Niners – The Case to Keep Garoppolo

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In my previous post, I suggested that the best option for the Niners is to keep Jimmy G. and draft a QB as his back-up.

QB’s coming out of college need time to learn the Pro game and simply can’t take over as a rookie.

Here are the QB’s picked in the 1st round from 2015-2020.

2020

  • Joe Burrow (Bengals)
  • Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins)
  • Justin Herbert (Chargers)
  • Jordan Love (Packers)

2019

  • Kyler Murray (Cardinals)
  • Daniel Jones (Giants)
  • Dwayne Haskins (Washington)

2018

  • Baker Mayfield (Browns)
  • Sam Darnold (Jets)
  • Josh Allen (Bills)
  • Josh Rosen (Cardinals)
  • Lamar Jackson (Ravens)

2017

  • Michell Trubisky (Bears)
  • Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs)
  • Deshaun Watson (Texans)

2016

  • Jared Goff (Rams)
  • Carson Wentz (Eagles)
  • Paxton Lynch (Broncos)

2015

  • Jameis Winston (Bucaneers)
  • Marcus Mariota (Titans)

No QB from the 2020 and 2019 draft are in this year’s Playoffs. Jordan Love hasn’t even played and Dwayne Haskins has been cut.

From the 2018 class, Baker Mayfield will be in his first Playoff game. Josh Allen made the playoffs last year but lost to DeShaun Watson (Texans) in Overtime. Allen is poised to go further this year. Lamar Jackson made the Playoffs last year but lost to the Titans in which he had a very bad game.

From the 2017 class, Patrick Mahomes won the Super Bowl last year. DeShaun Watson made the Playoffs last year but blew a 24-0 lead to the Chiefs. The Texans had only 4 wins this year.

From the 2016 class, Jared Goff made it to the Super Bowl in his 2nd year but has since regressed. The Eagles won the Super Bowl with back-up, Nick Foles as Carson Wentz was injured. Wentz had a good year last year but a horrible year this year and was benched.

From the 2015 class, Winston and Mariota were selected #1 and #2 overall but are backups now.

Paxton Lynch and Dwayne Haskins are out of the league and Josh Rosen was picked up by the Niners from the Bucaneer’s Practice Squad after being traded twice. The Niners picked up Rosen only after Nick Mullens was injured and they had Beathard as their only healthy QB.

So, out of 20 1st round QB picks since 2015, only Mahomes and Goff have made it to the Super Bowl and only Mahomes has won.

The chances that Lawrence, Fields, Wilson, Lance and Jones will lead their NFL teams to the Super Bowl in the next few years are slim to none.

Jimmy Garoppolo lead the Niners to the Super Bowl but was injured for most of this year. He will be in his 3rd year under Shanahan, knows Shanahan’s offense and is still in the prime of his career. Most of his team-mates from the Super Bowl team who were on IR this year will be back next year. Just remember that the Niners had a 10 point lean with 7 minutes to play in the Super Bowl. Had the Niner Defense held on, there wouldn’t even be a Jimmy G. controversy.

The Niners do need to draft a QB but not necessarily in the 1st round. A guy named Montana was selected in the 3rd round. Having said that, if Fields, Wilson or Lance is still on the board at #12 of the 1st round, the Niners should draft whoever is still available. They should NOT trade up to get any of these guys. The cost will be too high.

Case closed…

Niners – 2021 Draft Picks

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The Niners currently have 9 picks in the 2021 draft and could add a 10th as compensation if Robert Salah lands a head coaching job which is a certainty. They will need as many picks as they can get as the Niners have 41 free agents looking for new jobs. The Niners select #12 overall.

In my last post, I listed the 41 free agents and which ones Lynch and Shanahan should try to keep. In his final press conference of a disappointing year, Shanahan said that he is glad that the 2020 season is over and all he wants is to get all his players back for the 2021 season. The sad reality is that he won’t be able to keep many of the players on his current roster due to salary cap restrictions.

Thus, it is imperative that the Niners get as many draft picks as possible. I’m hoping that they do not try to move up in the draft costing them valuable picks. As good as this roster is, they’ll have to replace some key players in key positions to remain competitive.

They have the 12th pick in Round 1. Who they select will depend on who they can re-sign and which free agents they can potentially land from other teams. I won’t even try to address other teams’ free agents as they all will have large $ signs in front of their names.

Roster upgrade needs:

