Just when you thought the quarterback rumors would die down, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer drops this nugget in an article:
Indianapolis seems like the natural landing spot for Stafford. The question, then, becomes whether GM Chris Ballard and coach Frank Reich would see Stafford as a Band-Aid or more than that. The team went with a Band-Aid last year, in Rivers, after taking a shot with Jacoby Brissett in 2019 (and that was after Jimmy Garoppolo’s name briefly came up in the DeForest Buckner trade talks with San Francisco). Might they want to fix the position once and for all? I think that would be preferable. You could point to the Buckner trade as an example of Ballard being aggressive in the way he’d have to be on Stafford—but Buckner’s 26 and a definite long-term cornerstone.
Perhaps lost in the Niners’ plan to sign Kirk Cousins after the 2017 season was they’d spent a lot of time with Watson in the run up to the 2017 draft. They had a private workout with him at Clemson and he was one of the team’s 30 pre-draft visitors. But the 49ers passed on Watson and every other first-round quarterback because they had their eyes on Cousins, although that never happened because of the trade for Garoppolo.
Nearly four years later, it’s easy to picture Watson thriving in Shanahan’s offense. His mobility and deep ball accuracy (45.4% completion rate on throws 20-plus yards downfield is second in the NFL since he entered the league), would allow the offense to take a leap forward and stress defenses in ways heretofore unseen.
What’s more, the cap charge for a team acquiring Watson is around $10 million. Garoppolo is scheduled to count $26.9 million against the cap next year and the Niners would incur $2.8 million in dead money by trading or releasing him. The money saved at quarterback would give the Niners a sizable chunk to re-sign left tackle Trent Williams.
“Aaron is not going to want to come here,” Rice said Monday during an appearance on 95.7 The Game. “Aaron is not going to want to come here because the 49ers didn’t draft him. He’s still got that grudge. He’s still got that on his shoulders. I’m not saying this guy is not going to stay in Green Bay because it’s got to be frustrating to him because he has lost the last two championship games.”
Leeds United’s partnership with 49ers Enterprises has just been massively boosted with the announcement that the NFL giants have upped their initial ~10% stake in the club. The exact cash injection is as yet unknown, but is thought to stand at around £50 million.
“Our 49ers Enterprises team has always shared Andrea’s vision for constructing a powerful and winning club in the most competitive football league in the world, and the experience of the last three seasons has been more exhilarating than we could have ever imagined,” said Marathe.
“The hard work and bold leadership demonstrated by Andrea and his talented team has restored Leeds United’s rightful place in the Premier League and we look forward to playing an even bigger role in supporting their efforts to climb the table this year and into the future.”
“We are increasing our investment in Leeds United now to support and augment the organizational infrastructure needed to remain competitive in the Premier League,” added Marathe.
By February 1991, the 49ers were still one of the premier teams in football. The previous month, they had just come off a heartbreaking loss in the NFC Championship Game to the New York Giants. That defeat derailed their attempt to become the first team to win three consecutive Super Bowls, a feat which has still yet to be accomplished.
Changes were in store for the 49ers for 1991 both on and off the field. Franchise quarterback Joe Montana suffered a brutal injury during the NFC Championship Game that would put him out of action for all of the following season. In the front office, Carmen Policy ascended to the position of team president.
Perhaps sensing a new era, the 49ers contracted Stevens Wright, who had already done work for several NFL teams. In particular, he designed the Buffalo Bills’ “charging buffalo” logo, which is still in use to this day.