One thing that’s remained the same each offseason under coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke is that, no matter the circumstance, the San Francisco 49ers are simply not big players in free agency. They refuse to engage.
They make a lot of minute, yet deliberate, moves and play shadow games.
Frankly, they pay guys they draft or nobody at all.
To them, the free-agent market's purpose is to supplement the team's foundation, which is constructed through the draft and to find band-aids to hold them over until they can find suitable long-term fixes. They build through in April and now May, pure and simple. But it doesn’t mean they haven’t unearthed great value in free agency.
Kicker Phil Dawson and special teams gunner Kassim Osgood were two slam dunks this past year.
There's nothing flashy about these two, sure. But they helped the 49ers win games, which is more than a lot of teams can say—even some that spent 10 or 20 times what San Francisco spent. The philosophy is to keep the money in-house, and with several extensions to dish out, Baalke will look to spend even less in free agency this year.
Any coin spent on an outside hire should be a pretty low amount, and it is likely a move that will stay off ESPN's radar.
But figuring they'll make a few signings here and there like they always do, especially with a number of their own players leaving, here is a look at a few potential names that could be donning red and gold in 2014.
Statistics are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, unless specified otherwise.