Guest writer: Jimmy Page from 49ersNews message boards.
I will make the argument that he is the ONLY one in the “front office” doing things in completely good faith around here. I understand these contract numbers don’t tell the WHOLE story, but they tell about as much as you can know.
JANUARY 5TH, 2005: Fires Dennis Erickson and Terry Donahue after a horrible season and interviewing players / discovering Donahue’s corruption and laziness. Buys out remaining $7.5 million / 3 years on Erickson’s contract, his entire staff’s salaries, and Donahue’s GM salary.
~2 WEEKS LATER: After a thorough interview process and an investigation of how the top organizations in the league are structured, he hires Mike Nolan, a respected young defensive mind at the time. At best, you could say this was an unknown at the time. There was no argument against hiring him other than not really knowing what he would bring. Hearing him talk at the time, I probably would’ve hired him too, and so would you. Nolan signs 5 year, $8 million contract.
MARCH 4TH, 2005: Signs off on contract for OT Jonas Jennings. 7 years, $36 million, $12 million signing bonus.
JULY 27TH, 2005: Contract for #1 overall pick QB Alex Smith. 6 years, $49.5 million, $24 million guaranteed. A significant step up from the previous year’s #1, Eli Manning.
MARCH 7TH, 2006: Contract for LB Derek Smith. 3 years, $14 million, $6 million bonus.
SUMMER 2006: Contracts for TE Vernon Davis (5 years, $23 million, 15 million guaranteed) and LB Manny Lawson (5 years, $14 million).
JANUARY 2007: Contract extension and raise for Norv Turner, repotedly making him one of the top paid OC in the league in an attempt to keep him with the team.
MARCH 3RD, 2007: Contracts for CB Nate Clements (8 years, $80 million, $22 million guaranteed) and S Michael Lewis (6 years, $30 million, 10 million guaranteed).
MARCH 28TH, 2007: Contract extension for RB Frank Gore. 5 years, $28 million, $14 million guaranteed.
SUMMER 2007: Contracts for LB Patrick Willis (5 years, $16 million, $12 million guaranteed) and OT Joe Staley (5 years, $8 million, 5.6 million guaranteed). Another year with two first round contracts.
JANUARY 2ND, 2008: Strips Nolan of GM duties after grilling/near-firing. Probably York’s one mistake in this timeframe – but you can see the argument that was made, and while I wouldn’t have given him another chance, he wanted to make this work. So Mike Martz was hired and a second chance was received.
FEBRUARY 27TH, 2008: Contract for DT Isaac Sopoaga. 4 years, $20 million, $8 million bonus.
MARCH 2ND, 2008: Contract for DE/OLB Justin Smith. 6 years, $45 million, $20 million guaranteed.
IN SUMMARY: John York has clearly been spending freely and being proactive in trying to make this thing work. Mike Nolan was hired in good faith. Players have been acquired at a rate surpassing any other team in the league as far as I know. Extensions have been given to players who’ve needed them.
Where I suppose you can fault him is giving Nolan another crack at it this year…I would’ve been more ruthless in cutting him loose and getting a new coach in here. But he was so hasty to fire Erickson that I don’t blame him for not wanting to get yet another coach just 3 years after that. It wasn’t right, but you can see where he was coming from.
As it stands, I believe Nolan WILL soon be fired and we will get another coach, hopefully one that’s a lot more respectable and logical in his decisions and gameplanning. And the next coach will be hired in good faith as well, though I believe York will be much more inclined to get someone with experience and league-wide respect.
Do you still want to DUMP YORK? Or is it Nolan that you want to dump and you’re just spilling your anger over to ownership, who hasn’t really done anything other than make huge efforts to give his young, once-respected hire every chance he can to succeed? Learn the facts.
York is probably the one guy who has held up his end of the bargain lately. Sorry to break that to you.