I’ve neglected to do this the last two years, but I think this year it’s appropriate to bring back my San Francisco predictions for the new year. 2018 has happened and we have a year of football news and gossip to take in. And so, I present ten predictions that I think might happen involving the San Francisco 49ers. I stand by these predictions 90 percent. Or was it 80? Actually It’s probably 60.
The point is, I stand by these predictions somewhat. I’ll probably be totally wrong, but it will be fun to look at in 2019.
What are your predictions? Put them in the comments. I’ll make sure to reset this article in 2019 so we can look at what all of us thought would happen. I’ll make sure to contact some of you to give me your thoughts on what happened too.
1: Jimmy Garoppolo will sign a multi-year deal but it won’t be a top-5 deal
I won’t be surprised if he’s the highest paid quarterback in football—he’s made a case for some huge money. I also know after being under Tom Brady, he’s seen the effects of taking pay cuts. I’m sure Garoppolo noted what happens when a huge contract is paid out. Look no further than Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens. I imagine Garoppolo will sign something to be in the top-10, but not top-5. Something front loaded and incentive-laden is my guess. My only reluctance to fully embrace this is the 49ers front office track record with quarterbacks and their contracts. Though most of that stigma is out of the building, Colin Kaepernick took a lesser deal so the team could (in theory) take care of the pieces around him instead the team got gutted the following year. Speaking of negotiations...
2: There will be one report on how Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers are completely apart from a deal and Garoppolo wants out of San Francisco
This happens with every big negotiation. All the time we have no choice but to follow the sources. I don’t doubt there will be back and forth on what Jimmy wants and possible leverage used. It sounds like both sides like each other and there won’t be a problem. Still, there will be drama. Oh man, there will be drama.
3: The 49ers will draft twice in round one of the NFL Draft. Again.
As is becoming tradition, the 49ers are going to do it again. As for who, I am not sure, but I think they will make some sort of deal to get a late 1st round steal going again. I only hope both picks are for guards.
4: The 49ers will beat the Seahawks in Seattle, by two touchdowns
Here come the Seahawk fans to tell me I’m crazy. The Seahawks’ window is quickly closing and they were dominated by the Rams. I think the 49ers will go into Century Link and lay a beat-down on the Hawks that sends them back to the pits of mediocrity. It’s only fitting.
5: Kyle Shanahan will name 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello as offensive coordinator by 2018 season’s end
This goes a bit into 2019, but I firmly believe Scangarello may be getting a promotion for his work with the quarterbacks. The work he did with Garoppolo despite Garoppolo’s infancy with the 49ers playbook is something of legends. I’ve used this analogy before, but it’s like a chef opening up a restaurant. They won’t hire a head chef immediately because they want to get their recipes made, make sure people follow them the way they want it, and once they find a sous chef that can do things the way they like, they’ll give them the promotion. It’s a wild theory, but I’m guessing (pure guessing) Shanahan didn’t have someone he wanted to give that responsibility to yet. He wanted to install the offense, get the coaching staff on the same page, and have his ‘recipes’ fully understood and done correctly before he had someone right in the middle. Shanahan will always be calling the plays, but Scangarello may become something similar to when Doug Pederson was in Kansas City as Andy Reid’s offensive coordinator.
6: The 49ers will make it into the Wild Card as the No. 5 seed
They won’t be No. 6. No. 5. I don’t expect the 49ers to win their first playoff game next year, but they will be in the playoffs. There is no reason this team can’t make a postseason appearance.
7: Arik Armstead will be traded prior to the draft
I like Armstead, a lot—when he’s healthy. The problem is, I can’t see him sticking around on the 49ers when his contract is up. The 49ers need an edge rusher and that defensive line is loaded. Armstead is the odd man out.
8: Carlos Hyde and Eric Reid will sign with Seattle
I’d put most of my money on Reid, but I’m a gambler and will double down on Hyde. Now, I do see several scenarios where he may be retained, and have argued as such, but there’s an itch saying he’s out of here. Eric Reid is a no-brainer. Face it everyone, he’s gone. There’s no need for him when you have cheaper options in Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert. Both Hyde and Reid will go to Seattle and give the 49ers a headache in their two touchdown win
9: Kendrick Bourne will make the team again and have an 800 yard season
I love everything I see out of Bourne and I think he’s only going to get better. I don’t think he quite cracks 1,000 yards, but 800 would be pretty nice. Bourne will be a great complement to the receiving corps for years to come.
10: Fooch will shave his beard
Any idiot can make a gazillion guesses and be right once.
What are your predictions?
Put them in the comments and I’ll be sure to pick some out on who was right/wrong. We’ll revisit this in a year. See you all then.