49ers ’15 Offseason Collapse
The June 8th 2015 article by Scott Davis from Business Insider titled The San Francisco 49ers have fallen apart in 6 months discusses the travesty that has fallen upon the bay area to one of the most prestigious franchises in the NFL. Davis speaks of the key departures from the team including youthful players such as 24-year-old Linebacker Chris Borland and 25-year-old Offensive Lineman Anthony Davis, both of which cited long term health concerns as their reason for retirement. In addition to their up and coming stars, the 49ers also lost longtime offensive super stars to free agency in Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, and Michael Crabtree as well as defensive studs in Chris Culliver, Perrish Cox, and Ray McDonald. Many people speculate that the departure of former head coach Jim Harbaugh created a domino effect that left the team with an unproven head coach in Jim Tomsula, who worked as the defensive line coach for the last four years.
An interesting analysis within the article by Peter King stated “if you were to list the 49ers’ 25 most important members… 14 of them have retired or left for other teams”. This statistic is one of the best representations of IMT, as dominant, simple information is the best way to analyze an issue. Losing 56% of your most important players shows the magnitude of the issue as well as the fact that two players who are nowhere near a standard retirement age have decided to hang up their cleats. IMT also states that with the initial conditions being set, there was only one possible outcome for this offseason, meaning there was nothing they could have done to control the decisions made by Borland and Davis. These decisions could set a precedent for the 49ers, which could include them having an interview process of their draft picks to determine their long term commitment to the league before drafting them.