The San Francisco 49ers' 2011 free-agent class was noticeably lacking big names; players like Donte Whitner, Carlos Rogers and Jonathan Goodwin were brought into the fold, while other teams spent big money on well-known "name" players like Nnamdi Asomugha and Johnathan Joseph.
At first glance, the Niners' free agent class looked underwhelming at best, but little did we know just how good GM Trent Baalke would be at finding bargains. He was able to bring Rogers in on a one-year deal worth around $4 million, and Whitner and Goodwin were signed to three-year pacts worth $11.75 million and $10.9 million, respectively.
Many felt the 49ers had gone cheap in free agency and figured they'd get what they paid for.
When the dust settled on the 2011 season, Rogers made the Pro Bowl on the strength of six interceptions and a 61.9 quarterback rating allowed on passes thrown in his direction. Whitner and Goodwin were both named Pro Bowl alternates, and Baalke took home the Executive of the Year award. Armed with their bargain-bin free agents, the 49ers lost by a hair in the NFC Championship Game.
This year's free-agent class will feature big names such as Houston's Mario Williams, Vincent Jackson of the Chargers and popular Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn, but the real bargains are to be found elsewhere.
Here are six potential impact players who could find themselves undervalued in this year's free-agent market.