49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

December 7, 2013
49ers Q&A: What's the future at WR? How will Marcus Lattimore fit?

A: The only reason why Jon Baldwin remains on the team is that his $1.06 million salary is guaranteed and the 49ers would be responsible for it if they let him go. Barring a surprising late-season showing by Baldwin - and there have been no hints that this is in the offing - no one expects him to be on the squad next season. The 49ers will go into 2014 with Michael Crabtree, Quinton Patton and ... ?

Anquan Boldin, Mario Manningham and Kassim Osgood are scheduled to be free agents. Boldin would be welcomed back, but if history is any judge, he'll want to be compensated - and deservedly so - and the 49ers might want to spread their salary-cap dollars in other areas. The best news for the offseason: The 49ers will be looking for wide receivers in the draft, and the draft will be loaded with wide receivers.

By the way, the scorecard now reads:
A.J. Jenkins: 5 catches, 63 yards
Jon Baldwin: 3 catches, 28 yards

A: Anthony Dixon is a free-agent when the league year ends, so there will be a roster spot for a running back. I can't imagine, at least early in the season, that the 49ers will take away Frank Gore's starting role. It will be the final year of his contract, his 10th year, his swan song. I think it will be a situation in which Gore starts while Hunter and Lattimore compete to be the No. 2 option.

A: Yes, absolutely. That has not been the 49ers' m.o. in the last three seasons. But it's hard to run a two-tight end offense when your second tight end, Vance McDonald, is not yet up to snuff. Spreading the field with three wideouts should loosen things up for Frank Gore to run the ball. The 49ers certainly can't stick with what they've been doing against Seattle. They've averaged 12 points a game in the last four contests.
Conversely, the one 49er who has consistently made plays against the Seahawks has been Delanie Walker. That is, the Seahawks may be susceptible to the second tight. McDonald has not had a break-out game to this point. Sunday would be an ideal time to have one.

A: You know how couples that have been together awhile start to dress alike and sound alike? The same goes for head coaches and quarterbacks. In fact, I heard Alex Smith has grown a mustache and put on 135 pounds.

A: Sigh. There was an inter-office memo with something along those lines included. (Remember, fans, the 49ers are the ones wearing red!). But I've been assured that it was never distributed to season-ticket holders. (And I made up the 'wearing red' line).

-- Matt Barrows

* Bee t-shirts will be delivered in time for Chistmas 2037.



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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