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Delanie Walker has had a productive season.
The San Francisco 49ers and GM Trent Baalke must decide how to bolster their roster and keep their salary cap under control. This means expensive free agents are typically not a prime focus of the 49ers.
The first order of business for the 49ers will be to decide which of their own free agents they want to keep. There are four key players whom Baalke must put at the top of his agenda.
Dashon Goldson who has carried the franchise tag for the past two years is earning $6.2 million this year. Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh must decide if they want to negotiate a long-term deal with Goldson, put the franchise tag on him again or let him go via free agency.
Isaac Sopoaga is another player whom Baalke must make a tough decision on. Sopoaga is a run-stuffing nose tackle but provides little contribution in the pass rush. He is also 31 years old and is making $3.8 million this season.
Sopoaga has required more frequent rest this year, and the 49ers are probably wise to go with younger, less-expensive players at the nose tackle spot.
Randy Moss is making $1.75 million this season, and his veteran leadership has been a plus for the 49ers. Moss has been a model citizen, and his experience has helped the younger receivers and second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
However, Moss is nowhere near the player he once was and has had far less impact than the 49ers had hoped. Moss will also be 36 years old in February, and the 49ers face a tough decision with him. It is probably time for the 49ers to find a more explosive option.
Delanie Walker will also be a free agent at the end of the season. He made $1.045 million this year and has caught 19 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns.
Harbaugh likes to utilize multiple tight-end formations, and Walker is a good complement to Vernon Davis. I expect the 49ers to make every effort to keep him.
In addition to making the decision on whether to try and keep their own free agents, the 49ers have the opportunity to add a top player or two. Now is the time to be aggressive and make the moves necessary to give the 49ers the best chance of winning a championship.