Rumors abound that a bevy of NFL suitors would request the former free agent’s services. Those same whispers also indicated other teams' willingness to offer Brooks a sizable contract. One that would exceed the 49ers’ budget—or at least an amount beyond General Manager Trent Baalke’s fiscally conservative approach to free agents.
Many expected Baalke to first address the contractual issues of cornerback Carlos Rogers and safety Dashon Goldson.
Brooks was a goner, and the 49ers’ draft-day needs suddenly intensified in the mid- to late-rounds.
As it turned out, numerous NFL pundits were proven wrong—including many of our very own at BR (I plead the Fifth).
On Tuesday, the 49ers signed Brooks to a six-year, $37 million contract with $17.5 million in guarantees.
After landing stateside from a trip to Mexico (still recovering), I was taken aback upon seeing those modest numbers. Not that they came from Baalke, but that Brooks signed off on the deal. I was sure he would sign for top-dollar elsewhere.
For Brooks, that was never the case. He intended to stay in San Francisco all along. The brotherhood he experienced with his 49er teammates and the success they had was not lost on him.
It’s that staunch commitment and love for this team that has me fully confident Brooks will produce career highs for a second-consecutive year in 2012.
Here are the four reasons how I see it playing out.