Monday, August 16, 2010

Balmer dealt, but questions remain

Whether the deterioration of Kentwan Balmer’s situation with San Franciso was related to the NCAA investigation of UNC is hard to tell.

Balmer didn’t show up for practice last Monday or Tuesday. Tuesday was the day former UNC player Cam Thomas told The News & Observer’s Joe Giglio that Balmer had paid for the trip Thomas and Marvin Austin took to California in 2009.

Naturally, reporters were eager to ask Balmer what was going on. But by Wednesday, Balmer was a permanent no-show at the 49ers camp. The view from here seem to connect the NCAA investigation and Balmer’s reticence, but that might not have been the driving factor. Balmer, a No. 1 pick in 2008, couldn’t crack the 49ers starting rotation and apparently was unhappy with his status. San Francisco coach Mike Singletary said it was a “personal matter” and didn’t go further.

San Francisco traded Balmer to Seattle Monday for what the Sacramento Bee reported was a mere 6th-round pick. That’s awfully cheap for a decent defensive lineman and former first-rounder.

“We have strong connections to the 49ers and it is our understanding that Kentwan is ready to play football and in need of a fresh start,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said.

Sounds like he does. But if he thinks he’ll just move on to Seattle and dodge questions, he’s in for a surprise.

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