The Athletic’s Matt Barrows has done a great job all week at the NFL Combine finding nuggets about the San Francisco 49ers. Barrows reported that new deals for George Kittle and DeForest Buckner are the two most prominent pieces of the 49ers’ salary cap puzzle this offseason. Both of those deals are unlikely to be done until the new CBA is drafted at ratified by the players. So all we can do is wait on that front.
Brunskill to guard?
Barrows said that team officials said they love Daniel Brunskill’s versatility, but feel that his best chance at a permanent starting spot would be at guard. Barrows made it clear that a move to guard hasn’t been determined, but those few games Brunskill played at right guard should be enough to give him a long look as a starter.
Brunskill started the last two weeks of the regular season at right guard. Aaron Donald got the best of him, but the way Brunskill competed in that game was so impressive. Brunskill bounced back in a great the next week against Seattle and didn’t get beaten once in pass protection. Here’s Kyle Shanahan on Brunskill:“I love the fact that he can play all five (positions),” Shanahan said. “The only thing we haven’t put him at is center and I believe he could do that. So that’s a really valuable deal. I think he did good at guard and I think he did good at tackle. I probably saw him more as a guard, then he surprised me at tackle. So he’s going to get better at both, so we’ll see where he ends up.”
Renewing the preseason Raider games?
Barrows mentioned in the article that the 49erss had had internal discussions about renewing the annual preseason game with the Oakland Raiders. The two teams played in the preseason for 11 consecutive seasons before a violence-filled game at Candlestick Park in 2011, which included stabbings and a shooting. One man was shot in the stomach several times. I can’t imagine what would provoke that type of nonsense at a sporting event, but I’ve also seen what football turns people into. It’s ugly.
We’ll know soon enough if the 49ers will play the Raiders in the preseason. It won’t be in the Bay Area if Oakland is the home team. Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas is expected to be ready by the start of the season, where the Raiders are moving to and will play their games. We’ll know the preseason schedule likely the first week of April.