To Contend Or Not To Contend

I’m torn.

The rabid, brain-dead fan in me sees an opportunity.  This division is still for the taking!  Sam Bradford’s by no means an All Pro in only his second season.  The 49ers are breaking in a rookie.  And the Cards will either be going with a young guy or Kevin Kolb; either way, they’re going to have some growing pains.  If we re-sign Hasselbeck, shore up our defense with some key free agents, and find a capable veteran offensive guard who HASN’T had a million surgeries on his knees, we could be division champs once again!

Of course, the rabid, brain-dead fan in me knows that’s a lot of ifs.  IF we fail in achieving any one of those ifs, then I would abort the whole fuckin’ thing, because it just might not be worth it.

I’m not COMPLETELY stupid.  I know this was a pretty mediocre team last year.  Hasselbeck alone won’t make the difference.  But, Hasselbeck, + Robert Gallery, + a starting corner, + another defensive lineman or two just might = Super Bowl Contender.  I mean, no one said you have to rebuild by hitting rock bottom first.  Not all rebuilding projects are the Seattle Mariners!

I said earlier that I’m torn, and it’s true.  Because while part of me wants to try to shoot the moon, the other part of me wouldn’t TOTALLY mind it if we just tanked the whole damn thing away and got Andrew Luck in next year’s draft.  THAT is enticing.  In this scenario, we let Hasselbeck walk, we sort of neglect the defense a little bit – going after mid-range guys on short-term deals, and maybe we take a shot at one of those aging reclamation projects on the offensive line.  And then pay $30 million to Olindo Mare to make sure we’re above the minimum salary requirement for 2011.

While Hasselbeck, as I said before, won’t make the difference all by himself; all of this actually hinges on whether or not he re-signs.  Because we didn’t go after any quarterbacks in this year’s draft, it hasn’t been determined yet if we’re going to go full rebuild or if we’re still going to try to take a shot at the playoffs.  Hasselbeck makes us a playoff contender; he might not guarantee our making the playoffs, but he still makes us a contender.

No Hasselbeck makes us a total and complete bottom-feeder.

I’m so confused, I don’t know what I want!

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