We are at the point of the offseason where everything is taken to extremes. We watched the Chiefs' offensive line go an entire game without blocking anybody. What we saw during Super Bowl Sunday was unlike any offensive line performance we’ve seen in San Francisco. For reference, the 49ers offensive line allowed eight pressures on 36 dropbacks during Super Bowl 54. The Chiefs offensive line allowed 37 pressures on 61 dropbacks.
Nobody is arguing that the 49ers shouldn’t upgrade their interior offensive line or that pass protection isn’t an issue. I believe the arguments are that the line isn’t the lone issue or as big of an issue as many fans make it out to believe.
Alex Mack? Andy Dalton? Ndamukong Suh? Finding the 49ers’ fits in free agency
Affordable alternative: Andy Dalton
Dalton was Prescott’s injury replacement in Dallas this past season. The 49ers could sign Dalton as a backup so that their season isn’t again derailed in the event of another Garoppolo injury. Dalton ranked No. 26 in QBR for the Cowboys in 2020, but his 2.4 percent interception rate was much lower than Mullens’ 3.7 percent mark. Just that decrease alone might’ve been good enough to keep the 49ers’ playoff push afloat.
Contract estimate: 1 year, $3 million
La Canfora: 49ers may have to trade more than draft picks for Deshaun Watson; Sam Darnold a possibility
“I think the problem the 49ers would have is that there’s teams picking ahead of them,” explained La Canfora on 95.7 The Game’s The Morning Roast on Tuesday, “and in some cases, teams that I think the Texans perceive to be clubs that will be picking ahead of the 49ers for years to come. And when you’re talking about a trade of that magnitude, and a player that accomplished, that stuff matters. So, I think it would take the 49ers trading premium players, plural.”
“I think Garoppolo ends up in New England when it’s all said and done,” he said before stating that it could happen this offseason.
“Sources tell me 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan (is) very high on Sam Darnold,” said La Canfora during the broadcast leading up to Super Bowl LV.
That’s a marriage that Cowherd would love to see.
“If the reports are true — Sam Darnold deserves Kyle Shanahan — after what he endured [with] the Jets,” Cowherd wrote via Twitter. “Not supposed to be a fan but I’m pulling for that.”
“Do you want a pocket passer past his prime (in) Matt Ryan or this losing quarterback, Sam Darnold, that everybody in America doesn’t like, except me?” Cowherd said in November. “Because we know that Shanahan knows offense. We know Shanahan is smarter than us with football. And I think this is the one team that has the personnel — it’s just injuries — that will bounce back next year if they get the quarterback right.”
San Francisco is another team who figures to be in the market for a quarterback but their lukewarm offer for Stafford (they reportedly did not offer their first-round pick) seems to indicate that the 49ers could take or leave major investments into upgrades at quarterback. After all, the team has found plenty of success with a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo. The challenge for San Francisco is that no one was healthy last year. The 49ers’ current team identity was forged by investing premium picks in the trenches. Kwity Paye? Opposite a healthy Nick Bosa? That’ll keep the heat on Stafford, Wilson, and Murray in the NFC West.
“I’m not sure if I’m available or not, that’s a Seahawks question,” Wilson told Patrick when asked if he was on the trade market. “I think the reality of professional sports is that things happen, things change. I’m not sure how long I’ll play in Seattle, Hopefully, it’ll be forever but things change along the way and I think that you focus on what you can control and try to be the best version of yourself and ultimately try to win championships. That’s why I play this game.”