Backup quarterback Alex Smith was getting all of the attention until the 49ersagreed to trade him to the Kansas City Chiefs, but the NFC champions still have plenty of big decisions to make. Trading Smith was the first step. The 49ers don't stand pat schematically from year to year and need to tweak their offense for Colin Kaepernick's first full season as a starting quarterback. David Akers, Parys Haralson and possibly Carlos Rogers are candidates to be released. The secondary needs to be fixed.
Biggest free agents
What they need
The 49ers reportedly have talked to every top-level potential free-agent cornerback. They know they have to make upgrades in the secondary. Defensive end Justin Smith is getting closer to the end of his career, and the 49ers' pass rush struggled in the playoffs. Another edge rusher or someone who can push the pocket from the interior should be on the team's wish list. A wide receiver who can stretch the field would help, although the team is hoping A.J. Jenkins, last year's first-round draft selection, will fill that role.
Offseason crystal ball
Look for the 49ers to make a splash at cornerback. If it's not the New York Jets' Darrelle Revis, it could be the Miami Dolphins' Sean Smith or the Philadelphia Eagles' Nnamdi Asomugha. Smith should get dealt. Whether it's the Kansas City Chiefs or not, I don't expect anything better than a third-round pick. I'd guess something closer to a fourth- or a fifth-round pick. Walker should be brought back, but Goldson is a strong candidate to find bigger money elsewhere. The 49ers are as aggressive and creative as any team in the NFL.