The credible rumors didn’t happen on Wednesday, but we did see an unnamed blue checkmark suggest “the 49ers are in talks with swapping Teddy Bridgewater out for Jimmy Garoppolo,” which I found comical.
That would be, and I cannot stress this enough, a downgrade of epic proportions. Bridgewater is not good. If you can’t excel in Joe Brady’s offense, you’re probably not a starter in this league.
Offensively a significant weakness of San Francisco was the offensive line. Let’s look at it; the most crucial position would be the left tackle, and they already have a pro bowl option there in Trent Williams (assuming he is re-signed). Laken Tomlinson has been a quality starter since he arrived in San Francisco and has improved every year under Kyle Shanahan. The center needs to be figured out via free agency or the draft. Giving Brunksill a position to lock himself into would be ideal, and I believe that he should be allowed to start at the right guard. While McGlinchey isn’t an effective pass blocker, he would fit the identity if Garoppolo is under center, running the ball.
“Whatever it’s worth for my NFL peeps,” Bucher tweeted, “severity of Jimmy Garoppolo injury is why 49ers are in market for QB, not just dissatisfaction.”
This would suggest that Garoppolo’s injury might have been worse than a high-ankle sprain, and could still require surgery.
So the injury wasn’t 100-percent healed in January, and it may not be healed now. Which means Garoppolo has had a high ankle sprain since September. Quite unusual.
Maybe he has something worse than a high-ankle sprain, and the rest of the league knows it, and that’s why the 49ers haven’t traded him yet.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
Caleb Farley, cornerback, Virginia Tech
Hugh: I would not select Caleb Farley over Patrick Surtain II, but if the Alabama product is off the board I would be happy with the 49ers selecting him at pick 12. Highlighting the same shortage of corners on the 49ers as in the Surtain II analysis, I would also be comfortable with Farley being a day one starter for the 49ers.
The thing I love most about Farley is his play-making ability. As a former high school quarterback and college wide receiver, he has a deep understanding of the positions he is competing against and looking to disrupt. Like Surtain II, Farley excels in press coverage and would help nullify an opposing short passing game to counteract the 49ers’ improved pass rush next season with Bosa’s return. Robert Saleh’s defenses ranked worse than 20th in the league in three of the past four years, and Farley alone snagged six interceptions in two seasons. He would be an immediate playmaker for the 49ers, creating turnovers from the cornerback position which has lacked severely as of late.
Patrick Jones is an edge player out of the University of Pittsburgh. His Senior Bowl measurables were: 6-foot-4 and a half inches, 264 pounds, 32-inch arm length and a hand size of 10 inches. Jones displayed burst off the snap and good hand usage. What caught my attention was the consistency all week long. He showed he was the most athletic edge rusher at the Senior Bowl. He used multiple moves to win, which is encouraging for college prospects coming out. During the game he was dominant, with four quarterback pressures and a nice inside move to earn a sack for a total of two sacks. He posted 17.5 sacks during his college career at Pitt. Jones should be on the 49ers’ radar to pair opposite of Nick Bosa and give the defense a young one-two punch off the edge.
The NFL and NFLPA are still negotiating what the final number will be, but it is heading towards being higher than the $175 million minimum the two sides agreed to last summer. Teams may not learn what the official number will be until just hours or days before free agency begins. The league is still projecting how many fans will be able to attend 2021 games, something that’s mostly out of the league’s control. The hope is that vaccinations are ramped up over the next months and that stadiums can be at or near full capacity next fall. The difference between a $175 million and $185 million salary cap may sound small for a roster of over 50 players, but it will be the difference between some veterans being cut or staying on their current deal. The belief is that this will be a buyer’s market as many players battle for fewer dollars available. Expect more short-term deals from veterans, who will look to land a more lucrative contract the following season when the salary cap inevitably explodes.