Decision time looms for 3 of 49ers’ contributors

Who will stay, and who will go?

The 49ers have three restricted free agents this year — wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, running back Matt Breida and linebacker Elijah Lee. And the 49ers have until 1 p.m. Wednesday to decide which ones to give one-year qualifying offers, or “tenders,” and which ones to bid farewell.

A tender gives the 49ers the right to match any contract a restricted free agent signs with another team. But if the 49ers tender a restricted free agent and he signs elsewhere and the 49ers decide not to match that contract, they can receive a draft pick from that team.

There are different types of tenders: A first-round tender, a second-round tender and a right-of-first-refusal tender.

A first-round tender is a one-year, $4.6 million contract. If the 49ers give this to a restricted free agent and he signs with another team and the 49ers don’t match that contract, the 49ers receive a first-round pick.

A second-round tender would cost the 49ers $3.3 million. If the 49ers give this to a restricted free agent and he signs with another team and the 49ers don’t match that contract, the 49ers receive a second-round pick.

A right-of-first refusal tender would cost the 49ers $2.1 million. If the 49ers give this to a restricted free agent and he signs with another team, the 49ers can match the contract. But if they don’t match it, they receive nothing.

So who will stay and who will go?

Let’s examine.

This article has 99 Comments

  1. Placing a 2nd round tender on Bourne would make him the highest paid receiver on the team once they dump Goodwin. Given how deep the draft is at the position the market for free agent receivers will be soft this year and since Bourne isn’t a household name I’m thinking they’ll be able to sign him for much cheaper than the 2nd round tender. They’ll let him hit the market and re-sign him after he doesn’t get much attention.

    1. This is a very good point. What they do with Bourne will also go a long way to tell you how they realistically feel about Hurd and his back.

  2. Only one amigo from the three amigos will be in camp and that’s Bourne. I’m not sure why the 49ers would be so down on Breida if they’re so concerned about him playing for the Rams or Seahawks….

    1. J.P.
      The only surprise, with respect to Brady is, that some 9er fans were surprised the 9ers said no. It was never
      more than speculation by some talking heads desperate for attention…..Then another one ( GC), repeating it!

    2. It never made much sense anyway. The Titans were the perfect landing spot for him other than to stay in New England and they’ve taken themselves out of the conversation too.

      Garappolo isn’t great but he’s at least good enough that you wouldn’t give up on him for a two year window at possibly returning. I also like to point out that Brady has lost 3 Super Bowls himself. So there still wasn’t any guarantee that we’d win just because we signed him.

      At least by sticking with JG for now there is the possibility of a Dynasty. Sign Brady and you blow your wad for two years and then start the rebuild again.

  3. SF staying with JG not pursing Brady. For you dummies that thought they would dump a 28 year old Franchise QB who is only going to get better for a 43 year old are exactly that, Dummies!

    1. Now that we know the 49ers were Brady’s preferred destination, and yet the Niners quickly put the idea to rest, it only goes to show that the organization never wavered in their belief in Jimmy, which will only help Jimmy’s confidence moving forward, and the entire team is now better for it.

      I’m glad that the team can officially move past this silly speculation which never made much sense in the first place, and focus on building for 2020 and beyond.

      1. And of course Jimmy has trade value. He finished the past season ranked 8th in Passer Rating, 12th in Total QBR, 3rd in Yards Per Attempt, all while taking his team to the Super Bowl. He was also very likely 1 QTR away from being named Super Bowl MVP, and he managed to do all of these things in his first full season as an NFL starter, while also coming off of a torn ACL. In terms of trade value, it’s also worth noting that he’s soon to be outside of the top 10 in QB salaries, and likely to take another step forward in his 2nd full season as a starter.

  4. Tom Brady wanted to come to the Niners. That was his first preference. It made sense, since the Niners had a dominant running game, and stout defense. The Niners were also a SB team.
    The Niners had to exercise due diligence, and explore the possibility. In the end, they went for the best long term option, and declined to pursue Brady.
    I am happy. With Brady, they might compete for another ring this season, but with JG, they might compete for a ring for the next 10 years.
    Now they are contemplating Brady going to TB. I wonder what will happen to Winston?

  5. Of the three, only Bourne seems like a realistic chance of being tendered. And even then, I don’t know a 2nd round tender is necessary. 49ers need to be careful not to over value some of these players given their cap situation. How robust a market is Bourne really going to have in a year where the draft has so much WR talent? If they keep or lose him, how much would that really move the needle either way?

    1. Scooter:
      * “If they keep or lose him, how much would that really move the needle either way?”
      Likely depends on:
      1) If the 9ers resign Emmanuel Sanders or not?
      2) If the FO believes WR Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor can recover and be productive and If they believe Shawn Poindexter can contribute?
      3) The WR the 9ers pick in the 2020 draft to replace WR Sanders, if he signs with another team.?
      4) If the 9ers sign a F/A WR, or not?

