With the 2018 season lost, Lynch and Shanahan are still doing a good job weeding out poor and marginal performers and keeping those players who give their maximum efforts regardless of the circumstances.
Yesterday, they made a great trade with the Patriots to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo who had been the back-up to Tom Brady since 2014. He did start 2 games in 2016 for the Patriots while Brady was serving his 4 game suspension. He was injured in the 2nd game, otherwise, he would have started all 4 games. The Niners gave up their higher 2nd round pick in 2018 to the Patriots for Garoppolo.
Today, they traded their starting corner back, Rashard Robinson to the Jets for their 5th round pick in 2018. They also cut corner back Will Redmond who Baalke drafted in the 3rd round (pick #68) in the 2016 draft knowing that he had a blown knee. He never recovered and never played a down for the Niners. Robinson is a good athlete but couldn’t cover deep passes. He was consistently beaten for long plays or was called for pass interference on deep passes. Two more bad Baalke picks who are no longer on the roster. They also cut Brian Hoyer as he wasn’t able to deliver at the QB position.
The Garoppolo acquisition is valuable to the Niner franchise for multiple reasons:
- The Niners have many holes to plug on the roster but the QB position is the most glaring need. Lynch and Shanahan knew what they were getting into and made the most of a lacking roster by bringing in journeymen, Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. They also drafted C.J. Beathard this year knowing that he was a project. Through two starts, Beathard has shown some promise but he is far from ready to play at this level. Garoppolo comes from a winning program and has been under the tutelage of the Hall of Famers, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, for 4 years. Additionally, when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in 2014, he had Derek Carr and Garoppolo as his two top QB’s of the 2014 class. He couldn’t convince his GM nor the owner to draft Garoppolo so they instead drafted Johnny Manziel… and you know the rest of that story.
- This trade also eliminates the need for the Niners to go after a much more expensive Kirk Cousins of the Redskins. Garoppolo will cost the Niner about $18k per year while Cousins will cost them much more than $30k per year.
- This trade also takes the pressure off of Lynch and Shanahan in the 2018 draft to take a QB with their #1 draft pick. Since they have other needs, they can draft the best available athlete instead. Before the college season started, this year’s crop of QB’s appeared to be an outstanding class. After half a season, the college QB crop seems to be more of a crap shoot as inconsistent play abounds for all the QB’s that were highly touted. Garoppolo is a thousand percent safer bet than any QB coming out of college this year.
- In the 2018 draft, they have 7 draft picks (see below). This trade affords them the option to trade down from their #1 pick and gain an additional pick or two to fill out their roster with their kind of players. Personally, I would love to see either Minkah Fitzpatrick (CB from Alabama) or Derwin James (SS from Florida State) in a Niner uniform next year.
The Niners have more than $50 mil in cap space in 2018. I’m sure than they will look at top free agents hitting the market in 2018. The players I like are:
- Ezekiel Ansah, DE from Detroit. He is a fierce edge rusher.
- Nate Solder, LT from New England. He has protected Brady… He can begin protecting Garoppolo.
- Trumaine Johnson, CB from the LA Rams.
- Thomas Davis, LB from Carolina.
- Malcolm Jenkins, SS from Philadelphia
- Xavier Rhodes, CB from Minnesota
- Trai Turner, G from Carolina
- DeAndre Hopkins, WR from Houston
- Jarvis Landry, WR from Miami
- Gabe Jackson, G from Oakland
- Melvin Ingram, OLB from the LA Chargers. Another fierce edge rusher.
- Weston Richburg, C from the NY Giants.
2018 Niner Draft Picks:
1st: Own pick
2nd: Own pick (Gave up this pick to the Patriots for the Jimmy Garoppolo trade)
2nd: Saints pick (49ers dealt 2016 3rd to land this + 2016 7th round picks)
3rd: Own pick
3rd: Bears pick (Acquired in Bears move up for Mitchell Trubisky)
4th: Steelers pick (Acquired in Vance McDonald trade)
The remainder of the 2017 season should be viewed to assess players who will be kept going forward. It should not be viewed as game-by-game failure as this team will continue to lose.
Keep the faith, Niner fans… I know that we’ve been saying this year after year. Lynch and Shanahan know what they are doing so give them two more years and we Niner fans will finally be rewarded.