  • O-line: If they can’t re-sign LT Trent Williams, then LT becomes their highest priority. Even if they are able to re-sign Trent, the Niners must upgrade at Center and Right Guard. I like Ben Garland at either Center or Right Guard but he is on IR and becomes a free agent. I’m hoping that he recovers fully and they are able to re-sign him.  Daniel Brunskill is a versatile backup whom we should retain, Colton McKivitz is a rookie who needs to improve and Justin Skule simply is not the answer. I watched Ohio State dominate a very good Clemson defense. Wyatt Davis (Right Guard) and Josh Myers (Center) stood out. Also, Creed Humphrey (Center from Oklahoma) should be in the Niners shopping cart. All three are 1st round pick material but all three may be available to the Niners at #12. In terms of LT’s, Penei Sewell (Oregon) will be picked in the top 5, but Samuel Cosmi (Texas) and Alex Leatherwood (Alabama) will be available at #12. One last thing about the O-Line. Mike McGlinchy is an elite run blocker but a piss-poor pass protection blocker. If he doesn’t improve his pass blocking, the likelihood of more QB injuries will remain high.
  • Corner Backs: Even if the Niners can re-sign Jason Verrett, Emanuel Moseley and K-Wuan Williams, the CB position remains a critical need as they are in a division with DeAndre Hopkins, DK Metcalf, and Cooper Kupp. The top three CB’s in the draft are Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech), Patrick Surtain III (Alabama), and Jaycee Horn (South Carolina). All three will be picked in the 1st round. One or two of them may fall to the Niners at #12.
  • Edge: If the Niners can’t retain Kerry Hyder, then this position may become their highest priority. The Niners must make a decision on Dee Ford. He is a dominant player when he plays but he has been injured more often than he has played. Gregory Rousseau (Miami) stands out and may be available at #12.
  • Safety: Jaquiski Tartt most likely played his last game as a Niner. With Jimmie Ward, Tarvarious Moore, and Marcel Harris, this group looks fairly solid. But, if the Niners loose either Moore or Harris to free agency, finding another Safety becomes very important. There isn’t an impact safety in this year’s draft so the Niners can look for a diamond in the rough with a lower round pick.
  • Backup QB: After further assessment of Jimmy Garoppolo, he is the best option as the Niner QB going forward. In a previous post, I predicted that Alex Smith can come back to the Niners and hold down the fort while he trains the next franchise QB that the Niners draft. After all, Alex trained Kaepernick and Mahomes who both became Super Bowl QB’s. Nothing can be ruled out. There are already 6 head coaching vacancies. Every new coach will want to bring in their guy so there could be a lot of QB movements. I’m particularly interested to see what happens with Sam Darnold if the new Jets coach selects Justin Fields or Zach Wilson with their #2 pick. Darnold is a very good young QB having a low salary who was not given the chance to prove himself playing for a very bad organization. Also, every “elite” QB in the league has had some mediocre performances this year (including the old ones like Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger, and Rivers) so there could be some surprising QB movements. Jimmy G has a 22-8 record as a Niner starter and he took them to the Super Bowl last year. The Niners are 6-24 with Mullens and Beathard. While Jimmy G is expensive, his salary is in the middle of the pack for QB’s. The more worry-some issue with Jimmy G is that he has missed 30 games due to injuries. This is the reason that I feel that upgrading the O-line is a top priority for the Niners. Both Shanahan and Lynch have publically said that Jimmy is their QB going forward. But nothing is a guarantee. If Bill Belichick or Robert Saleh or any other team with a new coach offers the Niners a deal that they can’t refuse for Jimmy G., they may pull the trigger. The top tier QB’s in this year’s draft will most likely be gone before the #12 pick. Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Zach Wilson will all be drafted in the top 10 while there is a possibility that Trey Lance and Mac Jones may be available.  As I feel the O-Line, CB and Edge are higher priority, I would not draft a QB with the 12th pick unless Zach Wilson or perhaps Trey Lance falls to #12. If these top tier QB’s are gone by 12, then I like QB Jamie Newman (Georgia) as a third round pick if he is still there. Newman opted out of playing this year due to COVID. He is a mobile QB with a big arm. Shanahan did say that he may want to shift to a QB like Kyler Murray and Russel Wilson as they present so many problems for defenses.

So, hold on tight as free agency signings will have a direct impact on what the Niners do in the draft. My only hope is that they hang onto all of their 10 picks instead of packaging a lot of valuable picks to move up and draft a QB who may or not work out. Just ask the Washington Football Team who drafted Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State) with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft. They released him this year…

Niners – 2021 Free Agents

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Niners have 41… yes count ‘em, 41 Free Agents next year.

Following are the list of Free Agents. I grouped them into three categories: must keep, sign only if they accept minimum offers and who to let go.

Must Keep…

Trent Williams (LT) – $13.6 million… Fair Value approx $19 million… Trent wants to finish his career as a Niner. A must sign player. Should work out a new salary that is cap friendly.

Kyle Juszczyk (FB) – $5.2 million… Should work out a new salary that is cap friendly.

K’Waun Williams (CB) – $3 million… One of the better slot CB’s in the league. Must re-sign.

Ronald Blair (DE) – $2.3 million… He has not recovered from last year’s torn ACL. If they can sign him to a cap friendly salary, keep him.

Ben Garland (C) – $2 million… Ben is a keeper and hopefully they can reach an agreement beneficial to both sides.

Kerry Hyder (DE) – $1.5 million… Kerry had a break out year and has a career high 8.5 sacks this year. He is a keeper and the Niners should pay his market value.

Jason Verrett (CB) – $1 million… Jason is a high priority to resign. He has finally come back from multiple injuries and has had a great season.

Ross Dwelley (TE) – $750 thousand… The Niners should try to resign him as he has played very well as Kittle’s backup.

Taybor Pepper (LS) – $750 thousand… Consistent Long Snappers are actually hard to find. They should try to resign him at the current salary.

Jeff Wilson (RB) – $750 thousand… A definite keeper as he has earned a hefty salary bump. I still recall when the Niners signed both Wilson and Dwelley as undrafted players 3 years ago. So happy that both of them have worked out.

Josh Rosen (QB) – $750 thousand… Josh was the 10th overall draft pick by the Cardinals in 2018. He hasn’t yet proven himself after being traded to the Dolphins, then winding up on the practice squad for the Bucaneers. The Niners signed him after Nick Mullens injured his elbow last week. If Shanahan can develop him, he could be a viable backup along with Beathard.

Emmanuel Mosely (CB) – $675 thousand… A definite keeper and a priority to resign.

Daniel Brunskill (T) – $675 thousand… A versatile player who can play T, G, or C. A definite keeper.

D. J. Jones (DL) – $637 thousand… A definite keeper. Offer him what the market dictates.

Marcel Harris (S) – $615 thousand… Marcell is a  definite keeper and a possible replacement for Tartt.

Kevin Givens (DL) – $540 thousand… A definite keeper as he is a solid rotational player.

Keep Only If They Accept Minimum Offer…

Jordan Reed (TE) – $1 million… If the Niners can resign Reed at the same $1 million contract, they should do it.

Ahkello Witherspoon (CB) – $971 thousand… The Niners should keep him as a backup only at the current salary. Otherwise, they should let him find a new team.

Jamar Taylor (CB) – $910 thousand… He showed some promise before getting injured. Niners should try to resign him close to his current salary.

Dion Jordan (DE) – $910 thousand. Dion was the 3rd overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Dolphins. He never lived up to expectations. The Niners signed him after suffering so many injuries and he showed flashes. The Niners should try to resign him close to his current salary and let him compete for a job. Much lower priority than resigning Kerry Hyder.

Jordan Willis (DE) – $904 thouand… Jordan was a 3rd round pick by the Bengals and traded to the Jets prior to being traded to the Niners. It was a bargain for the Niners as they sent a 6th round 2022 pick to the Jets for their 7th round pick in 2021 along with Willis. Try to sign him for the minimum and let him fight for a job.

C.J.  Beathard (QB) – $882 thousand… The Niners need some continuity at the backup QB position. They should keep C. J. over Mullens and offer him a minimum contract.

Joe Walker (ILB) – $825 thousand… Keep only if he is willing to sign a minimum contract.

