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Podcast: Do the 49ers still see themselves as a Super Bowl team?

Plus, how many starters from the 2019 roster will be back in 2021?

NFL: SEP 13 Cardinals at 49ers Photo by MSA/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There are two very different roads the 49ers can take this offseason. The first road comes from the belief that the team is just a healthy season away from another Super Bowl run and involves spending big on Trent Williams and Jason Verrett in free agency. The second, however, is spun from the idea that Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t good enough, Williams is too expensive, and the secondary has too many holes given the likely departures in the next few weeks. Luckily for us, we’ll find out exactly what Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch think based on how the team proceeds this offseason.

If the 49ers go all out to bring back Williams and Verrett, it will be plainly obvious which path they think the team is on in 2021. That likely means keeping Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback and taking another pass rusher with the 12th pick in the draft or trading down to fill the holes on the roster with as much young talent as possible.

But if Kyle and John don’t think the team can make a legitimate run this year, they may take the second path. While unpopular with some, it is also a direction that many in the fan base think they need to go in to be successful. That path involves drafting a quarterback in the first round, giving him time to learn Kyle’s system, and eventually making another run while Nick Bosa and Fred Warner are still in their primes.

Complicating things even more, is the fact that even if Kyle and John think the team is poised to challenge for a championship, those plans could get derailed if Trent Williams gets blown away by an offer from a team like Indianapolis and walks away. Does the team have a contingency plan in place for that scenario, and would they ever tell us if they were forced to use it?

Levin Black and I discussed all that and more in today’s Niners Nation Gold Standard Podcast; here for you in the play below, and everywhere else, such things can be found.

Other topics in the episode

  • How many starters from the 2019 will be back in 2021?
  • What’s John Lynch’s sales pitch to Trent Williams?
  • Why you can’t go to sleep after the 49ers first pick in round one this year