Everyone wants to blame someone when something goes wrong. In this case, it’s Levi’s Stadium, or the training staff, or how Kyle Shanahan practices. That’s why the 49ers continue to suffer injuries. It’s never as easy as finding one thing wrong. I’m not sure it’s as simple as you know what happens, either.
Speaking of Shanahan, he’s speaking at noon on Wednesday. Will he cancel mandatory minicamp that’s scheduled next week?
Do not forget that Kyle Shanahan knows Jones from his time in Atlanta. If he wasn’t willing to go the extra mile for Jones, then it is for good reason. Adding Jones was always a luxury, not a necessity. It is time for the 49ers to start coaching up and developing the guys they have now at receiver. That is the position where they have invested in the most draft capital-wise. It also helps that Shanahan can fabricate production out of that position with lesser talent, so that acts a bonus and a reason to not heavily pursue Jones.
The 49ers are not going to feel any sort of regret passing on Jones. He could do great this upcoming season and they would still be justified in their inaction. It was only ever going to make sense with Lance as the starter so that he would walk into a scenario with all the weapons in the world. Since Jimmy Garoppolo is almost assuredly the Week 1 starter, then it just pours onto why they didn’t full-court press Jones.
Now is the time for someone in that receiver room to step up and stand out.
No. 4: 49ers face Justin Jefferson, Vikings in Week 12
Case in point, Jefferson certainly benefits from another MVP-caliber weapon, running back Dalvin Cook, who’ll make the 49ers’ defense have to deal with more multiple threats and angles at all levels when these two teams square off in Week 12.
Jefferson, the 2020 rookie Pro Bowler who could have been the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year recipient if it weren’t for Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, amassed a whopping 1,400 yards receiving on 88 receptions with seven touchdowns.
For those thinking Niners wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk was special last season, Jefferson was on an entirely different level.
“I thought Year One (2020), it was kind of a slam dunk that he would be a finalist,” he said on a recent “Eye Test for Two” podcast on fullpressradio.com. “I didn’t expect him to go in Year One because I thought the conversation would be very much like the conversation that it seems we have on a yearly basis with Tony Boselli or Terrell Davis or Calvin Johnson (because of shortened careers).
“And I would compare – obviously different positions – but I would compare Patrick Willis to Calvin Johnson. I think those guys are very similar as far as their resumes go in their candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
If Banks grabs the starting spot at right guard — as is expected — the 49ers will likely count on adaptable lineman Daniel Brunskill to be their top swing tackle. Colton McKivitz, who saw action at guard during his 2020 rookie season, projects as additional tackle depth since he played that position in college. While Coleman might be the 49ers’ most talented option for swing tackle, he hasn’t played a regular-season snap since 2017 after injuries wiped away his 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Financially, the injuries to Moore and Skule will put the 49ers in an even tighter salary-cap spot. Both players’ full salaries will remain on the team’s 2021 books and their replacements will also now take up a bite of cap space. As it stands, the 49ers have an estimated $6.6 million of 2021 cap room remaining when the situation is evaluated in the context of their 53-man roster.
All of them are at least 32 years old, and all are free agents. Houston and Griffen are coming off decently productive and healthy years, which means they may command too much for the 49ers’ budget on short-term deals.
But Ingram might be available on a flier basis. A knee injury cut short his 2020 season, Ingram’s first NFL campaign without a sack. Recent visits to Kansas City and Miami haven’t yielded a contract for Ingram, so perhaps the 49ers can give the former Chargers star a chance at a discount.