NaVorro Bowman
08 August 2013: Preseason action with the San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos. The Denver Broncos won 10-6 over the 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. (Photo © Terrell Lloyd) (49ers Photo)

Whispers of discontent have already begun to make their way into the media regarding the San Francisco 49ers, but do they hold any water or are they simply baseless speculation?

It started when the team cut 34-year old Darnell Docket, the three-time Pro Bowler who was brought in to supposedly take over for Justin Smith. The veteran defensive lineman had sent out a cryptic tweet the night before that caused some amount of speculation.



That, in and of itself was interesting enough to cause some head scratching, but it’s what came after it that caused a firestorm.

On Friday morning, after Dockett’s release was announced, Jim Trotter of ESPN.com tweeted a solitary message.

Ruh, roh.



Trotter is a very plugged-in guy, and he’s scooped more than a few major stories in his day. So, when this message came out, most who follow this sort of thing waited for the follow-up.

But it never came.

Needless to say, Twitter was abuzz with speculation.

Then, wide receiver Torrey Smith, the team’s big-name free agent signing, sent out a tweet of his own—one that many took the wrong way.

https://twitter.com/TorreySmithWR/status/639902807705804800



Because of Trotter’s comment earlier in the day, many fans assumed Smith was referring to something football-related, likely having to do with the team’s roster moves on the biggest cut day on the NFL’s calendar.

Never mind that almost everything on Smith’s timeline is not football related. He’s a family man who reads a lot and likes to comment about things that matter to him off the field.

In fact, what Smith was tweeting about was how tough it is to get a job these days outside of football, even with a degree.

However, because of Trotter’s tweet in the morning, even guys like John Middlekauff, a former NFL scout and Bay Area radio host, got snookered into thinking Smith’s message was somehow ominous.



Again, it’s worth pointing out Smith’s “weird stuff” had nothing to do with football, as he pointed out a while later, responding to Middlekauff.

https://twitter.com/TorreySmithWR/status/639932436734869505



But thanks to Trotter’s ominous message, Smith’s philosophical musings about jobs in America was perceived as some kind of metaphor for what’s going on in the 49ers locker room.

Never mind that the guys who cover the 49ers daily, for a living, don’t think anything funky is brewing in San Francisco.

Kevin Lynch, who covers the team for SFGate.com, disagrees with Trotter completely, and he believes whatever Trotter wrote came from a disgruntled player who was cut.

Ryan Sakamoto covers the team for NinerFans.com also sees things differently, based on what he’s heard from the players on the squad.

Trotter is a respected journalist, and as mentioned previously, he’s been scooping stories for years. But lighting a spark of discontent like he did, potentially based off what a released player may have said, was irresponsible.

The 49ers have enough to deal with right now without having to deal with questions from the media about what’s wrong in the locker room, based on one solitary tweet that had no business being written without more context than Trotter gave.

Players are excited about the new season, and there hasn’t been a single bit of negative chatter reported by any of the beat writers, including Tim Kawakami, who is notoriously thorough in his coverage of anything negative.

We all know the 49ers have an uphill climb ahead of them to even win half their games this season. That said, the publicized “chatter from the 49ers locker room” has been nothing but positive.

The sky is not falling in San Francisco. Will the team have its ups and down? Certainly, but by no means is this franchise in danger of suffering another meltdown like it did last year when rumors of Harbaugh’s demise began and torpedoed the season.