Assuming they get a new collective bargaining agreement done, NFL free agency is scheduled to begin March 3, 2011.
I'm going through every team between now and then to identify their top five free agents and try to determine what should be done with each, be it re-sign them or let them walk.
I've been going team by team in draft order and now arrive at the team with the seventh pick in the draft, the San Francisco 49ers.
Once again this year, people expected the 49ers to be the best team in the NFC West, and once again they failed to live up to expectations because of poor quarterback play. Head coach Mike Singletary went back and forth with the quarterbacks all year but no matter who the 49ers put in at quarterback, they failed to sustain drives.
Singletary was fired and the 49ers brought in Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach, which isn't a coincidence.
Harbaugh is a former quarterback, a former quarterback coach, and is credited with the development of Andrew Luck, the likely number one overall pick in 2011. The 49ers organization expects to have better quarterback play next year.
The question facing them is whether or not that better quarterback play will come from someone already with the organization or an outsider.
They have multiple quarterbacks with pedigree on the roster, but none have ever produced. Two of those quarterbacks' contracts are up and the organization needs to decide how important it is to bring them back, or if that money would be better spent on their free agents on defense.