DeForest Buckner leaving big shoes for 49ers to fill

They had to get worse. They had no choice.

The 49ers couldn’t re-sign both DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead — not enough cap space. And the 49ers knew trading either one would hurt the team. What a tremendously difficult position to be in.

After careful consideration, the 49ers decided to trade Buckner, not Armstead, even though Buckner is better and they know it.

Last season, Buckner won the Bill Walsh Award, which the 49ers coaching staff gives to the team’s MVP.

And in 2018, Buckner won the Len Eshmont Award, which teammates give to the 49ers’ most inspirational player. That season, he recorded 12 sacks and went to the Pro Bowl.

Armstead has never gone to a Pro Bowl or won an award. And during his five-year career, he has had just one good season — 2019, when he recorded 10 sacks in 776 defensive snaps, or one sack every 77.6 plays. The previous four seasons, he recorded just nine sacks in 1,621 snaps, or one sack every 180.1 plays.

Despite Armstead’s history of underperforming, the 49ers believed they’d be worse off trading him than Buckner. That’s because Buckner is more expensive.

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This article has 166 Comments

  1. Sucks he had to go, but I’m not to fond of the comment he made about being wanted by the colts.
    I understand it’s a business but when you’re asking for top money and you’re on a team that just saw a Superbowl Appearance, you’d think this could happen.
    And it could be said if you wanted them, you would have negotiated at a little bit of a lower price.

    1. Agreed. Buckner was offered a fair contract according to reports, and he balked because A Fist Full Of Dollars was his main priority. I like players that place a higher value on the team as a whole over a few million dollars. I also like players that are not disingenuous when it comes to their motivations. There’s nothing wrong with taking the attitude that Buckner did, but at least be upfront about it. How many times did Tom Brady take less to make the team better? Team Buckner forced the 49ers hand, and they were wise to deal him out….

      1. Brady commands top dollars for commercials and sponsors, DFB doesn’t.
        Brady’s career lasted 20+ years; arguably DFB’s won’t.
        Brady is like MJ: give me $3M and strengthen the team.
        I do understand DFB, as any other player in the NFL: careers are so short and so physically and mentally demanding that they can’t be blamed for willing to make the most money out of them.
        Safety first, money second, titles third (and not even close to the first two)

        1. Fan… I’m not mad that he took more money. The comment about the colts wanting him, like the Niners didn’t is what rubbed me the wrong way.

      2. Disagree with you Razor. A football players opportunity to make life changing wealth that will forever change the trajectory of his family for multiple generations is a very short window. Football players should maximize their revenue as much as possible. Now obviously, many factors play into those decisions. Where do you want to live. Cost of living. Proximity to family. It’s easy for us to say a player should give up millions to stay with our favorite team because it’s not our millions being given up. IMO a player’s first loyalty should be to his family so when a player I like moves to another team because he’s going to make $10M more in guaranteed money – I say good for him and his family.

          1. Yes, we are speculating about trades and the draft, when there might not even be a season, if this pandemic explodes.
            Money certainly will be irrelevant. Survival will.

  2. I’m not sure why you keep framing this as a choice between Armstead and Buckner, because it wasn’t, as I, and other sports writers have detailed. There’s a difference between the “better” player, and the more “valuable” player, especially when value also pertains to the salary cap, and that’s really the point. And, BTW, the majority opinion seems to favor the 49ers having made the correct decision.

    1. The 49ers simply weren’t in a position to pay DeForest Buckner Aaron Donald-type money, which should come as no surprise given the fact that they have a number of home grown players who have also earned substantial new contracts, including Kittle, who is soon going to be made the highest paid TE in the NFL. This is the reality at 4 years into a roster rebuild, especially when you’ve successfully managed to build a Super Bowl caliber roster, basically from the ground up. And that’s where the Niners are right now. It’s common knowledge that ShanaLynch have assembled one of the most talented, and deepest young rosters in the entire NFL, and when you do that, and you finish the season with the best record in your conference and then steamroll the competition on your way to a Super Bowl berth, guys are going to get paid. That’s the one downside to being the consensus best team in your conference – it inflates the perceived value of your roster, and makes it very hard to keep the core together. It’s simply a product of winning, which comes with added, large scale exposure on a national stage. It’s all worth it if you can sustain success, and substantially extend your Super Bowl “window.”

