An interesting theory tossed up in the air does make some sense: The San Francisco 49ers are drowning in cap space, but haven’t been players for some of the better players in this free agency period. Does it have something to do with Chip Kelly becoming the team’s head coach?
Kelly certainly didn’t come with too positive of a reputation in coach-player relationships from Philadelphia. Stories about the daily urinal tests and the exhausting fast-paced (too fast) offense didn’t help him become popular with the players. The way he got rid of some of them, officially for financial reasons (DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy) while getting full control over the personnel, which turned out to be something that sentenced his firing even before the season was over, and according to Evan Mathis and others his inability to handle big personalities helped his demise after almost three seasons in Philadelphia after being extremely successful at the college level with Oregon.
Maybe not wanting to have big names and egos is part of the reason the 49ers haven’t been chasing the big names. Or maybe they’ve reached out to some and haven’t gotten any positive responses. Jed York and the overall way the 49ers have been run in the last two seasons, resulting in the firing of Jim Harbaugh despite three consecutive NFC championship games and the rush of players who retired out of the blue a year ago hints that it’s more than just Kelly: The people running the 49ers (into the ground?) aren’t that popular with those looking for a new team.
The 49ers haven’t made any transactions of note yet, despite having just under $60 million in cap space. Are they simply building on the draft to pick this team up from two seasons of missing the playoffs, and seemingly hitting rock bottom last year? Are they waiting for the Colin Kaepernick situation to be resovled and then start working? In the meantime, players who might have made more of an impact are coming off the board, which might suggest San Francisco are planning on a long term overhaul of whatever it is they have left. But maybe it’s simply a team anyone in their right mind wants to stay away from for now.