Ken Webster (CB) – $675 thousand… Offer him the minimum and if he signs, let him compete for a job.

River Cracraft (WR) – $675 thousand… Offer him the minimum and if he signs, let him compete for a job.

Trent Taylor (WR) – $650 thousand… Trent has never regained his mojo after breaking his foot last year. Offer him the minimum and if he signs, let him compete for a job.

JaMychal Hasty (RB) – $610 thousand… Offer him the minimum and if he signs, let him compete for a job.

Let ‘Em Go…

Richard Sherman (CB) – $9 million… Still one of the best CB’s in the league but simply can’t afford him. Drafting a CB is a high priority.

Soloman Thomas (DL) – $7 million… He was coming on but unfortunately he tore his ACL. Should let him find a new home.

Jaquiski Tartt (FS) – $6.5 million… With Tarvarius Moore and Marcell Harris being both younger and having lower salaries, Tartt will not be offered a new contract.

Robbie Gould (K) – $4.8 million… Sadly, the Niners should look for a new place kicker. Robbie has been “Good as Gould” but at 38 years old, a new, younger and less costly kicker is needed.

Tevin Coleman (RB) – $4.3 million… Tevin will not be offered a new contract.

Kendrick Bourne (WR) – $3.3 million… This is a tough call has he shows flashes of brilliance but lacks consistency. With so many good WR’s available in the draft, I would say let him go.

Tom Compton (G) – $2.8 million… Let him go.

Ezekieh Ansah (DE) – $1.5 million… Zeke was a good signing at the time when the Niners had so many injuries. But he got injured in his first game as a Niner. He won’t be offered a new contract with Nick Bosa coming back.

Jerick McKinnon (RB) – $1.2 million… Jerick never panned out as the game breaker that Shanahan envisioned. He never found the exposiveness after being out 2 years with his torn ACL. He won’t be offered a new contract.

Tony Bergstrom (C) – $1 million… He’ll be gone.

Dontae Johnson (CB) – $910 thousand… Let him go.

Hroniss Grasu (C) – $910 thousand… Let him go.

Nick Mullens (QB) – $750 thousand… Inconsistency and turnovers have cost Nick his job.

Austin Walter (RB) – $610 thousand… Let him go.

By releasing the “Let ‘Em Go” players, the Niners save $44.7 million which may be enough to sign all of the “Must Keep” players. If it isn’t enough, simply do not offer even the minimum for players in the Bubble.

Now, onto players who are not Free Agents next year and have huge Salary Cap hits:

  • Jimmy Garoppolo (QB) – $26 million… He is expensive but he is also the best option for Shanahan. There is a lot of chatter about moving away from Jimmy G. but they have invested a lot of time and money into Jimmy. He is a very good QB but he has also shown that he is injury prone. The Niners may add another QB through the draft who they can develop along with Rosen. I just don’t see them bringing in another high priced veteran unless the price is right and that Vet fits into Shanahan’s scheme.
  • Dee Ford (DE) – $6.4 million… Ford has become way too expensive given that he has been injured more often than he has played. If they can come to a mutual agreement to restructure his contract, that will be ideal. The contract must have an injury clause that is favorable to the Niners.
  • Weston Richburg (C) – $4.4 million… They may release him outright  and eat his remaining salary. But, if he can prove that he is 100% healthy and be willing to restructure his contract to be more Cap friendly, he may be worth keeping.

The main reason that the Niners must consider all options for Garoppolo, Ford and Richburg is that they must make room to reward Deebo Samuel, Nick Bosa, Fred Warner and Raheem Mostert. Discussions for big contract extensions for these impact players must take place next year. With the current salary cap restrictions which will get worse due to COVID reducing revenue, they’ll have to come up with some innovative solutions.

Niners – 2020 Season Eerily Similar to 2019 GS Warriors Season

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Nobody can refute the fact that any professional team needs their front line players to win. Injuries are part of the game, especially in football. However, the degree of decimation by injuries to the Niner team is simply astounding and is the main reason for their 5-9 season. When 50% of starters are injured, the “next man up” mentality can go only so far. Just ask the GS Warriors. They made it to the NBA Finals in 2018 mostly without Kevin Durant who suffered a lower leg injury during the latter part of their season. In the Finals, KD came back in game 5 and immediately drained 3 3’s, then the unimaginable happened as he ruptured his Achilles. Later in that same game, Klay tore his ACL. Finals over !!! In the following season, KD decided to sign with the Nets while Klay rehabbed his ACL. Early in the 2019 season, Steph broke his wrist and played only 5 games. In a COVID shortened season, the Dubs went 15-50 (without KD, Klay and Steph) and did not qualify for the Playoffs after reaching the Finals in 5 consecutive years winning 3 Titles. This year’s Niner season is eerily similar to the 2019 Dubs season.

The Dubs suffered another devastating injury this year before this season even starts when Klay ruptured his Achilles while practicing. Out for two years in a row is so sad for Klay on an individual level as basketball has been and will always be his entire life. His dedication to the sport has made him the best 2-way player in the NBA. He will be missed by all Dubs fans but more importantly by his team. The Dubs did not dwell on his loss and re-tooled immediately. With their lost 2019 season, they were able to draft #2 overall and got their BIG man, James Wiseman. They also did a remarkable job by trading for Kelly Oubre and acquiring Brad Wanamaker and Kent Bazemore. They had to go well over the salary cap and pay a premium in luxury taxes but the Dubs have a winning culture which takes priority over money. While they will not be as good if Klay were healthy, they will still be a very good team and will be back to prominence next year when Klay returns. The team chemistry will gel during this year and the Dubs will again be the team to beat the following year when Klay returns.

As disappointing as this year has been for the Niners and Niner fans, they still have one of the best rosters in the NFL. They will be a force again next year. Similar to Bob Myers and Steve Kerr, Niner fans must remain faithful and trust John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. Whether they stick with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB next year, one thing is certain. They must upgrade their backup  QB’s. The Niners have a 22-8 record when Jimmy G starts and a losing 5-24 record when Mullens or Beathard starts. They are currently in the #12 draft position and can upgrade their QB, CB and Interior OL positions going into the 2021 season whether it be by the draft or by acquisitions. The Niners too have a salary cap challenge but if they can deal with it as well as Bob Myers and Steve Kerr, watch out as they will be on top of the NFC again.