      I’m confident that the string of injuries that stunted Armstead’s development early in his career, are a thing of the past, and the durability and growth he’s shown over the last 2 seasons leads me to believe he’s only going to get better, and be even more productive for the Niners defense moving forward. Having a DL who can produce at a high level both on the edge, and in the interior of DL is a big deal, especially in 2020 with Ford’s chronic tendonitis of the knee.

      That said, I’ll give you this much Grant …. if the 49ers end up squandering the additional draft capital they received as compensation for Buckner, then it obviously changes the entire equation. However, if they turn that pick into a star CB (Okuda), star WR (Juedy,Lamb), star interior DL (Kinlaw), or leverage that pick to add multiple high level players …. well then they come out looking genius, and will be a much stronger team for it, IMO. Only time will tell.

    2. via this post you are stating that you, too, are a sports writer…….from my perspective, as a former journalist, broadcaster, faculty advisor, instructor and consultant, the Niners got less in return for Buckner than his value indicated.

      On the other hand, maybe the Niners (Lynch) could not find a market for Armstead, so they swapped Buckner.

      Additionally, the Niners kept JG and told Brady no, even though Brady’s first choice was the Niners, because Lynch could not gin up the market for JG. The play-off games did nothing positive to hype JG’s talents, and maybe actually diminished his value. Look at how few pass attempts in the 2nd half vs. the Vikes, the entire game vs. the Packers in addition to that 4th quarter 3 for 11 performance vs. the Chiefs when the Niners actually were in the lead and then even poised to go ahead again in he final minutes.

      Belichick likes an unproven Stidham over what he knows JG is!!!!!!!!! That should tell everybody something!!!!!!!

      1. Actually mike, if you’re paying attention, recent reports have come out, reportedly from sources within the Patriots’ organization, that Belichick actually offered Brady, not Garoppolo, to the 49ers. It was Bob Kraft who then shut it down. Apparently, Belichick wanted Garoppolo to take over for Brady back in 2017, and that’s when the rift between Tom and Bill actually started.

        So, what does that tell you mike?

  3. Do you think his price tag for a the 49ers was closer to 23-25 million because of the income tax? I blame Joel Segal for breaking up the Twin Towers

    Regardless they could have kept them both and should have considering the QB’s we play next this year….

    1. Only Ballard would pay $21 million a year for a DT not named Aaron Donald. To pour more salt on the Ballard wound, I submit that there are at least three 1st round DT’s in this draft. With pick #13 they were in prime position for a player like Kinlaw or maybe even Brown if three qb’s went in the top 12. All this bellyaching about how they should have $60+ million tied up in the defensive line is pure poppycock….

      1. It was our strength though. It’s what gave us an edge in every game we play. At least in 2020 it would have been nice to have Buckner to go against

        Josh Allen
        Sam Darnold
        Daniel Jones
        Dwayne Haskins
        Kyler Murray x 2

        1. We still have four, count ’em four 1st rounders in the defensive fox hole. So your implication that it’s no longer a strength is preposterous!

          1. True, it will be interesting to see how Armstead produces without Buckner. I guess we are bound to add a body in the draft too.

    2. Indiana does have State Income Tax, but it’s a flat rate of 3.23%, as compared to California’s 12.3% (based on Buckner annual level of income). Therefore, at $21M/year, Buckner would end up paying an additional $1.9M in taxes if he were living in California.

