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.
The #49ers and star DL DeForest Buckner have had contract negotations for a long-term deal but are far apart, source said. Agent Chafie Fields talked with SF brass in the last few days, but there is no deal in sight. They picked up his option last week and is a priority for them.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 6, 2019
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.
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.
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.
49ers GM John Lynch on the report that there is growing friction between him and Kyle Shanahan: "I think Kyle probably summed it up as succinctly as you can, when he responded 'complete b.s.' I would just add "complete and utter." Complete discussion here: https://t.co/VhkAHr21NI
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 3, 2019
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.
The San Francisco 49ers made an easy decision when they got the consensus best defensive player in the NFL Draft last week, but agreeing to pick Joey Bosa at No. 2 may have been a rare example of the team’s front office all being on the same page.
According to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, a power struggle may be brewing with the 49ers’ brass. Miller was told by sources that friction exists between Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, and the two may not be able to coexist for much longer. Shanahan apparently wants to focus on scheming and developing players without dabbling in the evaluation process, but does not completely trust Lynch’s decision-making.
Both Lynch and Shanahan have contracts with four years remaining on them, and Miller seems to think the coach would win out in any potential power struggle.
With four years left and a team that’s been stuck in neutral ever since, a power struggle could be coming with Lynch and chief deputy Adam Peters on the outs, and Shanahan looking for his own personnel man to run the draft and free agency.
All appeared to be well in San Francisco when the 49ers traded for Jimmy Garoppolo and signed him to a massive contract, but it sounds like they desperately need a winning season to keep everyone happy. We recently got a reminder of how close the Shanahan family is with the Niners organization, so it isn’t all that surprising that they might end up siding with their coach over their general manager.
Solomon Thomas was the third overall pick just two drafts ago. But with the 49ers again having a top pick, and with one of the top defensive linemen being the likely choice for San Francisco, Thomas is expendable.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, there are rumblings that Thomas is on the trading block.
Just heard 49ers are shopping Solomon Thomas, the third pick in the 2017 draft.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 25, 2019
Thomas has only four sacks in two seasons for the 49ers, while playing in 30 games. He will have two years left on his rookie deal for a team that makes a move for him.
What could that pick be? The truth is, Solomon’s value is going to be very low. If you look at the defensive ends drafted in the top 10 since the sack became an official stat, who played in at least 25 games but recorded few sacks, you see only a few cases that panned out.
The most recent defensive ends drafted highly to record as few sacks as Thomas in their first two years were Dion Jordan, Tyson Jackson, Derrick Harvey, Glenn Dorsey, and Jamaal Anderson. It may be worth a move for a fresh start for Thomas elsewhere, but don’t expect the return to be a pick on the first two days of this year’s draft.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch expressed confidence this week that Robbie Gould will be a big part of the team again in 2019, but the veteran kicker apparently has other plans.
The 49ers used the franchise tag on Gould, and the 36-year-old had been negotiating with the team on a long-term deal. His camp recently submitted some proposals for a long-term extension, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that he has pulled those and asked the Niners to trade him.
In a turn of events, 49ers’ franchise kicker Robbie Gould has pulled his contract proposals that he sent to San Francisco and told the team he will not negotiate or sign a long-term deal with them, and he would like to be traded, Gould said Tuesday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 23, 2019
Gould is one of the best kickers in NFL history and ranks second all-time with a field goal accuracy of 87.745. Lynch said recently that he is unsure about a potential training camp holdout from Gould, but he knows he will be with the team come Week 1.
“I can’t speak to when he’s going to be here,” Lynch said. “But when we kick it off, he’ll be here.”
While Gould doesn’t have much leverage, the 49ers now have to decide if they want to grant him his wish or deal with a potentially ugly situation.
The San Francisco 49ers have openly admitted that they were interested in acquiring Odell Beckham Jr before he was sent to the Cleveland Browns, but apparently the New York Giants never gave them an opportunity to submit their best offer.
Niners GM John Lynch said recently that he believes his team having the No. 2 overall pick actually hurt its chances of trading for Beckham, as the Giants wanted a first-round pick but San Francisco’s was too high to part with. In an in-depth look at how the Browns landed Beckham, ESPN’s Pat McManamon and Jordan Raanan reported that the 49ers were “stunned” Giants GM Dave Gettleman sent Beckham to Cleveland without contacting them for a best and final offer.
Perhaps Gettleman was insulted by his initial dealings with Lynch. According to the ESPN report, the Niners were unwilling to part with their first-round pick. They expressed interest in swapping their No. 2 pick for New York’s No. 6 as part of a potential Beckham trade, but a Giants source said “teams were trying to see if they could steal (Beckham).” The 49ers did, however, have “deep interest” in the star receiver and felt they had plenty of time to continue discussions with the draft still a long way away.
In the end, Gettleman stopped communicating with Lynch days before he completed a deal with the Browns.
Lynch basically admitted that he wanted to acquire Beckham but not another top receiver on the trade market, so it makes sense that he would have been open to offering more. However, that is the risk you take with not putting your best offer on the table right off the bat.