Unless your expectations were that San Francisco would go out and sign the biggest names in free agency, you’re impressed with the team and what they’ve done this week. The 49ers could stand to add another cornerback, a pass rusher, and a wide receiver, but those are all positions where the draft is strong and the free agency market has a handful of value signings available.
It was Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs quarterback who was last seen running for his life from Buccaneers pass rushers in the Super Bowl. According to those privy to the conversations, Mahomes made a strong pitch in texts and phone calls to Williams about joining him as the Chiefs’ new left tackle.
Mahomes grew up in East Texas, about 30 minutes from where Williams was raised. They know each other well, which was an added incentive.
The Chiefs’ offer ended up being close to what ultimately landed Williams with the 49ers, a six-year, $138.06 million contract that makes Williams the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. (Later on Wednesday, Kansas City agreed to a one-year deal with Kyle Long worth $5 million).
How did the 49ers finally beat Mahomes and the Chiefs in the showdown over Williams? The winning element was loyalty. Williams has a bond with Kyle Shanahan, having played under him for four seasons in Washington. Williams also credits Shanahan for helping to extricate him from his unhappy situation in Washington a year ago.
Round 1 - Pick 7
OHIO STATE • JR • 6’3” / 228 LBS
San Francisco PROSPECT 10th RNK 3rd
The 49ers have to make a move with Fields falling, and the rebuilding Lions are fine drifting back in Round 1.
Ojulari (6-3, 240) saw his sack total increase from 5.5 in 2019 to 9.5 in 2020, per Sports Reference. He added 31 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, two passes defensed, and four forced fumbles through 10 games for the Bulldogs this past season. Ojulari was named the Defensive MVP of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where he recorded four tackles, three tackles for a loss, three sacks, and two forced fumbles in a 24-21 win over Cincinnati.
“I just feel like my versatility, the way I use my hands and the way I can bend, I feel like I’m the most bendy and versatile,” Ojulari said via Chan. “I have an explosive first step and I like to drop into coverage too. You’re not just getting a pass rusher out of me, you’re getting all three downs.”
A trade for Minshew makes sense for the 49ers on a couple of levels.
- John Lynch has said, on multiple occasions this offseason, that the 49ers are looking to upgrade the backup quarterback position on the roster. Minshew would not only upgrade the backup position, but he could arguably challenge current starter Jimmy Garoppolo for the starting position.
- Minshew is incredibly affordable. In an offseason in which the 49ers have made left tackle Trent Williams in the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history, along with moves to bring back fullback Kyle Juszczyk, cornerbacks Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley, and the signing of center Alex Mack and EDGE Samson Ebukam, the team does not have a lot of money to achieve the stated goal of upgrading the backup QB position. Minshew has two years remaining on his contract and according to Spotrac, he is due $897, 721 in 2021 and $1.012 million in 2022
The offensive line’s potential makes the 49ers a destination team.
Every possibly available quarterback sees two proven vets anchoring the front. The scheme churns out rushing yardage no matter who lines up in the backfield. Tight end George Kittle is a force as a runner and receiver. The squad’s young wide receivers—Deebo Samuel, 25, and Brandon Aiyuk, 23—are extremely exciting because of their ability to create after the catch.