This season has flown by. You know it’s not how you wanted the season to go when your third-string quarterback is starting in Week 17 and you’re not resting your starters.
“The 49ers would be a playoff team had they started Beathard over Nick Mullens, with wins over the Eagles, Cowboys, and Washington” — @sam_sourdough
There is a reason the 49ers kept going with Nick Mullens over C.J. Beathard.
The coaching staff determined Mullens was better. These are the people who see all the players in every practice, then go back to re-watch the film and analyze playing skills, decision-making and execution.
We’re not taking anything away from Beathard. He did a fine job in helping the 49ers upset the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday. But it’s doubtful anything would be different if Mullens were benched a while back.
And it appears that the Saints are also losing a conditional fifth-round draft pick they swapped with the San Francisco 49ers to acquire Alexander sooner rather than later.
The draft pick’s conditions were reliant on play time, though it was never specified which exact benchmarks were in mind once New Orleans and San Francisco reached an agreement. But Alexander started for the Saints almost immediately after the trade, making it likely he met those goals.
Additionally, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports reported that “it’s a virtual certainty” Alexander met those play time incentives for New Orleans, which will trigger the pick’s loss in 2021 as opposed to 2022. Alexander appeared in seven games, totaling 350 snaps on defense (73.8% of 474 possible snaps) with the Saints in that span.
SF 49ers have ‘middle of the pack’ cap space for 2021
The decreasing salary cap affects plenty of teams, and the Niners aren’t going to be an exception. But when looking at other top-contending teams’ situations heading towards 2021, one can almost feel thankful San Francisco doesn’t have it that bad.
The SF 49ers, with a projected $22,205,308 in cap space, rank 19th in terms of least cap space, 14th in terms of most available.
Teams like the Saints, Eagles, Steelers, Vikings and Falcons face the biggest conundrums, particularly with highly paid quarterbacks on their roster who may not fit into any sort of long-term plans. Those could lead to some notable cap casualties, although the Niners could be in a similar situation with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who, if cut or traded, would generate $24.1 million in much-needed cap space to help retain the bulk of the roster elsewhere.
But San Francisco is still in a position where it doesn’t have to necessarily move on from Garoppolo.
2) Jeff Wilson
Wilson has been a joy to watch this season. He hits the hole so hard and runs incredibly physically. That is the Wilson that was on display again Saturday. He finished the day with 22 carries for 183 yards on the ground and picked up 21 yards and a touchdown through the air.
As a restricted free agent, the 49ers will have an easier time bringing back Wilson next year, and it is a huge priority to do so.
Through his two starts on the season, Wilson has accumulated 324 total yards and four touchdowns, off a total of 42 touches.
This should make for a much bigger role in 2021.
The historic feat was made possible because of the manner in which the game was broadcast. Outside of the team’s home markets in San Francisco and Phoenix, the matchup was aired exclusively via stream through Amazon Prime, Twitch and Amazon’s various platforms as part of the NFL Holiday Blitz on Prime Video. It was the first NFL game to air exclusively on a national basis on the Prime Video and Twitch platforms.
The results delivered an estimated 11.2 million total viewers on Amazon Prime Video with Twitch and an estimated average minute audience of 4.8 million across Prime Video, Twitch, NFL mobile properties, 49ers and Cardinals mobile properties and Verizon Media mobile properties, per NFL Media.
“Including OTA stations in San Francisco (KNTV) and Phoenix (KSAZ), 49ers-Cardinals delivered an estimated AMA of 5.9 million,” the report said.
The Prime Video and Twitch platforms, alone, reached a total of 11.2 million combined viewers the NFL on Prime pregame show, while the game itself was viewed by an estimated 10.7 million viewers who initiated a stream on Prime Video or Twitch.