With offseason workouts and minicamps in the rearview mirror and training camps a few weeks away, we assess the San Francisco 49ers' offseason moves and assign a letter grade in the video above.
Best move: Signing deep threat receiver Torrey Smith. Sure, Smith has never been a No. 1 wideout and has struggled with consistency in his career. But the Niners needed someone to take the top off defenses for the strong-armed, if somewhat inaccurate-with-the-deep-ball, Colin Kaepernick and Smith fits that bill. Signed to a five-year, $40 million free-agent contract with $22 million guaranteed, Smith has 51 catches on targets of at least 20 yards in his career, with 44 receptions of at least 25 yards. He averaged a Baltimore Ravens' franchise-record 16.9 yards per catch in four seasons. Last season, Smith had 10 touchdown receptions in his last 11 games, so the Niners are banking on his momentum -- and stability -- to continue.
Riskiest move: Trading away Andy Lee. Yes, the Niners discarding a punter, albeit a three-time All-Pro punter, in favor of a rookie fifth-round draft choice in Bradley Pinion is fraught with peril. In Lee, the Niners had an all-time great at the position, one who could flip the field and become a defense's best friend. Beyond that, Lee had developed a unique kinship with place-kicker Phil Dawson as his holder, and those relationships are built on trust and reps. We saw a few years back up I-880 in Oakland how Sebastian Janikowski struggled after losing Shane Lechler, his running mate for 13 years, and had trouble adjusting to Marquette King as his holder. Pinion has never held, so not only does Pinion and his booming leg have to adjust to being an NFL punter, he has to worry about Dawson's routines as well.
Who's next? No one has retired today yet, right? I kid. Kinda. Because while (take a deep breath here) Anthony Davis, Justin Smith, Chris Borland, Patrick Willis and, yes, even Bubba Ventrone all chose to hang up their helmets, you have to wonder if any more “name” Niners might also be done before the season begins. No, there are no obvious candidates, but all eyes will be focused on inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman's surgically-repaired left knee as he continues his comeback. And if charges do come against outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks -- he was accused in May by the same woman who accused Ray McDonald of sexual assault last year -- Brooks could be the next Niners regular to be sent on his way.
Training camp outlook: Intriguing camp battles figure to be on the offensive line, where Davis' retirement has had a domino effect. Erik Pears, expected to serve as depth, is getting reps at right tackle with the first-team offense, and Alex Boone is seeing time at left guard after being a mainstay at right guard the past three seasons. In the secondary, second-year defensive back Jimmie Ward and second-round rookie Jaquiski Tartt -- best friends since high school -- should battle for the nickel spot as Tramaine Brock and Shareece Wright try to hold off a slew of youngsters at corner. Plus, there's the always-intriguing story of Kaepernick's modified passing mechanics, and how the Niners respond to the kinder, gentler approach of rookie coach Jim Tomsula after four years under the hard-driving Jim Harbaugh.