The San Francisco 49ers have had the most tumultuous offseason in the NFL after losing several coaches and starters to other teams and having an unprecedented amount of players retire early.
Last week, 25-year-old offensive lineman Anthony Davis retired, citing the need to let his body and brain to heal. Davis became the third 49ers player to go into early retirement this offseason.
Losses of this nature are atypical for what a team can expect going into the offseason. Losing talented players in or before the primes of their careers only adds to the pain of losing free agents. In addition to the slew of early retirements, the 49ers also lost key offensive players like Frank Gore and Michael Crabtree and key defensive players like Mike Iupati and Chris Culliver in free agency.
These losses follow the ugly falling-out between former head coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers’ front office, with Harbaugh going to coach at University of Michigan. The 49ers also lost offensive coordinator Greg Roman to the Bills and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to the Bears.
As SI’s Peter King notes, if you were to list the 49ers’ 25 most important members, players and coaches (a subjective listing, of course), 14 of them have retired or left for other teams.
King also points out that the 49ers are now resting their battered squad in the hands of a first-time head coach in Jim Tomsula.
It’s too early to rule the 49ers out, but it seems that with all of their losses, they may be heading toward rebuilding years. With draft picks in hand for 2016, trying to rebuild through the draft might be their best option.
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