The 49ers head into the offseason with several things to address. The NFL combine is currently ongoing and here is what the team will need to look at for next year's roster:
1. Who do the 49ers use the franchise tag on?
Last season, Dashon Goldson was franchised tagged and signed his tender right before training camp. This year, he said he wants a long term deal and doesn't want the franchise tag. The other logical choice would be TE Delanie Walker. If it weren't for Vernon Davis, Walker could be a starting tight end on almost any other team. Even though he dropped passes late in the season, he proved to be a solid blocker and had good chemistry with Colin Kaepernick.
2. Will Randy Moss return for the 2013 season?
The 49ers signed Moss last offseason to bring in a veteran presence on the team for one year. During the postseason, Jim Harbaugh said he would want Moss to come back for another season. However, before the Super Bowl, Moss said he didn't like his limited role as being mostly a decoy in the 49ers offense. Statistically, he had one of the worst season in his career this past year with 434 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The only other season with low was in 2010 when he spent time with the Patriots, Vikings and Titans with a total of 393 receiving yards with six touchdowns.
3. How do the 49ers address the Nose Tackle position?
Starting NT Isaac Sopoaga and reserve defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois are both pending free agents this year. With Jean Francois being the younger of the two, several teams should be interested in him and the 49ers would only have Ian Williams as the only reserve NT if Sopoaga was resigned. It won't be hard to re-sign Sopoaga, who struggled early on but improved his play in the postseason.
4. How will the 49ers restructure contracts and who becomes a casualty?
The 49ers are not in cap hell, but they will need to restructure contracts to have some cap space for others. Carlos Rogers will have a $7.3 million cap hit for 2013 and is one of many who could possibly take a pay cut in order to create space. David Akers is most likely to be released with the struggles he had in 2012 combined with the $3 million cap hit he has for 2013.
5. What happens to Alex Smith?
Trent Baalke claimed it is unlikely to trade Smith, but not guaranteed. Do the 49ers find a team that gives a reasonable offer or are they forced to release him? Teams that need a quarterback who could show interest in Smith include the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs. Smith will be due a roster bonus if he remains with the team by March 14. He would make $7.5 million if he stayed with the team by April.