      State income tax is certainly an additional challenge for teams like the 49ers, no question about that. I’m not going to get into whether I think living in California, as opposed to Indiana, is worth the higher taxes, but I will say that you certainly can’t fault the 49ers if you don’t think it’s worth it.

      1. As someone born and raised in NorCal and unwillingly transplanted to Indiana for 2 decades, I promise you that those extra taxes are worth it for the overall quality of life increase. And it ain’t close, as they say around these parts.

        1. It’ isn’t close, pay some extra for quality of life with lots of beautiful areas in NorCal. It’s overall great weather which is something your in everyday and not really realized.

  4. Grant
    Lets turn the question around! If the 9ers had payed Buckner $21 Mil., Aaron Donald money, they would not have:
    1) Draft pick #31
    2) The money to keep both Buckner and Armstead
    3) Cap space to pay Kittle
    4) The cap space to re-sign F/A FS Jimmie Ward, DE Ronald Blair and C Ben Garland. Plus, extended qualifying offers to Kendrick Bourne and Matt Breida.
    5) Enough draft picks to fill the positions of players they had lost, because they lacked the cap space to keep them.
    6) The cap space to sign F/A’s from other teams, to fill in positions for players they had lost.
    * TO THE QUESTION YOU POSED: Could the 9ers still make it back to post playoffs, let alone the S/B? Yes, or no?

    1. The illusion they 49ers could not have afforded Buckner can be disproved.

      When we still have our RB2-RB4 counting close to 10 million against the cap andMarquise Goodwin set to make 4 million.

      We had Buckner under contract and 13 million in cap space. After the Armstead contract we had what like 7 million? We could have still signed Jimmy Ward after that based on his cap hit. Then cut McKinnon and Goodwin and save 8 million to tender Bourne and resign Garland.

      Then next year when the salary cap increase doubles, triples, or quadruples you can get extensions done for Buckner and Kittle. 49ers fans are not seeing the clear picture.

        1. I do think so, Joel Segal is notoriously known for getting his players the most $$$. It’s a little ironic Buck and AA have same agent.

          But it’s not unreasonable to believe that Buckner wanted 10-15 million more from 49ers over the life of his contract b/c of income tax. The cap is increasing and Donald’s contract is 2-3 years old so someone is going to pass him soon.

            1. As much as I like DeForest Buckner as a player, and a person, I’m certainly happy about about the trade. I think it’s a win-win, for both the 49ERS and Buckner, so I’m happy for him. I wish he would have given the Niners a deep home team discount, but I don’t blame him for cashing in on his, and the team’s success.

              That could change for me though, if the Niners end up squandering the additional draft capital. One thing that isn’t up for debate …. the 2020 NFL draft just got a lot more interesting and exciting for Niner fans 🎇 🎆 🎇 …. this changes everything!

              What to do with #13 and #31? If Kinlaw is who I think he is, maybe the Niners should shore up the DL with the 13th pick?

              1. Our line is great is we can stay healthy. Our depth is the envy of the league. I just don’t see them adding another DT to a crowded room (and Kinlaw is awesome), when we still don’t have a WR to compliment Deebo.

              2. I am not happy, I am resigned that it is just a business, and will move on. I am happy for Buckner, and wish him well.
                Looking at the skillsets, I would have preferred Buckner over Armstead, but Buckner wanted 21 mil a year, and the Niners just could not pay that, while retaining Ward and the other FA Niners.
                I agree, Kinlaw may be the best probable candidate to replace Buckner. I hope there is a run on QBs early, and Kinlaw falls to them.
                This WR class is deep and talented, so they can get a good WR later.

              3. Maybe the 49ers want to trade down from #13 with Min for #25, 58, 89… Min. has #22 and #25 and may want somebody bad higher up. They need CB, OL, WR and can get at #13 OT Wills or Thomas. Or maybe WR Jeudy or Lamb… At #22, Min. can get CB Fulton.

