We must revisit what went down this 49ers’ offseason. We must get you up to speed. Come Tuesday, players report for training camp — the unofficial launch party of the 2021 season.
Here are the top 10 things I learned the past six-plus months about the 49ers:
1. Money management
A decreasing salary cap (courtesy of COVID’s 2020 fiscal impact) meant the 49ers had to spend wiser than ever, and they did so wonderfully to keep a Super Bowl-caliber roster intact. The latest move: rewarding linebacker Fred Warner with a pre-camp extension (five years, $95 million).
Trent Williams cost them the most lucrative deal ever for an offensive lineman. That’s the going rate for an (the) elite left tackle. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk’s return wasn’t as surprising as the bargain, short-term deals for Jason Verrett, K’Waun Williams, Jaquiski Tartt and Emmanuel Moseley. Samson Ebukam came for big bucks — as the projected to successor to 2019 big-buck recipient Dee Ford.
The biggest financial gamble: keeping Jimmy Garoppolo at roughly $25 million while doubling down with top draft pick Trey Lance. Ownership is all-in on 2021.
2. NFL bad boys?
The 49ers got busted not once but twice for their offseason workouts. It resulted in an abbreviated program for the rookies, as well as fines to the organization and coach Kyle Shanahan.
The crime: contact that wasn’t allowed during on-field practices. It’s not as if Shanahan suited players up in pads and called for the Oklahoma, one-on-one drill. When a video leaked on social media and highlighted rookie Deommodore Lenoir’s physicality on an interception — and when potential Justin Skule sustained a season-ending knee injury in a later practice — the NFL looked into it, understandably. Maybe the 49ers now bring a bad-boy swagger to their Sundays.
3. Team-wide commitment
A red flag went up in April when the NFL Players Association posted a statement on behalf of 49ers’ players, claiming that many would not partake in the offseason program because of COVID concerns. Other teams issued similar decrees. The 49ers, however, showed up in force.
Defensive ends Nick Bosa (knee) and Dee Ford (back) were the only no-shows on the practice field as they rehabilitated their September injuries. Practices were scaled back to 75-minute sessions, and Shanahan called off the mandatory minicamp, so concessions were made in accordance with the strong attendance.
4. QB chatter
Garoppolo should come to camp with thicker skin than ever. Speculation swirled all winter over who’d take his job. Deshaun Watson? Matthew Stafford? Aaron Rodgers? Then came the colossal move up to No. 3 in the draft, and then came Trey Lance, but when exactly will he come for Garoppolo’s job?
Garoppolo and Lance started off on the right foot, at least through their public comments and their on-field demeanor this spring. Training camp and exhibitions could hint at when Garoppolo might exit stage left (Week 1? Bye week after five games? First injury? Next offseason?).
5. Injury cloud lingers
Football is a violent game, but when it comes to the 49ers’ injury curse under Shanahan, it wasn’t surprising to hear running …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment