Final Report Card
- Free-Agency: B+
- Trades: A-
- Draft: B
Overall Grade: B+
Let’s be clear about something — the 49ers had a very good offseason.
It’s still easier to argue the team is less talented than they were last season than the other way around. This is the new challenge for a 13-3 team coming off a Super Bowl appearance.
Williams is probably an upgrade over Staley, if for no other reason than Staley only played in seven games last season. But, the losses of Sanders and Buckner are not small.
While the team dealt with a bevy of injuries, the five most important players: Kittle, Bosa, Buckner, Garoppolo, and Sherman only missed three games combined. Buckner won’t be back and the rest of the group (with the exception of Kittle) has some extensive injury history.
The margins are so small in the NFL that just a few bits of randomness are all that separate a 13-3 team from 15-1 or 10-6.
There were a number of tough decisions awaiting the top decision-makers in San Francisco. The days of excessive draft capital and cap space were over. The realities of the NFL’s salary cap required something to give.
Given the array of challenges, it was clear that the 49ers followed a cohesive plan. While a number of individual choices can be critiqued, most changes would have required an entirely different approach to the entire offseason.
Cohesion is the most important thing in the NFL. Overinvesting in one spot or failing to infuse young talent is how a team ends up where the Rams were this offseason.
Balancing long-term success with short-term gains often is a catch-22, but credit to San Francisco for handling the process well.