49ers general manager John Lynch and his right-hand man, Adam Peters, spoke before Thursday’s practice. The NFL implemented a new rule where the assistant general manager needs to be available once a year. So we might see more of Peters this year.
Lynch confirmed defensive back Dontae Johnson was added to the practice squad, in a surprise to nobody. The team is also hopeful offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill, who has a hamstring injury, will be available for Week 1.
If he’s not, Blake Hance will be the next guy up. Lynch believes Hance has the versatility to play each position along the line but specified center. Speaking of, Lynch said, “we really do believe he has center in his future when discussing sixth-round rookie Nick Zakelj, who we highlighted Thursday morning.
Lynch said the team was concerned over losing guard Jason Poe for fear another team would claim him: We were holding on for dear life.” Lynch added, “I should probably shut up about him,” when discussing Poe. It’s apparent that the team is high on Poe, who will need time to develop.
Lynch, on Trey Sermon: JP Mason just played too well, and we feel he made our team better. Hard part of that, on Trey, been much chronicled, he wasn’t ready to play the way we needed him last year. He answered the bell and was ready this year.” Lynch added that Mason “runs in our style” and “we couldn’t deny he earned a spot on our roster.”
Your draft status shouldn’t matter once everyone puts the pads on. San Francisco has made that clear. While it may be frustrating that the team used two picks to trade up for Sermon, those picks were on Day 3. There’s no guarantee they would have panned out. If Mason winds up being a factor, everything else is moot.
Lynch added that he hopes Sermon clears waivers so he can join the practice squad. He also said there were other teams who reached out about a potential trade for Sermon, which would signal he won’t make it through waivers.
Lynch spoke highly about Brock Purdy: “Came in from Day 1 and showed a grasp of our offense. It wasn’t too big. This is a guy whose played a lot of football. His presence... Just a lot to like. He just earned that spot. We like that room.”
Lynch didn’t believe Purdy would sneak through waivers, which was one of the reasons the 49ers kept him on the initial 53-man roster.
Speaking about the quarterback room, Jimmy Garoppolo: Combine time, there were really serious talks. Probably 2-3 teams that I felt this was going to happen. That’s when news broke. Then things went the way they went. I’m glad we’ve arrived where we’re at. We’re happy he’s here.”
Finally, Lynch added that the team is “talking to a few players” about contract extensions. There are six starters in a contract year. I would guess Jimmie Ward and Emmanuel Moseley are at the top of the list.