Niners – 2021 QB Carousel

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My predictions for where NFL QB’s will find new homes next year…

  • Matthew Stafford is old and expensive and is done in Detroit. But, there is one genius coach, Bill Belichick, who will welcome him to the Patriots after his disastrous Cam Newton experience.
  • Cam Newton had his best years playing for Ron Rivera at Carolina. The Washington Football Team will revive Cam under Rivera’s leadership.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo will be recruited by Robert Saleh after he becomes Detroit’s new Head Coach. Niners will be lucky to get a 4th round pick for him. More importantly, they will offload his huge contract and free up $24 million that they can use to sign their core players.
  • Alex Smith will return to the Niners and finish his career where he started. Alex has made a truly amazing recovery after his tragic leg injury 2 years ago. He has lead the Washington Football Team to a first place standing in the NFC East Division. Alex can run Shanahan’s offense effectively and will not make silly turnover mistakes. He is the ultimate team player and tutored both Kaepernick and Mahomes to Super Bowls. Alex will be the perfect mentor to the QB that the Niners will draft next year.

Replacing Garoppolo with another established QB simply does not make sense as they all have huge salary contracts and will prevent the Niners from keeping their young core players. Whether it be Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, Dak Prescott… they are all expensive…

There have been plenty of speculation that a Garoppolo/Belichick marriage is in the cards but given the choice between Garoppolo and Stafford, Belichick knows that Stafford is the superior QB. I also believe that Stafford is the best pure QB option for the Niners as he throws a beautiful and accurate deep ball. But, Stafford’s contract will not help the Niners sign their core players.

Don’t get me wrong about Garoppolo being a poor QB. While he isn’t elite, he is a very good QB and lead the Niners to the Super Bowl last year. The Niners have a 22-8 record when Jimmy G starts and a losing 5-23 record when Mullens or Beathard starts. The emphasis behind moving Garoppolo is purely to create more salary room so that the Niners can re-sign Trent Williams (LT) and tie up Nick Bosa (Edge), Fred Warner (LB), and Deebo Samuel (WR) to long term contracts. If the Niners can find a way to sign these core four players and still keep Jimmy G., I’m all for keeping Garoppolo. Can they make enough salary cap room by releasing/trading Weston Richburg ($8 mil), Soloman Thomas ($9 mil), Dee Ford ($20 mil), Jaquiski Tartt ($4.3 mil), Ahkello Witherspoon ($2.1 mil), Jerick McKinnon ($1 mil), and Robbie Gould ($4 mil). Additionally, after giving Arik Armstead a whopping  $85 mil contract over 5 years, he is having a down year. Could the Niners find a trade partner for Arik?

Regardless of whether Garoppolo starts with the Niners next year, the Niners must draft a QB in the first round. With the current standings, the Niners draft 12th. Ahead of them are:

  • NY Jets (will pick Trevor Lawrence (Clemson).
  • Jacksonville (will pick Justin Fields (Ohio State).
  • Cincinnati (has Joe Burrow).
  • LA Chargers (Has Justin Herbert).
  • Dallas (has Dak Prescott).
  • Carolina (has Teddy Bridewater but could draft Trey Lance (North Dakota State).
  • Atlanta (has Matt Ryan but could draft either Zack Wilson (BYU) or Kyle Trask (Florida).
  • Miami (has Tua Tagovailoa).
  • Philadelphia (has Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts).
  • NY Giants (has Daniel Jones).
  • Detroit (has Matthew Stafford but could draft amongst Zack Wilson (BYU), Kyle Trask (Florida), or Mac Jones (Alabama).
  • San Francisco (has Jimmy Garoppolo but hope either Zack Wilson or Trey Lance will be available but highly unlikely unless the Niners lose all 3 remaining games to the Cowboys, Cardinals, and Seahawks). If the top rated QB’s are drafted ahead of the Niners, they should draft the best available Corner Back (Caleb Farley (Virgina Tech), Patrick Surtain II (Alabama), or Jaycee Horn (South Carolina). Then draft Jamie Newman (Wake Forest who transferred to Georgia this year and opted out due to COVID) in the 2nd round. He is 6’ 4” and 230 lbs and is a duel threat who can both pass and run.

In my last post, I suggested that the Niners should also part ways with Richard Sherman ($8 mil) and Jimmy Ward ($9 mil). After further analysis, they are still key components to the Niner Defense. Ward is under contract but Sherman becomes a free agent. The Niners should try to find a way to keep him as he is still an elite Corner and a great team leader.

Other NFL Predictions

  • Tom Brady and Drew Brees will NOT make it to the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers will make it.
  • Patrick Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger will NOT make it to the Super Bowl. Josh Allen will make it.
  • Josh Allen will beat Aaron Rodgers in the Super Bowl.

Niners – 2020 Season is Lost – Time to Prepare for 2021

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With the Niners season record at 4-4 at the half way point, their season is basically over due to the massive number of injuries to key players. Normally, I discount injuries as excuses for team performances as all teams have their share of injuries in this violent game. But, when one team has 24 key players on Injured Reserve (IR) or almost half of their roster, injuries do matter. They have more than $84 million in salaries for players on IR !!!

John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have many difficult decisions to make to reshape this team for the 2021 season. With the COVID pandemic, the revenue stream for NFL teams have been severely slashed. One can easily deduce that the salary cap will correspondently be slashed which will surely impact many NFL veterans having high salaries.

With that in mind, my opinion is that the Niners must move off of some key veterans having high salaries and reward their young stars. Some veterans who are not on IR will also be impacted.