      * “How robust a market is Bourne really going to have in a year where the draft has so much WR talent?”
      Not enough to justify a 2nd round tender. A right of first refusal should be enough.

        1. GEEP and Scooter

          I agree with most of what you say, except your #1…Emmanuel Sanders gave us his best at a good time for both the niners and himself…As Walsh would say, “trade them a season early rather than a year too late”…I think that his performance got us to the SB, but the latter part of the season dropped off even though it was still the team -best…Free agency will be more kind to him….imho

  6. Saw the Chris Simms Unbuttoned on Brady’s first choice being the 49ers, with the 49ers standing pat with Jimmy G.

    What struck me was Simms saying “the last few days”, implying that until a few days ago the 49ers were (at least to some degree) entertaining the idea of signing Brady.

    At least that’s how Simms sounded. Simms stumbled a bit, measuring his words carefully when talking about the 49ers intentions.

    The only way I could see signing Brady is if there was a massive offer of picks for Jimmy G.

  7. Niners and Arik Armstead are closing in on an extension before the tag deadline tommorow. According to Jason La Canfora.

    1. This sounds good. But they have been at it for some time now. Clearly the numbers are not where they need to be. It wouldn’t surprise if I’d they let him test market.

    2. Rebuild A Winner
      Spotrac lists Armstead’s 2020 Market Value at 4 yrs, $62,434,353……Avg. Salary @ $15,608,588 P/Y
      NFL Rank: 46……..DE Rank: 10……Average Salary of NFL top 4 DE = $17,036,111 Mil.
      Not sure the 9ers can afford him with the new NFL Salary Cap Set at $198.2 Million for 2020 League Year. A $1.8 million difference from what was initially projected.

  8. They won’t let him test the market. At worst he is Franchise Tagged. So I guess you will be surprised. The CBA just got passed today. So no deal was going to get them until they saw the final numbers. That’s why a decision on a lot of players has taken this long.

    1. Rebuild A winner
      Surprised? NO! I’d like too see 9ers keep him. Just question weather the 9ers can afford him at $15.6 Mil. P/Y! Money better spent on Buckner and Kittle, unless he’s willing to accept less money ($ 12 – $13 Mil. plus $2-$3 Mil Bonus & incentives).

  9. I would tender all three.. A second round tender. All three guys will fetch $3.3 million 2nd round tenders. Then decide who you want. The only guy I keep is Lee. Brieda might garner a 1st round tender but wouldn’t want to get stuck with him if he doesn’t @ $4.4 million.. He is fast but fumbles and is injury prone. Too many great RB’s in this years draft and so cheap.. Same with the WR’s. Bourne is a possession guy, no break away speed and drops a lot of passes. 2nd round tender him and decide if you match or take the pick.

  10. I think they will second round tender Breida and Bourne, but let Lee go.
    I have been proposing the tag and trade strategy, but if they can fit Armstead in under the cap with a long term deal, I hope they will get a deal done. Continuity and comradeship are important factors. Finding another 10 sack D Lineman could be problematic.
    Interesting to see the CBA squeak through. I wonder of the Corona Virus mat have suppressed the participation.

  11. I see Grant is now saying the recent news that the 49ers are not in the Brady sweepstakes is an indication JG didn’t have a trade market.

    This doesn’t make sense to me. JG can be released for relatively little dead cap hit. If they wanted Brady over JG, the trade market for JG is immaterial.

    1. When you consider Grant opined on how Shanny needed to sign Kaepernick immediately, it makes total sense.

    2. Ha!
      That’s ridiculous. His contract alone makes I’m extremely tradable. Want to try out a top 10 QBs statistically on a pay as you go contract?

    1. I actually would not be surprised if the 49ers gave Bourne a first round tender. He emerged in 2019 as a more viable target in the passing game (especially on third down) and in the red zone. Bourne showed enough last season that I think a team with multiple picks in the second round, such as Seattle, would be willing to part with a second ound pick for him. However, a first round pick would be too much for any team to part with.
      As for Breida and Lee, I think the 49ers will not tender either one and allow them to see what deals they can get in free agency.

  12. Damn all of Grants theory’s are going out the window. No Brady. It must mean the Niners are going to get Cousins. Well Cousins now signed an extension to the Vikings for 2 more years. Ouch! But guess what now here comes the Nick Mullen’s is better comments. Rinse and Repeat.

    1. RAW

      Here’s a good one for you;…now that Tannehill is #1 in Tennessee, Niners pick up Marriota and send Beathard to New England for their #3, and keep Nick Mullins

  13. waiting on the Armstead re-signing……why is this taking so long?……I believe they have 2 more hours or franchise him….

