Good morning folks, and a happy Monday to you. It was an interesting Sunday, to say the least, as nothing particular major happened in 49ers news, but several notable-enough tidbits made the rounds. Likely the biggest story around the NFL (outside of the annual league meeting) is the retirement of Patriots star TE Rob Gronkowski, which means the mantle of “best TE in the league” will eventually be placed upon the shoulderpads of someone else. Although he saw his TE yardage record broken (twice, in quick succession) in his final season, he also went out having earned one last Super Bowl ring. Moving forward, George Kittle had already been expected to be considered among the league’s elite TEs, but with Gronk’s retirement, he is sure to move up this imaginary vanity list.
More importantly, however, are the soundbites from a pair of interviews with 49ers owner Jed York and Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury. After an unusually long stay from being in the public spotlight, York spoke with the media prior to the owners’ meeting on Sunday. He has been particularly restrained since the beginning of the Shanahan/Lynch era, a welcomed change after his meddlesome behavior during the Harbaugh et al./Baalke era(s). He confirmed that the 49ers were, indeed, deep in talks with the New York Giants regarding Odell Beckham Jr., before the WR was ultimately traded to the Cleveland Browns. York noted that the distance in compensation was considerable, and went on to praise the front office for standing pat in in the face of a tantalizing talent.
Coach Kingsbury also spoke with the media, publicly stating that a final decision regarding the draft has not yet been reached, and that all options are still on the table. I don’t have to tell you that this is the season for coachspeak and smokescreens, so feel free to doubt his statement as you will. The Cardinals are in a position to add a tremendous football player to their roster, or net quite the bounty in a trade-down deal, and have no discernible reason at this point to telegraph their intentions. No matter which horse is on your ticket, I think we can all agree that the ideal situation would be for the Cardinals to draft a bust - but for now, just knowing what they plan to do so we can get on with arguing over OUR intentions would be a solid consolation prize.
Cardinals coach states that a draft decision hasn’t been made yet | White, NBC Sports Bay Area
With Gronkowski retired, is George Kittle the NFL’s best TE? | Shrock, NBC Sports Bay Area
Bosa rumored to be early favorite for 49ers pick | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area
Jed York affirms confidence in Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area
Jimmy Garoppolo’s offseason plan includes more than rehab | Chan, NBC Sports Bay Area