                At #25 49ers maybe pick up a WR like Higgins, J. Jefferson or L. Sherault built like Deebo but bigger… The 49ers then still have #31 and now #58 plus a 3rd rd #89 and 2 -5th rd picks… Perhaps the 49ers can package CJ Beathard plus the 2- 7th rd picks for Jax 6th Rd #206 since Foles is now a Bear…and the 49ers have # 210 in the 6th.

      1. James Do you honestly think the 49ers didn’t look at every scenario in which they could keep him and make it work for the roster overall? There have been multiple reports that the team had been trying to negotiate an extension for Buckner and couldn’t come to an agreement. Looking at the numbers on this year’s cap it’s really not that hard to understand why. They would have loved to have kept Buckner, but in order to do that they would have had to let Armstead go and sacrifice other pieces of the roster as well. They currently have 16.75 mill in cap space which gives them a little flexibility to get Kittle signed and maybe add a couple of lower priced FA’s. That wasn’t happening if they signed Buckner to the deal he got from the Colts.

      2. James
        * “The illusion they 49ers could not have afforded Buckner can be disproved.”
        An “ILLUSION” or your OPNION? It was a business decision, that can’t be disproved.

  5. Honestly after last year, Grant’s credibility in knowing what the 49ers are doing or what to expect is pretty lower than low…..

    1. He’s never had credibility. He got the job thanks to his Daddy when he didn’t know anything about football and continues to be a joke with his views and opinions.

      1. Thank you!

        Any other writer would be fired for the things they wrote and said last year. Grant is just bad. Of course he has his burner account of “Monty” on this blog so he can defend himself. This is because he is soft. Remember all the personal shots he took at Nick Bosa without any sources or reason to? Remember all the shots he took at Kyle and jimmy g? He is straight garbage.

        1. KS snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. He deserves criticism. JG himself will tell you that he did not perform well, and missed that pass that could have won the SB. JG threw that lollipop pick in the first half. It was not his finest moment.
          Bosa has a brother, and did what Grant detailed, so he assumed Nick might do the same. But Nick avoided the holdout and thankfully, the injury bug.

          1. Seb, the guy took a 4-12 team to the SuperBowl the next year. Grapps performed well except for the last 7-8 mts. of the game, tho I have read those passes batted down in the 4th at the line of scrimmage were going to wide open receivers.
            Ya know, for a landscaper, a guy who often plants and nourishes and grows things, you have zero (0) patience for Grapps and especially Shanny. This was Grapps first full year in the NFL behind center, and coming off a major injury…………you expect him to be a polished, finished product???

            Were you, in your profession? You-are-a-hard-arse!

            1. Saw, this is a results based business. You can make every excuse in the book. -The Refs not calling a single holding call, when I saw Buckner being tackled. The OPI on Kittle, when the defender grabbed Kittle first. The Blow to the Head non call, which left JG clutching his helmet. A dropped pick. A blown assignment. The bottom line is that the 49ers did not achieve their quest for 6. BTW it has been 3 years, and I was patient. I had hoped for an 8-8 season. I was jumping for joy to see them win games, and am glad I was wrong in my pre season prediction. I do not ascribe to your narrative that I am too impatient and too critical.
              JG can be better. I am not saying he is a bust. He needs to learn from his mistakes. He is relatively inexperienced, but also had the Aaron Rodgers treatment, and got to sit and study for years behind a SB winner. Look, I like JG so much, I am not advocating for Kaep to come back, so that is saying something. However, JG needs to work on looking off the safety, finding the open receiver, ball security and throwing the ball away before the pass rusher can get to him. I hope even you would agree that those are areas that JG may improve upon.
              I am merely pointing out weaknesses and deficiencies, and areas in which they can improve. Right now, the Free Agency period has filled many team’s needs with many surprises. The Colts getting Buckner for the 13th pick was a huge surprise. I am not whining about how the Niners may have traded away their most valuable defender. I will move on and realize that it was a shrewd business decision, and could help propel the Niners back to the playoffs.
              I do have exacting standards, and always try to do things right the first time, so I do not need to do something over again. For the trees, I try to think of 10 years in the future, and ways to prune for the desired results; balance, structure, growth. I also try to learn from my mistakes, and try not to repeat them.