Let’s take a look at the 24 players on IR with my commentary:

Offense:

QB Jimmy Garoppolo: He was injured in the 2nd game of the season vs the Jets with a high ankle sprain and hasn’t been the same ever since. Shanahan brought him back too soon and one could see that the Niner Offense was very limited due to Garoppolo’s mobility limitations. Jimmy G showed that he is a good enough QB to lead this team to the Super Bowl. Having said that, he wasn’t good enough to win the Lombardi trophy. Garoppolo is scheduled to be paid $25 million per year over the next 2 years. Is his performance worth this price? In his coaching history, Shanahan has a proven record with his QB’s who have improved dramatically in their 2nd year with him. Garoppolo has not taken this leap and instead has regressed. Hall of Famer, Steve Young, has stated that Shanahan can’t open up his entire offense due to Jimmy G’s limitations. Being 29 years of age, he is no spring chicken either. Although giving Garoppolo a lucrative contract in 2018 was the right decision then, with his lack of growth and progression, it’s time to cut bait and move on from Jimmy G. The one team that will have interest in Garoppolo is New England. Bill Belichick likes him because Jimmy G fits his system. Cam Newton will definitely not be a Patriot after this season. If a deal can be made with the Patriots for a draft pick, Lynch should pull the trigger. How can Lynch find a replacement for Jimmy G? In looking at the current QB vets, I would not favor spending big money on either Kirk Cousins (Vikings) or Matt Ryan (Falcons). Both have had success under Shanahan but they are well past their prime. The only elite QB that I would favor is somehow acquiring Aaron Rodgers (Packers). He is 36 years old but still playing at an elite level. It’s not clear when the Packers will be willing to part with Rodgers but if they don’t make it to the Super Bowl this year, there may be an opportunity for the Niners. Having said that, he is under contract through 2023 and the asking price for his services will be extremely high so this scenario is highly unlikely. My take is that the Niners should play Mullens and draft a QB. Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) and Justin Fields (Ohio State) will be picked in the top 1-5 of next year’s draft. I really like Fields as he is both very athletic and very accurate with his passes. But, realistically, he will not be around when the Niners pick and the cost to move up in the draft will be too costly. An intriguing pick would be Jamie Newman (Wake Forest who transferred to Georgia this year). He is 6’ 4” and 230 lbs and is a duel threat who can both pass and run. With Russell Wilson (Seahawks) and Kyler Murray (Cardinals) in the Niners division who are both high quality duel threats, the Niners should take a hard look at Newman. Trey Lance  (N. Dakota State) is about the same size as Newman and has an NFL arm so he is another potential for the Niners. Finally, Zack Wilson (BYU) who has similar size to both Newman and Lance is a solid candidate in next year’s draft. There are other good QB’s in the draft but these are my top 3 after Lawrence and Fields. Lastly, if Lynch can’t find a trade partner for Garoppolo, I still think they should cut bait and release him. We know what he can do and what his limitations are. He simply is not worth $25 mil per year.

TE George Kittle: Definite keeper and he got paid appropriately this year. Enough said.

TE Jordan Reed: He signed a 1 year contract at $1 million. If the Niners can re-sign him next year for under $2 million, they should keep him.

WR Deebo Samuel: Definite keeper who is in his 2nd year. Niners will have to reward him in the next year or two.

WR Jalen Hurd: Definite keeper who is in his 2nd year. Unfortunately for him and the Niners, he hasn’t played a down during his two years. As a rookie, he sustained a back injury during pre-season and was lost for the year. This year, he tore his ACL during training and is again lost for the year. He is the big WR that the NIners need in the Red Zone.

WR Tavon Austin: He was brought in after the Niners suffered too many WR injuries. He too got injured. I don’t expect him to be on the roster next year.

WR Dante Pettis: He is in his 3rd year and simply has been a bust. The Niners have been actively shopping him but so far there are no takers. If they can’t find a trade partner, he will be cut.

RB Raheem Mostert: Definite keeper. Niners will have to reward him in the next year.

RB Tevin Coleman: He is being paid $4.5 million this year and is an unrestricted free agent next year. He has been a good player at both Atlanta and in SF but the Niners will not renew his contract.

RB Jeff Wilson: Definite keeper who is still in his rookie contract ($750,000). He will be a restricted free agent next year so the Niners will have to properly reward him.

C Weston Richburg: He is due to make $7.8 million next year and $8.5 in 2022. Time to part ways with Richburg as he has been injured more than being healthy during his Niner career.

C Ben Garland: He is making $1.75 million this year and will become an unrestricted free agent next year. Niners should try to keep him but not overpay for his services.

Defense:

DE Nick Bosa: Definite keeper who the Niners will have to reward in the next year or two.

DL Soloman Thomas: His salary is $8.7 million this year and he becomes an unrestricted free agent next year. While he is a solid player, he isn’t worth his salary and never lived up to his high 3rd overall draft pick.

DE Dee Ford: He signed a whopping $85 million contract through 2023. Unfortunately, he has been hurt more than he has played for the Niners. With his huge contract, it’ll be almost impossible to find a trade partner. It would be wise to outright release him and swallow his high salary. If the Niners cut him before the 2021 season, they suffer a minor dead money hit of only $4.8 million to their salary cap. Don’t expect Ford to be in a Niner uniform next year.

LB Mark Nzeocha: His salary is $1.35 million this year and $1.45 million next year. He is a solid backup so the Niners should keep him.

CB Richard Sherman: His salary is $8 million this year and he becomes an unrestricted free agent next year. While he is the defensive voice for the Niners and has played great, it may be time to move on from Sherman as a player. He will be 33 years old next year and has too many miles on his legs. If he wants to continue to play, the Niners should allow him to shop his services. If he wants to retire as a player, the Niners should consider keeping him as a DB coach.

S Jaquiski Tartt: His salary is $4.3 million this year and he becomes an unrestricted free agent next year. If Marcell Harris continues his great play, the Niners should not resign Tartt next year.

DL Ronald Blair: His salary this year is $2.1 million and he becomes an unrestricted free agent next year. Niners would be wise to resign him as he is a great rotational player who has a motor that doesn’t stop.

DL Jullian Taylor: He is still in his rookie contract through 2021. Definite keeper.

DE Ezekiel Ansah: He was signed to a 1 year $1.45 million due to so many injuries and got injured in his first game as a Niner.  If he is healthy next year, the Niners should bring him back to compete for a job. While he had some great years with the Lions, he is on the down slope of his career as an Edge Rusher.

LB Azeez Al-Shaarir: He is still in his rookie contract through 2022. He is a solid backup so is a definite keeper.

Players who have missed at least one game:  WR Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) WR Richie James (hamstring) CB Emmanuel Moseley (head)  LB Dre Greenlaw (quad) CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring)  DB Dontae Johnson (groin) CB K’Waun Williams (hip/knee)  S Jimmie Ward (quad) 

There are some healthy players on the roster who I think the Niners should off load.

CB Ahkelllo Witherspoon: He is making $2.1 million this year and becomes an unrestricted free agent next year. The Niners should allow him to find another team. He may have talent but he gets toasted much too often.

