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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Articles tagged: San Francisco 49ers

49ers consider Nick Mullens a ‘very viable alternative’ to Jimmy Garappolo?

Jimmy Garoppolo

It would be unfair to expect Jimmy Garoppolo to come out of the gate looking sharp this season less than a year removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL, but to say the quarterback has looked rusty this offseason would be an understatement. If that turns into the new normal for Garoppolo, how long will the San Francisco 49ers stick with him?

Perhaps not very long at all.

Michael Silver of NFL Network was asked during an interview with 97.5 The Game on Monday which Bay Area quarterback is facing more pressure this season — Garoppolo or Derek Carr. Silver chose Garoppolo because he believes the Niners consider backup Nick Mullens to be a “very viable alternative.”

Mullens, whom San Francisco signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017, burst onto the national scene last year when he had a huge game replacing an injured CJ Beathard. He ended up playing in eight games and had some ups and downs, finishing with 2,227 yards passing, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The 49ers went 2-5 in the seven games he started.

Garoppolo threw interceptions on five consecutive passes during training camp at one point this summer. While practice means very little, that is obviously a sign that he is rusty and not making proper reads. He also completed just 1-of-6 pass attempts and threw an interception in a preseason game against the Denver Broncos. Again, fairly meaningless, but probably not a great sign.

Even if the Niners weren’t enamored with Mullens, the five-year, $137.5 million contract Garoppolo signed last year is structured in such a way that he could be released next offseason with just $1.4 million in dead cap money each of the next three seasons if he’s designated a post-June 1 cut. He counted a whopping $37 million against the salary cap last season, and the 49ers gave him most of his money up front. If they don’t think he is capable of leading them to the playoffs, the team has a very feasible path to moving on from Garoppolo.

Ideally, Garoppolo will round into form. He has admitted to being frustrated with coming back from a torn ACL, but 49ers GM John Lynch does not seem concerned about that. While it’d be hard to imagine a team cutting bait with a player they invested that much money in without giving him more than a full season post-ACL surgery, it certainly doesn’t seem out of the question.

Report: Ex-Dolphins coach Chris Foerster from cocaine video resurfaces with 49ers

49ers logo

A former Miami Dolphins assistant who quit his job after video of him snorting cocaine went public is reportedly getting back into coaching.

According to Jenna Laine of ESPN, Chris Foerster has taken a job with the San Francisco 49ers. Foerster reportedly took the job during the offseason, though it was not announced by the team. He will reportedly aid the coaching staff in game-planning efforts.

Foerster was last seen in October 2017 when he resigned as the Dolphins’ offensive line coach after video surfaced of him snorting white powder. Foerster confirmed that he had a cocaine addiction and checked into rehab.

The 49ers clearly believe that Foerster has cleaned up his life if they are giving him even a minor role on their staff. He was once one of the highest-paid assistants in the NFL, but he’ll have to prove he can handle this sort of job before moving back to a bigger one.

Deal between Robbie Gould, 49ers likely to be only one for franchise players

Jadeveon Clowney

The San Francisco 49ers were able to come to a long-term agreement with kicker Robbie Gould prior to Monday’s deadline for franchise tagged players, but the same should not be expected for other players who were hit with the tag.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Gould has agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million fully guaranteed deal with the Niners that has an option that could turn it into a four-year, $19 million deal. Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett are also hoping for long-term deals before the Monday deadline at 4 p.m., but sources told Schefter they are not expected to get them.

The situation between Gould and the 49ers turned ugly earlier this offseason when the veteran kicker informed the team he wanted to be traded, but Schefter reports that the option in the contract was a breakthrough for the two sides over the weekend. Gould is one of the best kickers in NFL history and has converted on 72 of 75 field goal attempts since originally signing with San Francisco.

As for Clowney, the former South Carolina star will likely continue his holdout through training camp if he does not get a long-term contract on Monday, but he is not expected to go the nuclear route.

Robbie Gould has not signed franchise tag, will continue holdout

49ers logo

The San Francisco 49ers will not have their placekicker with them when their mandatory minicamp begins this week.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Niners kicker Robbie Gould still has not signed his franchise tender. There has been no indication of if or when he plans to report to the team.

Gould had been seeking a long-term extension from the 49ers before they used the franchise tag on him, and a report back in April claimed he broke off negotiations and asked the team to trade him. Niners GM John Lynch has expressed confidence that Gould will be a part of the team in 2019.

Gould is one of the best kickers in NFL history and ranks second all-time with a field goal accuracy of 87.745. He doesn’t have much leverage now that the 49ers have used the tag on him, but the situation has the potential to get ugly.

Report: 49ers, DeForest Buckner ‘far apart’ on long-term contract

49ers logo

The San Francisco 49ers do not appear to be getting anywhere in contract talks with one of their star defensive players.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the 49ers and defensive lineman DeForest Buckner are “far apart” in long-term contract talks.

Buckner is signed through 2020 after the 49ers picked up his fifth-year option in April. If he posts another season like he did in 2018, he will be underpaid, as he posted 12 sacks in 2018, doubling his previous career high in the process.

10 NFL teams that have improved the most this offseason

John Dorsey

The active part of the NFL offseason is now over. There will be some more cap casualties and other late moves, but the bulk of free agency is finished, and the draft is in the rearview mirror. That means the players that will be competing for jobs in minicamps and training camp are by and large in place.

Which teams have improved the most? Many have tried, but only a handful have done a really good job improving their rosters from where they were at the end of the 2018 season. Here are the ten teams that have done the best with it.

10. Arizona Cardinals

Toward the end of the 2018 season, Arizona’s offense, in particular, was borderline unwatchable, lacking much in the way of a passing or running game. Kliff Kingsbury’s arrival is expected to help the passing side of things, and while much can be said of the team’s handling of the Josh Rosen situation, Kyler Murray is more in line with what he wants to do. The likes of Jordan Hicks and Terrell Suggs should help the defense, while cornerback Byron Murphy could be a good value pick at the start of the second round. The Cardinals won’t be great, but they’ll be better.

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49ers GM John Lynch echoes Kyle Shanahan’s thoughts on report of friction

John Lynch

If there have been any issues going on between San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, neither one of them is willing to admit it publicly.

Earlier in the week, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report wrote about a power struggle that is brewing between Shanahan and Lynch, with the coach supposedly wanting to focus more on scheming rather than evaluating players but not completely trusting the decisions Lynch has made. Shanahan had a very blunt response to that report when he told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area that it is “complete bulls—.”

As far as Lynch is concerned, Shanahan said all that needs to be said. Though, he did add some of his own emphasis when speaking with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on Thursday.

Lynch and Shanahan both have four years remaining on their current contracts, and Miller went as far as to say they cannot coexist for much longer and the 49ers may end up having to choose the coach over the GM.

It would be tough to imagine a reporter completely fabricating a story like that, so perhaps there is more to it than Lynch and Shanahan are letting on. Either way, the Niners desperately need Jimmy Garoppolo to stay healthy and deliver a winning season in 2019. If he can do that, any talk of drama within the front office will probably go away.