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San Francisco 49ers Improve Depth, Strengthen Next Season’s Odds

Along with the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens, the San Francisco 49ers must now be considered one of the smartest teams in football. Their recent trade acquisition of former Browns quarterback Colt McCoy and free agent signings of defensive back Nnamdi Asomugha and wide receiver Anquan Boldin have locked them in as a favorite to win the Super Bowl next year. They’re currently the third-highest favored team to win at all, sitting at 13/2 odds. Because of injuries and erratic nature of the game itself, you can never truly predict the final outcome a season in advance. However, the Niners moves toward improving their depth are proof enough that they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in 2013-14.

“They’ve been very successful. I’ve watched coach Harbaugh since he was at Stanford,” McCoy said. “I’ve played with some guys who were with him at Stanford, Owen Marecic, he played both ways for him, one of my good buddies.These guys have been around the game for a long time. They know offense like the back of their hand. My job is to come in and learn things as quickly as I can. We do a lot of things similarly. I’ll be new to it but I’m excited to get going.”

“We are pleased to add another high-character player like Colt to our roster,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “He is a young, competitive player who we are looking forward to working with.”

The signing of Asomugha to a one-year, $3 million contract is a similarly low-risk, high reward acquisition. Asomugha was one of the best defensive backs in football when he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, and because of a variety of factors not entirely in his control, his game fell off a cliff. The Niners, one of the most rock-solid organizations in the NFL, are a perfect landing spot for a older defensive player looking to rehabilitate his career. Still, he isn’t that old; Asomugha is only 31 years old, and could easily experience a resurgence in the red and gold.

“He’s excited to be a 49er and feels it’s a great football team, and he’s returning home,” Asomugha’s agent, Ben Dogra said. “It’s such a unique set of circumstances that he’s coming back. It’s not about the money for him. He wants to play for a winner. He had a very good visit with them 10 days ago and again over the weekend. He thinks they have a great chance to win a Super Bowl and he wants to be part of it. He has a chip on his shoulder, in a good way.”

“He believes in karma and timing,” Dogra said. “He wants to show everybody it’s not about the money for him. He wants to prove something. He could have walked away and retired. He wants to play for a winner. He’s inspired. He wants to be part of a great team and take care of unfinished business from last year. He wants to end this on his terms. Hopefully, he can get a ring and stay happy.”

The Niners are the third-highest favored team to win the Super Bowl, only behind the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. However, they are by far the deepest team in the league, and can thus withstand injuries to their starters. That means they’re built for the long haul, so don’t be surprised if the 49ers are hoisting the Lombardi Trophy next January.

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