San Francisco 49ers Land Braylon Edwards, Donte Whitner and More

Orly Rios Jr.Analyst IIAugust 5, 2011

The 49ers shopping spree Thursday included WR Braylon Edwards, formerly of the New York Jets.
The 49ers shopping spree Thursday included WR Braylon Edwards, formerly of the New York Jets.Elsa/Getty Images

Earlier this week, ESPN ranked the 49ers as one of six NFL squads to have completely missed the boat during the NFL free agency period, having not made a significant free-agent signing while the rest of the NFC West rebuilt and reloaded.

On Thursday, the 49ers made probably the single biggest splash in the free-agent market since the New England Patriots landed Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocino in one day.

The 49ers landed Safety Donte Whitner, cornerback Carlos Rogers, center Jonathan Goodwin, and deep threat wide receiver Braylon Edwards.

Whitner, a first-round pick for the Buffalo Bills back in 2008, had 140 tackles last season and was on the verge of signing with the Bengals, but opted for the Bay Area.

Rogers, a first-round pick for the Washington Redskins and fellow member of the 2005 draft class with Alex Smith, had 54 tackles and a pair of interceptions last season.

Jonathan Goodwin, a 2009 Pro Bowl center for the New Orleans Saints, brings Super Bowl experience, protecting Drew Brees during their 2009 title run.

Edwards, also a member of the 2005 draft class, spent the last year-and-a-half with the New York Jets. In 28 games with the Jets, Edwards had 88 catches and 12 touchdowns. More importantly, Edwards gives the 49ers something they've lacked since the days of Terrell Owens, a down-field threat.

With Edwards and Crabtree starting at wide receivers, Josh Morgan and Ted Ginn Jr. at the No. 3 and 4 spots along with tight end Vernon Davis, the 49ers have suddenly become a passing threat.

They have formed the kind of offense that would make any quarterback in the league excited, and for Alex Smith, this may finally be the offense he's lacked since being drafted first overall back in 2005.

He's got weapons galore, he's got a running game, an offensive line loaded with first- and second-round picks, and above all, he's got an offensive-minded head coach, and for 49ers fans who fly under the banner "49er faithful", they once again have hope that this will finally be the year that the 49ers will make the playoffs.