S Jimmie Ward: He is making $9 million per year through 2022. While he is a good safety, he isn’t great and isn’t worth his contract. Niners should look for a trade partner as his backup Tarvarious Moore has a higher ceiling at a lower cost.

RB Jerick McKinnon: He has been injured for two years so the Niners restructured his contract to only $1 million through this year. He no longer possesss the explosiveness that he once had. But with his small contract, the Niners may bring him back next year to compete for a job.

K Robbie Gould: He is being paid $4 million per year through 2022 and is 38 years old. While he has been great (I call him “Good as Gold”), it may be time to move off of Robbie for a younger and less costly Kicker.

With a lower salary cap in the horizon, the Niners have to clear some large salaries to be able to reward their young stars, specifically, Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Raheem Mostert and Deebo Samuel. They also have to reward an established star in LT Trent Williams who they must resign. They have already started this process by trading Kwon Alexander to the Saints for a 5th round pick, thus offloading his $54 million contract which rans through 2022.

Pretty amazing that the Niners have still won 4 games with all of these injuries. Speaks volumes to their depth of players and the quality of Shanahan’s and his coaching staff’s efforts.

Knowing how the Niners played during the first two years of the Lynch/Shanahan era, when they didn’t have the talent they have today, the Niners will play competitively in the remaining games but realistically, I don’t see them winning too many more games. I am looking for player improvements in the young players who will continue to be part of the Niner core for years to come.

Niners Win vs Jets but Lose Bigtime to their Turf

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After 2 weeks, the Niners find themselves 1-1, losing to the very dangerous Cardinals team and beating up on a hapless NY Jets team.

As I mentioned prior to the start of the season, watch out for the Cardinals as I think Kyler Murray is on the same track as Russell Wilson. I also stated that the NFC West is the toughest division in the league and that I’d be happy with splits with the Cardinals, Seahawks and Rams.

Well, that wish may not happen now that the Niners suffered devastating injuries in the Jets game that will impact the team for the remainder of this season.

  • Nick Bosa tore is ACL and is lost for the season. He is the one player that cannot be replaced. He is perhaps the most dominating Edge rusher in the league.
  • Soloman Thomas also tore is ACL three plays after Bosa went down and is also lost for the season. Soli was moved inside this year where he has always felt that he is most effective. He earned a starting job with a great off-season building up his body only to suffer this horrible season ending injury in week 2.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain early in the game but played on it for the entire first half. Looking back at the play that injured him, one Jet player grabbed his lower right leg and dragged him down, Per NFL league rules, this should have been a penalty. Then about 3 seconds after he went down, another Jets player plowed into him. This definitely was a roughing the QB penalty and I was in disbelief that no flags were thrown. I don’t know if this is true but I read that the referees couldn’t blow their whistle because they had their masks on. I don’t think the masks prevented their arms from reaching into their pockets to throw the flag. The good news is that his sprain isn’t as bad as originally feared so he is week-to-week.
  • Tevin Coleman sprained his knee and may be lost for 4 weeks.
  • Raheem Mostert also sprained his knee and may be out for 3-4 weeks.
  • Dre Greenlaw injured his quadriceps and may be out 3-4 weeks.

In addition to the week 2 injuries, the Niners have these injuries:

  • Dee Ford injured his back in week 1 and his return is undetermined. As we all know, back injuries can linger for a long time.
  •  George Kittle injured his knee in week 1 but may be able to play in week 3. The Niners, unfortunately have to play the NY Giants on the very same turf that injured their key players in week 2. Given that fact, I would hold out Kittle until week 4.
  • Richard Sherman injured his calf and will be lost for at least 4 weeks.
  • Jason Verrett injured his hamstring before the season started but seems to be back on track and ready to play. He may start at Corner Back replacing Ahkello Witherspoon, who continues to regress.
  • Deebo Samuel broke his foot during the off-season and the hope is that he can come back in week 5.

Now that the above bad news is out of the way, let’s focus on some good news:

  • Jimmy G had a great game while playing through his high ankle injury. He was 14-16 for 131 yards with 2 TD’sand a QBR of 149. He was 7-13 on third down plays and a perfect 3-3 in the Red Zone. Funny that all of the Jimmy G critics are so silent when he has a good game but absolutely blow him up when the Niners lose.
  • Jet McKinnon showed why he could be an impact player this year. He had 14 carries for 77 yards with a tremendous 55 yard run on a 3rd and 31 play.
  • Prior to Mostert-rati injuring his knee, he ran 80 yards for a TD on the very first play of the game and had another 65 yard TD run called back due to a holding penalty.
  • Jordan Reed had a great game with 7 catches including 2 TD’s. As I said prior to the beginning of the season, when Kittle returns, this dynamic duel will cause many mis-matches for which Shanahan is the best in the business in creating.
  • While Bosa and Thomas are lost for the season, DJ Jones, Javon Kinlaw and Kerry Hyder had great games on the D-Line.
  • Kendrick Bourne is emerging as a “go to” guy and Brandon Aiyuk had a standout first game. He’ll only get better.

While the first line players are recovering, I have every confidence in the world in Nick Mullens at QB. He was 8-11 after replacing Jimmy G. He played well in 2018 when Jimmy G tore his ACL. Shanahan has said that Nick knows his offense better than anyone on the team.

I’m anxious to see Jason Verrett play CB. He has had an injury plagued career but when healthy, he is one of the better CB’s in the league. I’m also anxious to see McKinnon, Aiyuk, Kinlaw, and Reed continue to grow as the team will really need them throughout the season. I’m also anxious to see Mohammed Sanu (WR), Dion Jordan (Edge), Ziggy Ansah (Edge), and JaMycal Hasty (RB) play their first game as a Niner.

When the team gets Jimmy G, Mostert-rati, Deebo, Kittle, Coleman, Greenlaw, and Ford back in action, this is still a team to be reckoned with.

2020 MLB – A’s and Giants in the Playoff Hunt

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Both Bay Area MLB teams are in the playoff mix this year!

Well… the A’s are in for sure but the Giants are fighting just to get in as the 8th seed.

The A’s have been consistent winners for quite some time. I believe that this is their year to bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy. Even though they lost their All-Star 3rd baseman, Matt Chapman, for the year due to a hip injury, they play great in all phases of the game. The A’s have excellent hitters, pitchers, and play great defense, all ingredients needed to win it all.

