While we wait for a Jimmy Garoppolo destination to be announced, did the 49ers already show their hand as to who their backup quarterback is?
According to the New York Post, teams are preparing to make offers for free agent tight end Evan Engram, many teams see him as a big slot receiver and “one team with a Pro Bowl tight end under contract is among those strongly considering pursuing Engram in a non-traditional role, a source told The Post.”
Which means on the 49ers, Engram essentially would be a big slot receiver. He wouldn’t have to block much — Kittle does the blocking, and he’s a darn good blocker. Engram would be the No. 2 tight end whose primary job is getting open and catching passes.
“Overall, the MANS GOT POTENTIAL,” wrote the WAGS Unfiltered Instagram account. “The 22 year-old has had an impressive start to his NFL career. He was the third top NFL 2021 draft pick, and it is rumored by multiple sources that it’s likely he will become starting QB for the 49ers in the ’22 season.
“Although he became injured in August 2021 and has been sitting out for most of the season ever since, there have been many words of admiration by his fellow playmates that he is still killing it in practice and has an extremely bright future ahead of him in the NFL. Side note: It is rumored he has a gf named Brynn, but he don’t post her so do what you will with that information ”
“What happened yesterday, kind of an under the radar move, but definitely something that was very relevant, was the deal the 49ers signed Nate Sudfeld to,” Maiocco told Papa & Lund Friday. “Nate Sudfeld last year as the third-string quarterback, remained on the practice squad for the entire season basically, was elevated three times to the active roster but didn’t play a snap.
“They gave him, according to Adam Schefter, a one-year, fully-guaranteed $2 million contract. That is not the kind of contract you give a guy you anticipate is going to be on the practice squad. That’s the kind of contract you give a guy to be the backup quarterback.
“Right there I think that closes the door on [Marcus] Mariota, closes the door on Tyrod Taylor, Mitchell Trubisky and I think it closes the door on Jimmy Garoppolo.”
In those last 10 games he had at least one pressure in each contest as his total skyrocketed to 34 for the second half of the year. He also notched 8.0 sacks in the last 10 including one in each postseason game.
Ebukam is good, and it showed over the final 10 games. That’s a long enough sample size of consistently strong play to be optimistic he can carry that over into the 2022 campaign. If Ebukam picks up where he left off and puts together a year with 60-plus pressures and double-digit sacks, the 49ers have a chance to once again be the NFL’s most disruptive pass rush.
It is remaining vacant as a contingency in case the 49ers have a coach they really like that is poised to get poached to another team. This is what the 49ers did in 2020 to keep Mike LaFleur from leaving as well as Mike McDaniel this past season.
Now, offensive coordinator is nothing more than a title. Kyle Shanahan is the offensive coordinator, but it does not mean that coaches would not covet the status. More importantly, they would covet the pay raise and ego boost of being promoted to it. Let’s say that Anthony Lynn gets promoted or offered it, then he will receive a great compliment from the 49ers for it as it tells him that they value his coaching and want to really keep him around.