The St. Louis Rams might yet turn out to be the biggest offseason winners in the entire NFL. A big trade, a bevvy of good free agent additions, Peyton Manning not landing in the NFC West and now disruption in San Francisco. Adam Schefter is reporting that the 49ers are one team to keep an eye on in the Tim Tebow trade talk. Oh, and Vince Young is interested in playing there too.
All of this is playing out against a backdrop of Alex Smith potentially walking away from the 49ers as the two sides battle over contract talks.
Of course, Alex Smith was once seen as a reason the 49ers would never win the division, but they won 13 games last year. Much of that had to do with rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh tailoring the offense to Smith's limitations, using a short passing game that relied on quick throws and plenty of yards after the catch to supplement a run-heavy approach.
Tebow was obviously pretty successful last year with the Broncos, but the jury is still out on whether or not he could repeat that. The 49ers do have a defense capable of making up for their quarterback's shortcomings, as they did last year too.
Many expected San Francisco to fall back to Earth in 2012 as the pendulum of injuries and a different schedule take effect. Few thought the pendulum shift would be the result of an accidental offseason quarterback purge.