The Giants haven’t seen the playoffs since 2015 and have been mired in difficult decisions to move away from the great players who won trophies in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Additionally, they made some un-wise decisions to pay old and marginal players a ton of money leaving them in salary hell. Farhan Zaidi came in and while it has taken 2 years and some very difficult decisions, it appears that they have turned a corner and are moving in the right direction. Having said that, while their hitting has improved dramatically, their defense is average to bad and their pitching is just plain bad. To illustrate this fact, the Giants are 24-11 when they score 4 or more runs and 1-13 when they score 3 runs or less.

Like many SF Giants fans, I had my doubts about Zaidi’s hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. At the time of the hire, Mike Matheny was available and I thought he would have been a great fit for the Giants. Zaidi, like many clubs, is intent on running the team based mostly on analytics. Thus, he hired Kapler, an analytic coach, who in the past has had problems dealing with the personal side of players.

During the early part of the season, my doubts turned to anger as the Giants blew 5 games which turned from W’s to L’s. During that stretch, Giants “closer”, Trevor Gott threw 3 walk-off HR’s in a span of a week. In one of those loses, the Giants had a 7-2 lead in the 9th inning and Gott gave up 5 runs including a Grand Slam and gave up the walk-off HR in the 10th. Kapler finally “Gott” it and moved away from him as a closer. Speaking of analytics, the other night, Kapler made a pinch hitting decision that I disagreed with. The bases were loaded with 1 out and Joey Bart was scheduled to hit in a 1 run game, Kapler took Bart out and had Justin Smoak hit for him just because Smoak hits left and the pitcher was right handed. Smoak promptly hit into a double play to end the inning. So much for analytics…. There are times that the manager needs to give the fans what they want and give a future star in Joey Bart a chance to be a hero and put analytics aside.

This year, the Giants have found their hitting stride and are scoring in bunches. Since 2016, I would stop watching Giants games if the other team scored first as I had zero confidence that they would come back from a deficit. This year, I started out that way but my interest peaked when their offense came to life. Now, I keep them tuned in even though they fall behind by 4 or 5 runs early as I feel that they are still in the game. They are averaging 6 runs a game at home and are just plain fun to watch. I give credit to Kapler and his coaching staff for this turn-around. One thing that I heard that made a lot of sense to me is that the hitters are told to continue to swing normally instead of “shortening up” their swings with 2 strikes. It seems that now, they are one of the best hitting clubs with 2 strikes in the league.

While the A’s have a legitimate shot at winning the World Series, the Giants still have a lot of growing up to do. My dream for the Giants this year is that they make the 8th seed and miraculously knock off the Dodgers in the first round. I don’t see them advancing but it certainly would add to this historic rivalry if the Giants can perform this miracle.

Go A’s !!! Go Giants !!!

2020 NFL Season is here… Niners ready to Rock ‘n Roll

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Even though I’ve been a diehard Niner fan since the John Brodie days in the 50’s and 60’s and a season ticket holder for 40 years, this year’s NFL season hasn’t really sparked my interest due to COVID-19 and the deadly California wild fires. Daily prayers go out to all who have been impacted.

I have steadfastly followed the Niner offseason and am so thrilled with what Lynch and Shanahan have been able to do. I’m confident that the Niners will be in the mix for the foreseeable future.

I support every move they made:

  • Traded DeForest Buckner to the Colts for the Colt’s #1 draft pick (13th pick overall). With that pick, the Niners drafted Javon Kinlaw, perhaps the best defensive lineman in the draft, to replace Buckner. Management had to make a decision to sign either Buckner or Arik Armstead to a long term deal. They couldn’t sign both so dealt Buckner who had a higher trade value. Armstead had a breakout season and had 10 sacks along with being a rock of a run stopper. Armstead was signed to a 5 year $85 million contract with $40 million guaranteed. Buckner signed a 5 year $96 million contract with $44 million guaranteed with the Colts. They then signed Kinlaw to a 4 year $14.5 million contract for a substantial cap space savings.
  • Did not re-sign Emanuel Sanders due to his salary and age. Sanders signed a 3 year $24 million contract with $10 million guaranteed with the Saints. To replace Sanders, the Niners selected Brandon Aiyuk with their own !sr round pick (25th  overall pick). The Niners had Aiyuk as their best WR on their draft board in a very rich WR group. They signed Aiyuk to a 4 year $12.5 million contract for another cap space savings.
  • With the cap space savings, they locked up George Kittle with a 5 year $75 million contract with $40 million guaranteed, making him the highest paid TE in NFL history.
  • The team also re-signed DL Ronald Blair, FS Jimmie Ward, OL Ben Garland, CB Dontae Johnson and CB Jason Verrett. They are all very important pieces to the team’s makeup.
  • Re-structured Dee Ford’s contract saving $9.5 million from their cap space.
  • On draft day, the Niners engineered perhaps the best trade of the year by acquiring LT Trent Williams while giving up only a 5th round pick in the 2019 draft and a 3rd round pick in the 2020 draft. An absolute steal for the best LT in football. The LA Ram’s coach Sean McVay reacted to this trade by saying,  “Thanks for reminding me,” McVay said according to Andrew Siciliano. “I need to go drink a couple of more beers.” Joe Staley stayed quiet about his retirement until the trade was announced, another very wise move as if the announcement would have been made earlier, this trade would have been much more costly.
  • Acquired TE Jordan Reed, who has a history of injuries but was an All-Pro when healthy. With potentially both Kittle and Reed on the field at the same time, Shanahan can create some nightmare match-ups for the opponent’s defense.
  • After being on IR for the past 2 years, Jet McKinnon is finally healthy and could be an impact player as he fits the Shanahan offense perfectly. Fast, shifty runner with great pass catching abilities and a nightmare in the open field. This made Matt Breida expendable so they traded him to the Dolphins for a 5th round pick. They used that pick to select Colton McKivitz, an offensive lineman, who made the 53 man roster. Breida was a good Niner but lost playing time at the end of the year due to inexplicable fumble issues.

While the Niners will be in the playoff hunt again this year, it’s not clear if they can win the West as the Seahawks also look scary good. It’ll come down to the wire between the two teams. Also, watch out for the rising Arizona Cardinals  as Kyler Murray may be as good as Russell Wilson. The Cardinals also added DeAndre Hopkins, in my view the best WR in the NFL. Along side Larry Fitzgerald, they will be a monster.