              1. Sebby…………

                What they are doing on that field is controlled warfare……..there are so many variables, things happening in the blink of an eye……………coaches thinking they have all the bases covered, and finding that they don’t…………not at all unlike D-day, where the planning went all to hell and they had to overcome, improvise and adapt……….
                Sebs, you did not see the growth coming last year, and you will almost certainly not see the upcoming growth coming with this draft and how the pieces fit.
                I wish I could have heard you in ’83, when they lost a heart breaker to the Skins and how you must have verbally skinned Walsh alive…………Montana didn’t do Jack until late in the game….
                Man, you were all over those guys!!!! 37 years ago, you were bellyakin about those guys too—never mind where they were the year before,
                Your gonna be fun at this draft, too-just like the last one!

              2. No, I was sad, but just remember the foul called on Lott, even though he was away from the play.
                I did not need to yell at BW, Eddie did that. Back then, he was pretty emotional.
                Still do not see how my fandom is being questioned. Casting aspersions does not work on me. You can claim I was punching walls like Eddie and Jed, but I mainly directed my ire at the officiating. Maybe you got mad and had a hissy fit like Prime, spewing insults and expletives, but I realize how hard it is to reach the top, and like this last Quest, how hard it is to achieve lasting glory.
                When the Niners lost last SB, I did not have a tantrum. I was very bummed out, but I was not bitter against KS like you seem to imply, and did not renounce my allegiance to this team. I mainly wanted to dissect what went wrong, so they could learn from their mistakes.
                You better watch out. Some in the peanut gallery think that all war and gun references should be banned from this site, because football is nothing like war.
                Bellyaching? You are doing a good job yourself. I am not as disappointed as Grant and Lowell are because Buckner has left for a 13th pick. I am not going to throw a hissy fit, I am just going to acknowledge how the Salary Cap has consequences and realities. Then, I am moving on, and will speculate how the 13th pick could help propel them back to the playoffs.

              3. Sebs, you better start up with your purple haze-i do believe your having withdrawal hallucinations.

                Football and war have no parallels?????????? If you mean no one dies in football, yes, Sebbs, I know….other than that it is very much a war out there–with G.I.’s, Sargeants and strategists on the sideline-very much a chess-game.

                You try to think 10 yrs in the future, and prune accordingly? This all takes patience and growth and planning–but you routinely besmirch our 9ers AFTER the fact and deny this team the ability to grow….
                Thats why you and I know you drilled Walsh a new one in ’83—-they lost and you were beside yourself!
                ‘Course not allowing for growth, you couldn’t possibly have seen ’84 coming.

    1. Hi dummy….

      I like players that place a higher value on the team as a whole over a few million dollars

      What about a team the places a higher value on cheap players……..

      so much for rewarding players that got you to the SB

      Person opened his career as a member of the 49ers as a 2011 seventh-round pick and then went on to play for the Colts, Seahawks, Rams, Falcons and Chiefs before returning to the 49ers in 2018. He started all 16 games during his first season back with the team.

      Person’s release will clear $3 million off of the team’s salary cap for 2020….

        1. nah – dummy….

          lol…you want credit for calling Person release….what a moron – you want a cookie?

          your mates are busy working – you are busy repeating news….

    2. I wanted the Niners to bundle him with other players and trade him away, but I guess no other team had any interest. Now, other teams can sign him for free.
      I thought he had worth, because he started and played in the SB.
      Interesting, they will nor waive Goodwin, because they think he is too valuable, but he did not play in the SB.

