The San Francisco 49ers have been one of the least active teams in free agency since the NFL Lockout ended over a week ago. With so many big names on the move, 49ers fans have been disappointed at their team's lack of involvement in the free agent market.
There is still plenty of talent available at this point, but don't expect the 49ers to spend too much of their money now. With Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach, San Francisco is not trying to build a winner for this season, they're trying to build a winner for the next decade.
Here are five reasons why 49ers fans should not be worried about San Francisco's "patience" this off-season.
Top tier free agents traditionally want two things. They want big money and a winning team.
The San Francisco 49ers are not anyone’s favorite to win the Super Bowl and they definitely are rolling in cash. Although it may appease fans initially, buying up talent on the free agent market is not a good way to build a championship team (see the Washington Redskins).
With that said, only certain players would take money over winning and those aren’t the type of players the 49ers are looking for. It is much smarter for them to spend their money resigning guys they like and going after players who the staff believe fit their scheme.
Alex Smith is currently pegged to be the 49ers starting quarterback for their opening game this season. After drafting Colin Kaepernick in the second round of this years draft, head coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff are hoping he can be the starting quarterback next season.
As weak as the NFC West is and has been in recent years, the 49ers will likely find a way to compete but fall short of the playoffs. Harbaugh signed a five year deal with San Francisco for a reason. He knew it was going to take time to build this team into a winner.
Whether Kaepernick is going to be the 49ers starting quarterback for the next five years or not is yet to be seen, but it is clear that the 49ers are looking to a brighter future beyond 2011.
The training camp that is currently taking place at the 49ers facilities is the first time that San Francisco's new coaching staff has had a chance to see their athletes play football in person. Coach Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke think it would be best for their staff to see how the current players are reacting to the new system and coaching style before pouring money into free agency.
Although it may not be the answer most 49er fans are looking for, this is a fair argument. The new coaching staff is hoping that the players they currently have on the roster can do the jobs that their positions ask of them.
Obviously, it is unrealistic to ask the coaches to turn bench-warmers into Pro-Bowlers overnight, but it is possible that they can ignite a spark in them that can increase on field production.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh is obviously a part of the coaching staff, but he gets his own slide for a different reason.
He was the 49ers big free agent move this off-season.
Harbaugh has been one of the hottest names in football coaching for a couple of years now and for good reason. He turned down several job offers while coaching at Stanford, some of which were other NFL head coaching gigs.
The 49ers were supposed to be contenders for the past few seasons but have failed to do so for several reasons. The team's ownership believes that the coaching (or lack there of) from former head coach Mike Singletary was a big reason why.
Owner Jed York and company are confident that just having Harbaugh as the 49ers head coach gives them a better chance to win than last season.
Beyond waiting for free agency in 2012, the 49ers have a very good reason to try and save money. They want a new stadium.
Candlestick Park has been the home of so many great moments in San Francisco 49ers history, but it is time for an upgrade. The 49ers want a new stadium so badly that they don't care if they need to put it in Santa Clara.
As much as 49ers fans would've liked to have seen their team make a big splash this off-season, it is clear that the best is still yet to come. Although I am sure it may be running pretty thin for some fans, patience remains a virtue.