My only off season disappointment  is that WR Jalen Hurd went down with an ACL and will be lost for the season again. He is the big Red Zone receiver that the Niners were counting on. Hurd was lost for the season last year with a back injury so he is in the same company as Jet McKinnon in terms of losing 2 years of football due to injuries.

Following are my predictions:

  • Jimmy Garoppolo will have a better year than last year (which was great even though many analysts look at him as a weak link). While at Atlanta, in Shanahan’s 2nd year, Matt Ryan had an All Pro year and lead the Falcons to the Super Bowl. Jimmy G’s 2nd year under Shanahan will be much better and could move him towards elite status.
  • Jet McKinnon will have an impact year.
  • Jimmy Ward will have an impact year.
  • Fred Warner will have an impact year.
  • Jason Verrett may be the surprise at Corner Back opposite Richard Sherman. He has had an injury plagued career since 2015 but he appears to be healthy and ready to compete.
  • With a healthy Dee Ford and a more experienced Nick Bosa, watch out!
  • With a defensive line rotation of DJ Jones, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, an improved Soloman Thomas, newly acquired Kerry Huder from the Cowboys, a healthy Kentavious Street and Kevin Givens, the D-Line may be better than last year.
  • The WR’s will be much better than last year. Trent Taylor is back after missing last year with a foot injury. He will have the most receptions on the team. Deebo Samuel is coming back from a foot injury and is a game time decision for this week’s opener vs the Cardinals. Brandon Aiyuk will have a solid rookie year. Kendrick Bourne may have a break out year. The dark horse is Dante Pettis who had an awful 2019. If Jalen Hurd not been injured, Pettis would not have made the team. He has a lot to prove so let’s see what he can bring to the team this year.

To wrap things up, I want to pay tribute to Joe Staley, the best LT in Niner history. It was so sad to see him after the Super Bowl loss as he knew that this would be his last ride. He was and is a class act and I look forward to the day that he is added to the Niner Ring of Honor!!!

Go Niners !!!

SF 49ers – Week 14 WIN – The Young and the Restless !!!

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Remember 1981 when the Niners drafted and started Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright, and Carlton Williamson? All three were instant starters and along with a skinny legged 3rd stringer named Joe Montana, the Niners shocked the football world by beating the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship game (Dwight Clark’s “The Catch” Game) and went on to beat the Bengals in Super Bowl Sweet 16!!!… and the beginning of the Niner dynasty !!!

Fast forward to the 2018 draft class… The Niners drafted Tarvarius Moore, D.J. Reed, and Marcell Harris to improve their defensive backfield. In an injury plagued season, these three DB’s are getting their chance to play and Oh Boy, they are playing and playing well. The defensive play was a key in upsetting Denver and Seattle (both in the playoff hunt) in consecutive weeks. While I’m not saying that these guys can lead the Niners to the “promised land”, I am very much looking forward to next year to see the defense gel and become an important cog in the Niners success.

While we are on the topic of this year’s draft, let’s take a late season look at how they are doing…

  • Mike McGlinchy – Instant starter at Right Tackle and showing that he is one the best rookies at the Tackle position.
  • Dante Pettis – After battling through a knee injury, he is starting to showcase his Wide Receiver skills. He had 5 receptions for 83 yards vs Seattle.
  • Fred Warner – Instant starter at Linebacker and is calling the defensive plays as a rookie. He had 9 tackles (4 solo) vs Seattle.
  • Tarvarious Moore – See above. He had 7 tackles (5 solo) with 2 passes defensed vs Seattle.
  • Kentavious Street – Highly touted Defensive Lineman who tore is ACL prior to the draft but Lynch and Shanahan were so impressed with his talents, they drafted him anyway.
  • D.J. Reed – See above. He had 5 tackles (3 solo) vs Seattle.
  • Marcell Harris – See above. He had 6 tackles (6 solo) vs Seattle.
  • Jullian Taylor – Has earned a rotational spot on the Defensive Line and is playing well. He had 1 tackle vs Seattle.
  • Richie James – Quick Slot Receiver who returned a Kickoff 97 yards for a TD vs the Seahawks.

I would have to give Lynch and Shanahan high grades for these picks as all of them have made the team and are already making contributions. We’ll have to see how they grade out at the end of next year to give a true evaluation of this 2018 draft class.

Once again, undrafted QB Nick Mullens had a great game throwing for 275 yards on 20-29 with 1 TD. He did overthrow Gronk Kittle twice which could have lead to 2 additional TD’s, but those were the only two bad throws he made. And, undrafted Jeff Wilson overcame a fumble that killed a promising drive and a petty  unsportsman-like penalty that took away another potential TD by running excellently for the game winning field goal drive in OT.

As I said last week, I don’t expect the Niners to win any of the remaining 2 games, against playoff teams (the Bears, and Rams). But, I do expect these games to be competitive as the defense has come together and playing their best ball of the year. DeForest Buckner has become a monster. Against the Seahawks, he had 11 total tackles, 7 solo, 2 sacks (11 for the year), 4 tackles for losses, and 3 QB hits. These are Reggie White like numbers.  The O-line has been playing great all year and Nick Mullens’ quick decision making skills will allow the Niners to stay in these games.

This-n-That:

  • The mighty Patriots and Rams have looked like Patsy’s and Lambs over the last two weeks as both are on 2 game losing streaks.The Playoffs will be very interesting this year as I believe that any team in the tournament are capable of advancing. Additionally, no playoff team wants to face either the Colts or Titans if they get into the Playoffs.
  • After beating the Steelers last week, the Raiders lost to the Bengals with a QB named Jeff Driskel? Chuckie Gruden’s winning streak was short lived.
  • Alex Smith was finally released from the hospital after 4 weeks after a horrendous leg injury and infection. Wishing him all the best for a full recovery and hoping to see him in a Redskin uniform again next year. Alex is still one of my favorite players of all time because he is the ultimate team player who spends time teaching the QB trade even if it means that his student will take over his job.
  • Those Niner fans who are calling in to complain about their tremendous win vs the Seahawks and losing out for the #1 overall draft pick next year are losers and not real Niner fans. Lynch and Shanahan are instilling a winning culture and don’t ever want to be associated with the #1 pick ever again.