reed and Dolphins corner Sean Smith.  Snagging Ed Reed would be absolutely awesome.  Not only is he a big name to excite the fan base (as if it needs any excitement), but this move would give the Niners two heavy contributors from the only team that was better than them last season.  Additionally, Reed is a veteran who would bring those intangible qualities to a young, hungry team.  Age is an issue, but when is it not?  Sean Smith, on the other hand, is a lot younger and has a big body, the type that would be perfect to matchup one-on-one with the Fitzgeralds and the Harvins.

Though a DB is no guarantee, it seems like the logical hole to fill should Goldson leave.  Other than that, 49er fans shouldn’t worry too much.  This team was in the upper-echelon of teams in the NFL before the trade.   Now, they are just icing the cake.  Adding a big-time DB would likely make them the odds-on favorites to win it all.