  6. The 49ers are worse on defense now. Couple things that may change that fact…

    1) They lost ALL their D line depth during the season. The likelihood of that happening again is slim.
    2) Armstead, Taylor, DJ Jones, Blair are ascending players. Buckner was already All-Pro level. His ceiling was probably met. Buckner had a good season, not great.
    3) Buckner may be #2 best DT but the gap between he and Donald is wide. Chris Jones is actually more impactful.
    4) DJ Jones would be a starter on most teams.
    5) Versatility. Buckner has none, Armstead can move anywhere on the line. Niners covet versatility
    6) The 49ers had a historically great D and couldn’t win a SB. KC had a historically great offense and did.
    7) With the 13th pick (if he’s there) the 49ers will take Henry Ruggs III (yes, over all the rest). He changes everything. Teams cannot play safeties up and CBs/LBs have to account for his speed. He even makes our rushing game better (CB and LBs are step further back). He MAY not be the most complete WR, but in our offense he is more impactful (i.e. Tyreke Hill)
    8) With the 31st pick the 49ers will look to add a CB (Diggs), trade down for more picks OR grab Cole Kmet (they coveted Austin Hooper for a reason).
    9) A more explosive offense = We require a less dominant D
    10) Lastly, Nick Bosa should be even better.

    1. I think that our defense would’ve regressed regardless of whether we kept buckner or not. Buckner is a very good player, but I never felt like he dominated games. If he makes 21 million dollars, he needs to dominate games. Bosa was the guy who dominated for us. Generally i think our defense was largely over valued. We had a lot of bad games which are uncharacteristic of historic defenses. The 2013 Seahawks would not have given up the 3rd and 15 in the Super Bowl. We had a very good defense, but I think that making our offense better is the right move. This defense can remain top 10 without buckner which is good enough in my opinion.

      Overall you made great points and I mostly agree with you.

    2. I love Buckner, but no way is he the second best DT in the league. Besides Donald (who actually plays quite a bit of end), there is Chris Jones (who you mentioned), Fletcher Cox, and Geno Atkins. I’d put Buckner Top 5. But I guess it’s all subjective…

  7. Tommy Compton, welcome aboard the Super Bowl express!

    Matt Maiocco

    Source: The #49ers have agreed to terms with former #NYJets guard Tom Compton on a one-year deal.

    12:44 PM – Mar 19, 2020

      1. I am hoping they draft Wirfs, play him at guard, and then move him to tackle once Staley retires. Obviously this is insanely wishful thinking, but I am hoping niners pull of something of this sort. I love Jerry jeudy and Henry Ruggs, but I think our interior offensive line is our most pressing issue.

        The other direction I would not mind is running back. Too often last year we threw the ball in the biggest moments of the game. I think this is because Kyle ultimately does not trust the running backs or the offensive line to pull of a good run when the other team knows we are going to run it, and he cannot cleverly scheme anything. I think that this is why they pursued leveon last year. A great running back can get you those tough 3 yards on 2nd and 5 when the other team knows we are running it.

        1. Wirfs would absolutely make sense, as he is versatile. 90% chance he’s gone. Beyond he and Becton (who’s a freak), I would not take any of the other pure tackle over one of the top 3 WRs. Similar to CB, if Okudah magically slips, grab him and pop the champagne (99% chance he is gone).

          1. Okudah would be a dream come true. To me, he is every bit as special as young. I can’t wait to see what we end up doing!

  8. Hey Grant, didn’t you consistently call Colbert a bad player throughout camp? Why do you have to tweet as if the 49ers organization did him wrong? He had his chance to compete, and he got cut. This isn’t even hating. This is an arrogant always wrong “fan” who has a platform to cry and complain because daddy got him a job. You’re just sad that you’re not respected amongst the niners organization. Humble yourself for once. You were WRONG the ENTIRE SEASON. You are always wrong. You think you’re Greg Cosell, and you can’t even make educated claims from the film you watch. You’re so obsessed with going against what the niners organization does because they don’t respect you. This same obsession led you to think that Nick Bosa was not that good. You’re probably the only person in America that whiffed on that one.

