It's unlikely the club is going to address its safety position until the draft. Right now, it isn't overly interested in any of the available free agents, especially at more than minimum-wage prices, and the team will use at least one of its top three draft choices to try to replace departed starter Darren Sharper. In addition to the draft, the club will target veterans who are cut after June 1, relatively certain that there will be potential starters available. Safety will be a priority in the draft, and finding a playmaker in the deep secondary will be more important than finding someone who can play the run at the line of scrimmage. . . .
Running back Najeh Davenport isn't drawing much interest in the restricted free agent market, mostly because he is recovering from shoulder surgery performed two weeks ago. The club issued the low tender for Davenport before it knew his shoulder was a problem, and the gamble probably will pay off. However, the injury highlights Davenport's limitations the past three seasons and raises questions about whether he can be the successor to starter Ahman Green should the club be unable to re-sign him after this season. It doesn't appear the team will make an effort to extend either one before the start of the season, especially given general manager Ted Thompson's unwillingness to overpay free agents. . . .
Recently signed guard Matt O'Dwyer should provide some insurance if tackle Kevin Barry can't make the switch to right guard. O'Dwyer, 32, is coming off two injury-filled years, and he has to prove he still has something left in the tank, but when he was last healthy he was an effective starter. O'Dwyer wouldn't provide the brute strength in the running game that Barry could, but he won't blow assignments and would provide more consistency in pass protection.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Posted by Chris at 5:06 PM