  14. Calais Campbell going to the Ravens for a 5th round pick. looks like they are dismantling that Jags defense that went to the AFCC Game a few years ago.
    I questioned why they would give up a 3 time Jag Pro Bowler for peanuts, then remembered- Baalke is the personnel decision maker on that team.

  15. “It was Tom Brady’s number one choice, to go to San Francisco and be the starting quarterback.”……..if true – this is insane.

    Tom B must really think JimmyG is a softy…….looking at JimmyG now maybe he is a softy people take advantage of.

    My memory keeps going back to the SB ….I think it was either after the 1st or 2nd series – You would see an animated Kshanny scolding JimmyG, and his response was a “yes sir” in a submissive way……..JimmyG needs to grow sum balls….

    1. That kills the shanny will do anything to get cousins talk and the ridiculous notion Brady was coming.
      I’d take Tannehill over cousins at this point in time.

  16. I’d like for them to keep Bourne. I think they will.
    Love for them to keep Breida over Colman.
    Doubt they will.
    Lee would be nice to keep, since KA likes to get injured. I can see him in Arizona or LA.

    But they must keep Bourne.
    And I wished Armstead and the Niners would make up their minds on each other so he can walk or sign, they will need to fill the void with someone on his level.

    1. Of course, as we have learned with the way in which Marathe structures these contracts, the devil’s in the details. I would imagine it’s probably going to be a win-win for all parties involved.

      Armstead’s versatility within this scheme, is the main reason why he’s such a valuable part of the defense.

    1. RAW
      You didn’t see this one coming…..Niners trade DT Buckner to the Colts for 1st Rd. pick #13
      * Careful what you wish for, it just might happen……Just not the way you expected

      1. Have to question this trade from the side of why does Houston trade a mega super star? Maybe he is a mega cancer in the dressing room.

        1. cmon Prime…..Deandre Hopkins is far from a cancer, compared to other star receivers he is an angel…….it is really a Bill OBrien being a mad man…….

        2. I just read an article saying that Hopkins wanted a new deal and the Texans weren’t willing to renegotiate a new deal since he had three years remaining on the deal he signed in 2017.

          1. He deserves a new deal…….I get that the Texans won’t be able to afford him in the future…

            Also makes sense Bill OBrien is trigger happy trying to make up for the trades of clowney and tunsil….

        3. Hopkins is not a cancer in the locker room. Very well liked and well respected. This trade boils down to Bill O’Brien being the worst GM and the worst Coach in the NFL. Ross Tucker was on a Houston sports radio show earlier and said there were rumors the Cardinals approached Tampa Bay about making a trade for David Johnson because of the Bruce Arians connection. Tampa offered a 6th round pick and they wanted the Cards to pay half Johnson’s salary. And the Texans gave up a top 5 WR for Johnson + a 2nd round pick. That’s really unforgivable. My personal opinion is Bill O’Brien is an egomaniac control freak. Anyone who crosses him or challenges him in any way is removed from the organization regardless of how much it hurts the team. I don’t really understand why ownership has fallen for his scthick. The real victim here is Deshaun Watson. If I were Watson, I would call ownership and demand a trade. Hell maybe the Texans will trade Watson to the 49ers for Solomon Thomas.

    1. J.P.
      The Texans traded wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, one of the NFL’s premier playmakers, to the Cardinals on Monday in exchange for running back David Johnson. The Texans, long in the market for a workhorse back, are receiving a second-round pick in 2020 and a fourth-rounder in 2021 with Johnson and sending a fourth-rounder in 2020 with Hopkins to the Cardinals.

  17. The cardinals are scary legit on offense…….

    good news is there is an extra playoff spot ……3 NFC west team in the playoffs looks more possible…

  18. Well, it looks like the Niners managed to fit Armstead under the salary cap. I hope they still have money to re-sign some of the other FAs. I hope they can manage to trade away some players, to free up more cap space, so they can restructure Buckner and Kittle’s contracts, and maybe sign a decent FA that fills a need.

  19. David Johnson and a second for Deandre Hopkins an a 4th. Basically a swap in salaries, and both fill needs.
    Hmmm, bundling a pick with a player…..
    Hope the Niners can be creative, and think outside the box, too.

  20. Crazy start already the the NFL off season. Look Arik was good last year but he wasn’t necessarily good the previous 4 years. Then to give him 5 years at 85 million. I’m sure its structured to be a team deal but you will have Ford, Arik and i’m sure they keeping Dfro which will cost maybe 20 million after next season. Thats 3 players along the D-line making 15 million plus. Ford who is a rotational player. That means probably Ford will be gone after next season. The niners need to address the WR spot especially since the Cards got Hopkins. I doubt they trade Goodwin. I don’t know about Ward, I hope they don’t give him a big contract like 4-5 years at 40-50 million. If they stick with him maybe 3 years 20 million deal range.

