49ers general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh discussed the team's approach to this offseason at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. But neither man divulged much information.
Harbaugh was very positive about his two backup quarterbacks - last year's second-round pick Colin Kaepernick and rookie free agent Scott Tolzien - leading one to believe quarterback won't be a priority with the team's seven picks in this year's draft.
"Both of those youngsters did a great job," Harbaugh said of their work this season. "Both of them are just sponges in terms of picking up as much as they possibly can. ... I think a full offseason is going to benefit those youngsters very much."
Harbaugh, an admitted "A" type, said he will lose sleep until starter Alex Smith signs. Both the 49ers and Smith have expressed a desire to sign the unrestricted free agent quarterback before the free-agent period dawns on March 13.
"That process (with Alex Smith), just like many of our others, is underway," Baalke said. "Where we're at with it, that's going to remain between the club and the players themselves. We feel like we're going to be able to get some things done with our unrestricted free agents, but you never know."
Baalke also said his approach from last year will remain the same. The team set prices for all their free agents and if players didn't submit to that contract, the 49ers looked for free-agent options. The strategy worked outrageously well, particularly with safety Dashon Goldson.
The team offered him a five-year, $25 million extension that Goldson rejected. Eventually, Goldson signed a one-year deal for $2 million.
"It's a marathon, it;s not a sprint," Baalke said. "We're going to look at every option available to us -- whether they're players on our team, or not on our team. Just like we do in the draft. It's going to be a methodical process."
Baalke said the 49ers have been in contact with their main free agents, which include Smith, Goldson, cornerback Carlos Rogers, outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks, guard Adam Snyder and receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Joshua Morgan.