The San Francisco 49ers are still considered among the favorites for the 2015 Super Bowl, but that doesn't mean they don't have several significant questions to address for next season. Head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke to the media at the NFL Combine on Thursday, and though he refused to talk about Jonathan Martin, a former player of his at Stanford who is currently embroiled in a bullying scandal, he did talk about issues pertinent to his own team.
One of the more pressing concerns at the moment for the 49ers is the impending free agency of wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Harbaugh said that negotiations with Boldin were going in a "positive direction," and that's excellent news for San Francisco fans. Boldin finished the year with 895 more yards than any other wide receiver on the team. It would be a significant blow to lose him.
A player who is almost certainly not going to be with the team in Week 1 is All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman. After tearing his ACL in gruesome fashion against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game, the timetable for his return was murky. But Harbaugh says "halfway through the season" is realistic, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Though, the head coach noted that nothing would surprise him from Bowman.
One player who is almost certain to not be on the 49ers roster next year is draft prospect Johnny Manziel. The quarterback out of Texas A&M is projected to be a top-10 pick, though his actual draft value has been hotly debated. Harbaugh is among those who thinks Manziel will enjoy a lot of success at the NFL level, according to Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft. Though the 49ers are possibly in negotiations on a contract extension for quarterback Colin Kaepernick, there are some who have their doubts about Kaepernick's long-term future and success after some questionable decisions in the playoffs.
Perhaps if the Niners had a top pick in the draft there would be some controversy, but they don't choose until 30th overall.
Finally, Tank Carradine was a second-round pick by San Francisco last year who fell due to a knee injury. Harbaugh said Carradine had scar tissue removed in the offseason and "looks like a different guy now." It will be interesting to see how Carradine and 2013 draft pick Marcus Lattimore return from their injuries of a year ago, and if they can help the 49ers next season.