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Golden Nuggets: Patriots & Eagles Advance to Super Bowl 52

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A daily compilation of 49ers news from around the net. Monday, January 22nd, 2018 edition.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL playoff inch closer to their inevitable resolution, 49ers fans are left waiting for quite a while in our search for resolution to our questions. Despite a stellar ending to an otherwise lost season, there are very few certainties on our current roster - namely that free agent QB/savior of mankind Jimmy Garoppolo is an excellent player, and that our roster is slightly more talented than the 2016 iteration of the 49ers, a team which achieved all of two wins.

Poking through the Better Rivals podcast, I noticed a chart that they had posted which uses skill level and expected tenure with the team to separate players into four categories (Replaceable, Developmental, Transitional, Foundational), along with “Core”. Unfortunately, some of the players who had once been considered Foundational (Carlos Hyde, Eric Reid, Joe Staley) have quickly become Transitional players on this team, reflecting a decline in production or the slow march of aging.

The reality is that in a short amount of time, many formerly productive and skilled 49ers may soon find themselves headed in a different direction, as the current decision makers are rebuilding a team that will look nothing like our former rosters. The upside, however, is that the team has the draft capital and cap space to replace aging or declining starters, as well as continue to churn the bottom of the roster.

With the advent of Jimmy Garoppolo, the rebuild of the team made serious and immediate progress, but he alone is not an entire 53-man roster. This should shape up to be an extremely busy and fruitful offseason, as the team looks to gather more and more Foundational players around our QB (whose contract should ideally be the very first order of business), but now, we are stuck with the annual waiting game. Like 29 other NFL fanbases, we get to enjoy the worst kind of Groundhog-Day-meets-Christmas-Eve anxiety, a seemingly never-ending period of time in which roster building is so close, yet so far away. With the Championship games over with, the amount of hurdles is shrinking, though. All we need is a little patience.

On to the good stuff-

Solomon Thomas looking to improve after lukewarm rookie season | Branch, SF Gate

Thoughts on Garoppolo’s possible contract | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area

Joe Staley expected to play in Pro Bowl | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area | Barrows, Sac Bee

49ers Brass to be present at Senior Bowl | Barrows, Sac Bee