Weeks of contract negotiation and figure trading between Trent Baalke and the agent for Frank Gore finally closed session Wednesday. The 49ers inked their star back to a very reasonable 3-year, $21 million deal with $13.5 guaranteed, finally paying the lead back top dollar.
The deal is roughly half (total wise) of what DeAngelo Willams got from Carolina, which was said to be Gore's sticking point, but gives Gore a little more annually though lacks the years. After looking at Williams' deal and now Chris Johnson's $53.5 Million deal for 4 years and Frank Gore is starting to look like a steal. I'm a bit surprised he settled for what he did, luckily for Baalke, it came the day before Johnson's $13M/Season deal was announced. This is such a win for the 49ers and also for Gore as he can now focus on football. Players always say their contract situation doesn't effect their play, but that's hardly the case, especially in Gore's position where he was being grossly underpaid by league standards for his production at running back. After the huge deal the media was making of it, I was sure Gore was seeking $40-50 million, so again, what a huge win for SF. Even though both DeAngelo and Johnson are probably worth every penny they'll get (though Williams was overpaid, flat out), and are star players, the difference between them, and Gore is very slim.With Frank's new deal, the 49ers get him for his prime years right through the time he turns 30 which is supposedly the dreaded age for highly used rushers like Gore. This also is the final cog in locking up the 49ers core offensive skill players as now Vernon Davis Michael Crabtree and Gore are all locked up until 2014. Now if only they can find that quarterback!
Speaking of which, in their preseason finale, which I normally chalk up to just a scrimmage of 3rd teamers with, Alex Smith got some time in there to start the game and did well, granted he was going up against mostly 2nd team Texan defenders. Smith was a conservative 8-10 with 45 yards but led the 49ers on a scoring drive in which Anthony Dixon punched it in from a yard out. After Smith departed though, Colin Kaepernick has looked as bad as he has since he's arrived in San Francisco. He went 3 of 7 with 2 interceptions and a sack and just looked flat out dreadful out there. Still not sure what exactly Jim Harbough and Co. saw in this kid but he was coming out of a funky system, has a funky delivery, and looks way too rushed out there. I've heard many of football people and insiders say they see something in this kid, but from my point of view, the kid doesn't even look like he belongs on the depth chart. I haven't seen him practice a lick, but I've seen him in games vs. other teams back ups and 3rd teamers and he's yet to impress me the slightest. I would give you the "he's young and he's still going up against NFL guys for the first time" speal, but again, he's facing rookies and guys in the same boat as him tonight and he's stinking the place up! Josh McCown has immediately stepped in and had success, completing his first 3 throws for 55 yards.
Next: Speaking of the 49ers Quarterback situation, we'll have a 49ers QB special along with final preseason thoughts mixed in with our upcoming AFC/NFC divisional previews, so stay tuned here at BASJ as we get you prepped and ready for Kickoff '11 which takes place just 1 week from today as we should have at least one or 2 posts up per day!