The San Francisco 49ers have plenty going on, but they also have 13 opponents to consider heading into the 2015 season. The 2015 preseason officially got underway on Sunday, so now seemed as good a time as any to check in on some of the 49ers upcoming opponents.
Baltimore Ravens: WR Steve Smith to retire after 2015 season
The 14-year receiver announced on Monday that he will call it a career after the upcoming season. He is entering his second season with the Ravens, and coming off a year in which he had 79 receptions for 1,065 yards and six touchdowns. His previous year in Carolina had been a down year for him, finishing with 745 yards. Plenty of people figured he was done, but he bounced back strong with Joe Flacco.
Smith is currently 18th in NFL history with 915 receptions and 14th with 13,262 yards. Anquan Boldin is just ahead of him with 940 receptions, and just behind him wit 12,406 yards. The 49ers host the Ravens in Week 6. This marks Torrey Smith's first game against his former team, who replaced him in the starting lineup with rookie Breshad Perriman.
Pittsburgh Steelers: K Shaun Suisham tears ACL
The Steelers opened the preseason Sunday evening against the Minnesota Vikings, resting several notable starters. Kicker Shaun Suisham did play, and may have suffered a season-ending injury. He hurt his knee, and reports indicate it is a torn ACL. The Steelers host the 49ers in Week 2, so they'll have some time to get their kicking situation figured out.
Speaking of the preseason game, it involved the 49ers first two opponents this season. Our friends at Daily Norseman had a look at what they saw in that game, as well as a stock report after the game. Our friends at Behind The Steel Curtain took a look at winners and losers from the game, and how the defense looks post-Dick Lebeau.
Cleveland Browns: QB Johnny Manziel will get some first team reps, but Josh McCown remains starter
The Browns released their first depth chart, and it lists Johnny Manziel as the backup to Josh McCown. It sounds like Manziel had a strong performance this past weekend in a scrimmage, but the team is trying to convince the world Josh McCown has the job at this point.
The 49ers do not face the Browns until Week 14. That is a lifetime away in the world of the NFL, but I really would not be at all surprised to see Manziel starting by then.
St. Louis Rams: QB Nick Foles signs 2-year extension
The deal locks in Foles through the 2017 season. It is described as $24.5 million with $14 million guaranteed. Foles was due $1,522,000 in 2015 base salary. There is no word on what is signing bonus, which would be paid now, while the extension base salaries would be paid in 2016 and 2017. It will be described by some as an APY of $12.25 million per year on the extension, but a more realistic look at it would consider it three years for the APY. That means $26 million in total money, counting his 2015 base salary. That comes out to an APY of $8.67 million a year.
The 49ers do not face the St. Louis Rams until Week 8, traveling to St. Louis the week after hosting Seattle on a Thursday. The Rams are viewed by some as a potential spoiler in the NFC West, and Rams fans are getting excited at the prospect of potentially finishing ahead of the 49ers. Whole lot of football to be played between now and Week 8.
Arizona Cardinals: WR Michael Floyd dislocated three fingers
OUCH. The Cardinals initially feared Floyd broke his hand, but are somewhat relieved it is only finger dislocations. I suppose a cast makes it all fine, but dislocations always sound worse. The timetable for his return is relatively unknown at this point. The media has said 3-5 weeks, which could potentially cost him Week 1. The Cardinals host the 49ers Week 3, and it would seem likely that Floyd will be back on the field by then. John Brown and Jaron Brown are the two guys who benefit most in Floyd's absence.
Seattle Seahawks: SS Kam Chancellor holdout continues, FS Earl Thomas participating in walkthroughs
Monday marked day nine of Chancellor's holdout. He supposedly wants a bit more cash-flow, thus further guarantees in his existing contract. But it remains to be seen if that will pan out for him. The team can fine him and go after signing bonus money, but teams usually forgive all that when a player returns from a holdout. Considering that seems to happen with every holdout, it would not seem to really be leverage for the team at this point. It basically seems like an empty threat. There remains no word on when Chancellor will return.
Earl Thomas was activated off the PUP list, but he is primarily just doing walkthroughs. Pete Carroll said "he is still a couple weeks away" in his shoulder rehab. I suspect he will be fine for the start of the regular season.