We spoke about it a bit on the podcast Friday, but I’m not sure why 49ers fans were upset with Jerick McKinnon’s comments. Rob had a good point that this is a business, and no matter how we feel, that’s how the players will treat the NFL.
“If Jimmy Garoppolo had played 16 games and just been average, how do they not win probably eight or nine games, and they’re in the playoffs, right?” Middlekauff said on the Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks show (h/t to KNBR). “… I just can’t roll back with Jimmy. Now, what are my options?
“I would trade pick 12 for Matt Stafford. Now, it’s easy to say that, but their coach, he’s talking about chewing people’s knees off, so we’ll see when him and Matt eventually get on the phone together.”
Chris Russell of Sports Illustrated told 106.7 The Fan in the Washington D.C. area that the 49ers are among the teams expressing interest in Washington Football Team VP of player personnel Kyle Smith (h/t to Patrick Tulini), who has been with the organization for 10 years and oversaw the team’s most recent drafts.
“I’ve heard Washington would not stand in their way,” Russell told 106.7 The Fan of a potential lateral move from Washington to the 49ers.
No. 1: EDGE Aldon Smith, Dallas Cowboys
Like Mike Iupati, EDGE Aldon Smith was also part of the mass departures from the Niners in 2015, albeit for very different reasons.
His off-field woes seemingly cleaned up, Smith’s return to NFL action with the Dallas Cowboys was pretty storybook. While Dallas’ defense was downright awful in 2020, Smith still managed to register five sacks after essentially missing the previous four years while being suspended by the league.
Smith is nothing like the prolific pass-rusher he was back when he was with San Francisco early in his career. But the SF 49ers aren’t looking for a prominent pass-rushing threat.
I’m not saying I would have had all the answers. But I promise I would not have let Shanahan draft Solomon Thomas, trade up for Reuben Foster, trade up for C.J. Beathard, sign Brian Hoyer, sign Malcom Smith, sign Pierre Garcon, trade for Jimmy Garoppolo and extend his contract, draft Mike McGlinchey, trade up for Dante Pettis, sign Jerick McKinnon, trade for Dee Ford and extend his contract, sign Kwon Alexander, draft Jalen Hurd, draft Mitch Wishnowsky, sign Tevin Coleman, hire Shane Day as the quarterbacks coach, not start Raheem Mostert in the Super Bowl, not run the ball more in the second half of the Super Bowl, trade DeForest Buckner, draft Javon Kinlaw instead of Tristan Wirfs, extend Arik Armstead’s contract, agree not to give Trent Williams the franchise tag, cut D.J. Reed, etc.
Really, Garoppolo, No. 12 and a top starting player who isn’t Bosa or Kittle should be reasonable compensation as the Texans are near a point of no return with Watson. With the Dolphins and Jets potential moves for Watson having some snags, Lynch and the 49ers can swoop in and mine for rare open-market QB gold.
The bottom line is Watson is worth a lot. He gives any semi-functional organization that isn’t the Texans an immediate high floor of winning games for many seasons. Whatever offensive and defensive lumps the 49ers endure in some places, Watson pushing the team’s ceiling higher will overcompensate.
Don’t be surprised if the stars eventually align here so that Watson can become a bigger superstar in San Francisco.