    They need to release or trade some players to free up cap space and sign some players. I can see Shanny and Lynch signing Devonte Freeman LOL. I’m sure Ariks deal will be a cap hit of probably like 10 million for this year with a lot of cash up front. i don’t see why they could’t sign Sanders to a 2 year deal for 15 million, he should know hes not worth more than that.

  21. I would chose Breida over Bourne if it came down between the two.
    At RB, Breida gives us the speed we need especially if Mostert goes down for any reason. McKinnon has been a no-show and even if healthy, I would take Breida. Breida has earned his keep imho.

    Bourne had a good season, but he only slightly improved on his dropped passes.
    With a draft rich WR corps, the 49ers may be looking there for some help. Emmanuel Sanders could be on the move which could strengthen Bourne’ status on the 49ers, but again, Breida would be my pick between the two.

    Also, I’d like to see a healthy Jaylon Hurd in action. Hurd looked good in his pre-season game before going down. He’s deserving of a chance to prove himself.
    RB and WR will be interesting areas of focus to be sure.

  22. TomD says:
    March 16, 2020 at 11:51 am
    I like James Proche from SMU. He had 3, 900 yds career. 2,000 yds and 15 TD’s last year. Can be had in the 4th to 5th Rds.

  23. Broken Record Alert – “I’ll know how I really feel when I see how the Armstead contract breaks down”

    Fully Guaranteed and Guaranteed
    Roster Bonuses and Performance Incentives

    For now I’m thinking Welcome Back Arik Armstead, the Sack Monster from Sac

  24. I see that Kirk signed for 2 more years. That’s the same length that’s left on JG contract. So we can assume that means no Tom and no Kirk next year. The 49ers better up their game, because the Cards are loading up, Seahawks have cap room, and the Rams well they could be good but IDK especially if they start trading players away.

    1. Mind blown, who saw this one coming?! Whole world is going crazy, why not one more crazy move I guess

    2. And there’s the better player than Armstead they are getting rid of due to Armstead’s deal. SMH.

      1. I think I like it, although I’m still processing the moves. Objectively, IMO, Armstead has been the better player post shoulder surgery, and he’s a bit more versatile. Locking Armstead up for considerably less than Buckner, and landing pick #13 in this year’s draft, makes plenty of sense, IMO.

      2. I’m thinking they had to take Armstead over Buckner because of the McKinnon, Malcolm Smith, Garcon and Dee Ford deals.

        If Dee Ford gets healthy it was worth it.

    3. I just checked to see if my medications causes hallucinations. They don’t.
      What the !@#$ are the 49ers thinking?! They should have kept Buckner and let Armstead hit free agency.

  25. whao….nobody saw that coming……

    The 49ers have agreed to trade defensive lineman DeForest Buckner to the Colts for the Colts’ first-round draft pick, No. 13 overall

  26. Well it makes sense…..With Bosa and Ford – and now Armstead commanding huge $$…..signing Buckner would have been nearly impossible…..

    replace Buckner with a cheap NT/DT and we have a DLine locked in for the 4 years….

  27. Can’t believe it’s true:
    49ers trade DT DeForest Buckner to Colts for a first-round pick!
    The San Francisco 49ers have traded defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a first-round pick, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The Colts owned the No. 13 pick in this year’s draft. The trade will become official at the start of the new league year on Wednesday.

    Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Buckner has already agreed to a deal with Indianapolis that will pay the defensive tackle $21 million annually. After signing Armstead to a deal that pays $17 million annually, it seemed unlikely that San Francisco would be able to afford both players.

    1. Grant
      Look into your crystal ball and tell us what the 9ers will do with their draft pick #13 from the Colts?
      * Draft EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU, To replace DT Buckner? *Draft a WR: (Henry Ruggs III Alabama)?
      * Draft a CB (CJ Henderson Florida)? * Trade down for multiple picks? * Or none of the above?

      * Who will the 9ers use the money to resign and who else, if anyone, will the 9ers trade?

  28. If the 49ers crunched the numbers and realized there was no possible way to extend Buckner without losing other key players than today makes sense.

    If I’m going to get mad, I’ll get mad at contracts like McKinnon’s, Garcon’s or Malcolm Smith’s. If Dee Ford doesn’t improve his availability than I’ll get mad at that sign-n-trade too.

    Check the mock drafts. There’s some outstanding players at pick 13. Not cheap, but the rookie slotting system means you (likely) get a good player in a cap friendly 5-year deal.

  29. The armstead and Buckner moves were coordinated. They decided it was better to keep armstead over Buckner based upon the money but mostly on who was easier to replace and the depth they have.

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