The San Francisco 49ers return to practice, and the hope is that’s the case for both Jimmy Garoppolo and Emmanuel Sanders. Speaking of Jimmy G...
That brings us to the main question: Will Jimmy Garoppolo be the best option for the 49ers beyond 2020? It’s a fair question to ask, especially with the flexibility that the franchise is about to have with its current starting QB this offseason. Once the 2020 season comes to a close, the 49ers have the ability to get out from under Garopplo’s $137.5 million deal he signed back in February of 2018 relatively unscathed. If they moved on, they’d clear roughly $24 million off their cap in 2021 and only have $2.8 million and $1.4 million in dead cap charges over the next two seasons.
Having the ability to rid themselves of Garoppolo so easily does make one wonder if John Lynch and the rest of the 49ers brass would ever have a wandering eye towards some of the quarterbacks that could be available this offseason. Those quarterbacks could include Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Sam Darnold, Daniel Jones, and Dak Prescott. If San Francisco viewed one or more of these QBs as an upgrade, it’d certainly be worth kicking the tires to help a team locked-and-loaded for another Super Bowl run when healthy.
LB Fred Warner, 49ers
Aside from losing Gesicki on a play, Warner was fantastic against the Dolphins, perhaps one of the only defenders for the 49ers who could claim that. A questionable roughing the passer penalty looks bad, but he shouldn’t be knocked for his performance on that play. For his part, he did a great job shutting down the run game, regardless of the back: Matt Breida, Myles Gaskin and Lynn Bowden all had issues running in his direction. He did a good job squeezing lanes when taking on blocks but an even better job slipping those blocks to make the tackle at the line of scrimmage. His coverage was largely clean, and he did a good job forcing Fitzpatrick to consider other options.
“This is the reigning NFC champs, reigning division champs,” McVay said during his weekly Monday evening video conference, emphasizing that he anticipates Los Angeles will get San Francisco’s best shot on Sunday no matter who is or isn’t available.
Statistically, it’s not difficult to see why.
Despite playing without their two best defensive linemen – Dee Ford, who is on injured reserve with a back injury, and Nick Bosa, who sustained a season-ending torn ACL in Week 2 – the 49ers have the No. 5 total defense in the NFL, allowing the 11th-fewest rushing yards and third-fewest passing yards so far. They were also top five in total defense and pass defense last year, and ranked 17th against the run.
Two responses: One, I feel like Moore is the best player on the 53-man roster who’s not currently starting or in a key role on offense or defense. He’s obviously more confident than he was in his previous two seasons. It’s visible. He simply catches your eye more in practice and in games than he did previously.
I don’t know what the long-term plan is for him and I’m not sure there is one at the moment. Given his elite speed, his best position — and the one where he’s currently the primary backup — is free safety. Ward, however, is signed through 2022.
If they lose again on Sunday night to the Rams, there won’t be any more 49ersland panic. The season will be a fait accompli. And if the 49ers get blown out in any similar way to what occurred last Sunday, the emotions will turn to anger and recriminations. But enough early advertising for my Updated 49ers Scapegoat List!
Right now, before we get into some more immediate topics, let’s take a zigzag to the bigger picture, if you will allow me.
Jed York is fortunate that he signed those big extensions with Shanahan (through 2025) and John Lynch (through 2024) last offseason. I know, I know, you think that should be flipped. You think Shanahan and Lynch should be listed as the fortunate ones for getting their big money right after the Super Bowl run and possibly immediately turning in a stinker season with many years and dollars left to go.
“I don’t know if I would make the swap right now, with the experience that Garoppolo has,” Irvin responded. ”He’s gone there, he’s been through the playoffs to get there. You can throw this thing into a tailspin starting anew at that position.
“So I don’t know if I would make that call right now. Not right now, I’m still Super Bowl bound. It’ll be tougher this year because of all the guys they got hurt, but I’m certainly going to be Super Bowl bound next year.”