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Let’s argue: Preseason expectations were too high for the 49ers

Taking your most unpopular opinions about the 49ers

Indianapolis Colts v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

It’s that time of the year where we argue. For those that are new, we pose the question on Twitter asking for your most unpopular 49ers takes. We’ll discuss the best answers, and you can agree or disagree. So let’s get into it.

When you think about the 49ers, George Kittle is one of the first two or three players that come to mind. The Niners rewarded Kittle with a five-year, $75-million contract extension before the start of the 2020 season. Kittle earned every penny. What is Kittle’s value? We know he’s the best blocking tight end in the game and is one of the team’s most important pass-catchers.

As you were watching the game against the Colts, did you ever feel like the 49ers missed Kittle? I’m sure there were plays, but Charlier Woerner was phenomenal. Now, it was only one game. What makes Kittle a superstar is he plays at that level every game.

With that said, cornerback is a premier position in the NFL and tight end is not. In a business, you cannot make decisions off emotion. This is a business, and no matter how you feel about Kittle, moving him for a star cornerback would be a no-brainer.

From a cap standpoint, the only way this would work would be with a post-June 1 designation. That way, you save $12 million against the cap and only have about $4 million left on Kittle’s salary to pay.

If you’re moving Kittle for a first-round draft pick, you better be getting a top-15 pick in return and then some. I’m only moving Kittle for an established player I know plays at a high level right away.

I watched Kittle grow as a player at Iowa to who he is today. But, that wouldn’t get in the way of me improving my team for the long run, as tough as it would be to move him.

Hindsight is 20/20. A good portion of the fanbase that’s upset with Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo was all in on both guys four months ago. Nick Bosa returned from injury, and the team would finally be healthy, right?

Well, the veterans the team counted on to contribute have been banged up. The signal-caller who earned the “winner” label looks like a quarterback who's handcuffed the offense. The revolving door at cornerback came back to bite the team in the you know what. As it turns out, when you play Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Kyler Murray three games in a row, you might want to invest in your secondary.

Vegas had the 49ers win total for 2021 set at 10.5. There are people in the know that gamble for a living that was confident San Francisco would soar over that win total. Where did we miscalculate? Does it all come back to keeping Jimmy? That’s not fair to Garoppolo to blame him for a team that can’t generate turnovers or get off the field on third down solely.

I’m with David. Painful is a perfect word to describe the past four games. Losing sucks. It causes you to second guess everything that you’ve done. However, the 49ers have a strong core: Trent Williams, Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Nick freaking Bosa, Arik Armstead, Fred Warner, Jimmie Ward.

That’s not counting Brandon Aiyuk, the potential of Trey Lance, Emmanuel Moseley, and other talented younger guys like Azeez Al-Shaair and Dre Greenlaw. Who knows what to do with Javon Kinlaw.

That’s a lot of talent to work with. Assuming Jimmy G is off the books, the 49ers could potentially add two key starters in free agency with that money while signing a couple of other low-key additions that contribute.

The team still has the talent to get hot this year and go on a run. It has to happen before we give them credit, though. Speaking of playoffs...

When you lose four games in a row, your playoff chances are usually hanging by a thread if they exist at all. The good news for the 49ers is that it seems like after the first five teams, everyone is lumped together.

The Saints are 4-2 and hold the sixth seed, while the Vikings are 3-3. San Francisco is somehow only one game back from the final Wild Card spot. Losing to the Colts stung. Losing to the Bears will all but burst the playoff bubble.

The problem for the Niners is they dug themselves a hole and now don’t have much margin for error. So now, you have to beat your divisional opponents and go on a mini-run to keep pace with the other teams.

A postseason run could happen, but the brand of football the 49ers are playing isn’t playoff material.

The only way I’m trading Bosa is if I received three first-round picks, and one of them was a top-5 this year. Even then, I’d have trouble parting ways with a player the caliber of Bosa. When you have that type of talent, you retain that type of talent.