As we continue our review of the Seahawks’ opponents in the NFC West, here’s a look at the 49ers entering the offseason.

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In 2013, when the 49ers’ still-to-be-completed stadium was awarded Super Bowl 50, it wasn’t a stretch to think San Francisco could become the first team to play the game on its home turf.

Less than three years later, the 49ers need a rebuild after a season in which they were outscored by an average of 9.3 points per game — more than any team except the perennially cursed Cleveland Browns.

And a rebuild is likely with Chip Kelly on board as the 49ers coach, replacing Jim (we hardly knew ya) Tomsula.

As we continue our review of the Seahawks’ opponents in the NFC West, here’s a look at the 49ers entering the offseason.


2015 record: 5-11, fourth in NFC West.

Record against Seahawks: 0-2 (20-3 loss in San Francisco, 29-13 in Seattle).

2015 in review: The Tomsula era was fun, wasn’t it? It’s hard to remember that it began with optimism — a 20-3 season-opening win over the eventual NFC North champion Vikings in which the 49ers rushed for 230 yards. Amazingly, they came within 100 yards of that total just once the rest of the season.

Along the way, they benched quarterback Colin Kaepernick for Blaine Gabbert, traded Vernon Davis and began to move on from the Jim Harbaugh era.

The highlights included them rallying to win in overtime at Chicago in December and beating the Rams at home in the season finale.

But it wasn’t enough to give Tomsula another shot, and San Francisco will start over in 2016.

Key potential free agents: Receiver Anquan Boldin, defensive tackle Ian Williams, running back Reggie Bush, guard Alex Boone, kicker Phil Dawson.

Key offseason objectives

1, Figure out if Kaepernick has a future with the team; 2, upgrade just about everywhere.

There probably is not an area besides safety where the 49ers couldn’t use some help. And with Kelly in charge, there could be massive change, especially because San Francisco will have roughly $52 million in salary-cap room, among the most of any team.

Kelly’s first major decision might be figuring out what to do with Kaepernick, whose contract for $11.9 million, with bonuses that could take it to almost $16 million, essentially becomes guaranteed if he’s on the roster April 1.

Kaepernick’s skill set seems like a good fit for Kelly’s offense (though so does Gabbert’s), and Kelly might be intrigued by the idea of getting Kaepernick back on track.

The 49ers don’t have many of their free agents to re-sign, but a few could be priorities. Among the more notable is Boone, who has indicated he wants to test free agency, and Williams, who had a solid season and will get lots of interest if he gets to the open market. It’s difficult to tell what they will do with Boldin, who turns 36 this year, and Bush is an afterthought at this stage of his career, though he recently said he wants to continue playing.

The 49ers’ cap room means they could be major players in free agency, though that hasn’t always been the style of general manager Trent Baalke, who built the Super Bowl team in the 2012 season largely from within.

The 49ers could have 12 draft picks, including No. 7 overall. One way or another, there figures to be a lot of new faces in San Francisco next season.

The big question

Can Chip Kelly revive his coaching career?

Kelly quickly landed on his feet following his firing from the Eagles. Though there was a lot that went wrong in Philadelphia, the big perception was that Kelly the GM was the worst enemy of Kelly the coach.

Baalke’s presence might help mitigate that in San Francisco, and Kelly might be helped by lower expectations following the disaster of 2015.

Some also wonder if the NFL has caught up to Kelly’s offensive schemes. It will be interesting to see if he changes his scheme or style.

2016 outlook

The 49ers still have some decent pieces to work with, such as running back Carlos Hyde (though durability is an issue) and linebacker NaVorro Bowman. That could include Kaepernick if Kelly decides to try to figure out his issues.

A new coach and lots of cap room and draft picks will mean a lot of change by the Bay. For now, though, the 49ers are looking up at the rest of the NFC West.

Up next

Arizona Cardinals.