The San Francisco 49ers did not mess around this week in aggressively pursuing wide receiver Pierre Garçon. They signed him to a deal that includes $17 million in fully guaranteed money, and a chance to earn $23 million his first two seasons. It was a bit surprising given that Garçon is 30, but if they think he can build on a strong 2016, it could prove worth it.
I took a few minutes recently to chat with Ken Meringolo of Hogs Haven. Garcon spent five years in Washington, putting up two 1,000-yard seasons, and leading the NFL in receptions in 2013. He’s viewed as a solid receiver and a great person that Washington fans will miss. And considering the dumpster fire that is going on in Ashburn, Virginia, losing a good guy probably stings a little more. Thanks to Ken for his thoughts on the 49ers new wide receiver.
[Washington] fans will miss Pierre Garçon. In addition to the actual on-field production, Pierre was a valued member of our community. It is easy to call a guy on the wrong side of 30 "old," but betting against Pierre would be ill-advised.
When he signed with [Washington] prior to the 2012 season, many in town thought he was the next in a long line of No. 2 wide receivers lining up as our No. 1 guy. We were wrong. He fought off injuries that first season--after memorably scoring on a bomb from Robert Griffin III in the season opener--but rallied in 2014 to notch 113 catches for 1,346 yards and five touchdowns (his career best). This past season, Pierre topped 1,000 yards again and was [Washington’s] leading receiver with 79 receptions. His days of serving as the No. 1 guy might be gone, but anyone paying attention to the NFL knows that a top-tier No. 2 wide receiver can have a tremendous impact on every game.
Pierre is one of the most physical guys I have watched play receiver. He caught most of his balls this season in traffic, over the middle and to extend drives. He was a ferocious blocker and a fan favorite. I imagine the huddle was a tough reality for Pierre. It seemed like every play called for DeSean Jackson to run flies and outs, with Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed running seam and option routes, while Pierre drew the card that read, "You get to be earholed by the middle linebacker on this (and every) play."
I know he is excited to be working with Kyle Shanahan again because receivers run open in that scheme. I swear it feels sometimes like Kyle sends 14 receivers out on routes each play. Pierre knows the system and in addition to making catches, he is more than capable of helping the younger receivers understand the principles of what Kyle is trying to do.
I think predicting 113 catches just based on the Kyle reunion is ambitious, but he has plenty of tread left on his tires and it wouldn't be outlandish to expect 1,000 yards out of him if he stays healthy.
Fooch, you got a good one. Even at the price you paid, he will return plenty of value. Just do me a favor and keep your mitts off Kirk!