New 49ers' head coach Jim Harbaugh turned around the fortunes of the 49ers and had them within one game of the Super Bowl. The 49ers had a regular season record of 13-3 and defeated the New Orleans Saints in an epic playoff battle.
The 49ers advanced to the NFC Championship game, where they were beaten in overtime by the New York Giants, 20-17. The 49ers were literally a play or two away from making the Super Bowl.
The difficulty for Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke will be to take the next step and get the 49ers to the Super Bowl and win it. The first order of priority will be to identify and sign their own key free agents. The 49ers have some twenty free agents and will want to keep several of them.
Core members of the 49ers' defensive unit—arguably the best in the NFL—are now up for free agency. These players include Dashon Goldson, Carlos Rogers and Ahmad Brooks.
Two key offensive players also must be re-signed. Quarterback Alex Smith took a giant step in his development under Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman. The 49ers definitely want Smith back, and he has indicated that he wants to return.
In addition, right guard Adam Snyder is a key member of the 49ers' offensive line and needs to be retained.
The 49ers will determine which of their own free agents they want back. They will also take a hard look at the market to determine which players are available who can help them take that next positive step.
Let's take a look at 10 free agents that would look great in a 49ers' uniform.