The 49ers return to civilization today and the practice field. We should have updates from Kyle Shanahan as well as some notes from Sean McVay.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is on the books to make $25.5 million in 2021 in salary and bonuses. The salary cap is expected to drop approximately $20 million next year due to revenues lost this season during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The 49ers could save $24.1 million on the cap if they move on from Garoppolo.
That move would enable them to make a dent in re-signing some their scheduled free agents, as well as adding pieces from outside the organization.
But, obviously, if the 49ers decide to cut costs with the difficult decision to replace Garoppolo, they would still have to replace Garoppolo. And that will require some dollars, too.
The 49ers will save costs with the departures of some players already under contract, such as Dee Ford ($6.4 million savings) and center Weston Richburg ($4.9 million).
Maybe San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel is just really unlucky. Or perhaps he is very lucky by defying the odds. I suppose it depends on your perspective.
The NFL says a jointly appointed independent administrator uses a computer program to randomly select players before each game to undergo PED testing. Samuel continues to wonder how “random” the selection process is.
The second-year receiver has appeared in four games this season and says he has now been “randomly” selected to undergo PED testing a total of six times. Here is his most recent tweet on the topic.
Samuel is looking to return from a hamstring strain suffered during Week 7 against the New England Patriots. Earlier today, the receiver posted to Instagram that he is “finally back to work,” indicating some optimism that he might play this weekend against the Los Angeles Rams.
DAVIS: “If I’m playing against Garoppolo, I don’t care if he has a receiver who runs a 4.2. I don’t care. Because Garoppolo can’t throw it that far. I’m not worried about that guy running past me, because I know the ball won’t get there. I’m looking for the ball. There are some quarterbacks where I’ve got to play the man, and there are some quarterbacks where I can play the ball because the guy’s arm is not strong enough. All of these things come into play.”
DAVIS: “Accuracy — that’s No. 1. Can you throw the ball where you want to throw it? That’s the most important thing. All the other intangibles — this guy’s a winner, or this guy, when he walks in a room, everyone lights up and they’re all going to follow him. Well, if he can’t throw the damn ball where it needs to go, that’s irrelevant.
“So is the guy accurate? Does he have a strong enough arm to get it there? Because that’s going to let me know what he’s capable of doing in the route tree. If a guy can’t throw everything on the tree, then I know there are things that I don’t have to defend. It’s that simple.
SF 49ers making Mike LaFleur offensive coordinator makes sense
Matt LaFleur is probably happy with his current offensive coordinator in Green Bay, Nathaniel Hackett, especially with the Packers boasting a top-five offense.
Yet other offensive-struggling teams surely would be interested in Mike LaFleur’s services in 2021.
Shanahan promoting LaFleur to an offensive coordinator role doesn’t necessarily have to change much, if anything, perhaps only an increase in pay while taking at least some of the pressure off Shanahan during game planning and on game days. One could make the argument LaFleur is already doing those kinds of tasks anyway, and Shanahan could still carry plenty of influence in dialing up certain plays in various situations.
He’d still be the head coach after all, and it’s always going to be his call if deemed fit.
Here’s what the top 18 looks like:
1. Jets (0-10)
2. Jaguars (1-9)
3. Bengals (2-7-1)
4. Cowboys (3-7)
5. Football Team (3-7)
6. Chargers (3-7)
7. Giants (3-7)
8. Falcons (3-7)
10. Panthers (4-7)
11. Lions (4-6)
12. Vikings (4-6)
13. Patriots (4-6)
14. 49ers (4-6)
15. Broncos (4-6)
16. Bears (5-5)
17. Dolphins (6-4)
18. Ravens (6-4)
It remains to be seen exactly what the 49ers’ biggest draft need is, but some will argue they need to address the quarterback position in the first round. The No. 14 pick is surely too far back to get a quality signal caller, and it may be too far back to put together a trade package more compelling than a team ahead of them aiming to move up for the same player(s).
There’s still plenty of season left for the 49ers to either make a playoff run or put themselves in a better spot draft-wise. If they’re not going to make the postseason, landing in the 14-15 range in the draft is probably a worst-case scenario long-term.