    This is why you have zero credibility or objectivity. You’re a bad writer and a skip bayless wannabe. Regardless of whether I disagreed with his opinions, skip was at-least a good writer. You’re a bad writer who has a job because if your dad. Be thankful for it and do your job correctly for once. Please. This blog desperately needs a good new writer. They obviously won’t fire you because of your dad’s excellent coverage; so please do your job and get promoted. I beg you.

    1. I whiffed on Nick Bosa. I thought he needed to improve his technique beyond the bull rush in the first three games of the season. I thought the Kid out of Kentucky would be a better choice. I was wrong. But then, I am not on the payroll, so being wrong or right doesn’t change the trajectory for this team.

      You have so much animosity. Why come here and read if you’re so upset by what is written? The great thing about 2020 is that there are a number of 49ers opinion sites. Find one that meets your needs.

      1. I come to this site because I enjoy reading what the posters have to say. Not the garbage that Grant writes. While I rarely participate in the posting, this blog is made by the posters.

        Also there is a big difference between whiffing on a player and taking personal shots at someone. Grant said that he was only going to be drafted high because his last name was Bosa. He also said that he is soft and will hold out. He also said that he is soft and won’t play the full season. I am sure you did not take these out of bounds personal shots at a 21 year old kid. Especially if you had zero evidence or sources to write something like this. It’s unprofessional and he deserves to be called out on it.

      2. This is the BS I always hear. No, I shouldn’t have to leave because I am calling out GC for saying something that I BELIEVE not to be true about my team. That’s the deal HE signed up for. If you’re going to put you opinion out there, be ready to defend it. He doesn’t do it lightly either. He has level of arrogance, just like his dad, that really shines a light on it.

        In fact, I would say just the opposite. If you don’t like people calling out GC for his opinion, then you should go somewhere else. GC doesn’t need yes men, that doesn’t sell and he knows it. “Bad” Grant and I are ten times more valuable than some commenter that kisses his ass. Controversy sells and to create controversy, you have to have someone screaming on the other end. FoxNews is a perfect example of that dynamic.

        1. I don’t have an opinion about how Grant writes. I also don’t have an opinion about how you feel. I just offered a solution to a post.

          If someone is going to lament the blog, then offer up something valuable as an alternative. If you don’t, then you’re promoting Grant with your distaste and comments. It’s a blog meant to promote discussion and antagonism. I’d say he is doing his job superbly by your response.

          I certainly do not think myself important enough to invite anyone to leave. No one here needs my endorsement. The passion of the commenters makes this a great read as you’ve stated.

          I enjoy your posts and agree about Wirfs. The comments are why most of us are here. I hope you’ll continue to inject ideas and value to the comment section.

          Gurley was released by the rams. He may take a serious pay cut to stick it to his team. Could he be the short distance back at a bargain on a prove it deal?

          I’m interested to see how the lack of a pro day affects these players who skipped drills in the combine. It will be exciting to see the value of players rise and fall as a result.

          1. Matt
            I do not believe Gurley will ever be capable of planting his foot and cutting on his arthritic knee.
            Not this year, not next year, not ever. Those days are over for him. Just my opinion, but we’ll know after a few games this next season….If some team signs him (at any price).

    2. Of course he called out Colbert. He’s done that to many players and then changed his tune when they are no longer with the team. His whole schtick is questioning and/or criticizing every move this team makes. That’s why he has embarrassed himself with his bad takes while the team has ascended to a SB contender.

      1. Exactly. It his method of getting clicks and remaining relevant as he has zero actually talent or skill in doing his job. He is the epitome of immaturity and unprofessionalism. He will never be his dad. As fans, we do not mind criticism of the 49ers as long as it is well thought out and backed with evidence. I remember reading Lowell as a kid and throwing the paper because of how harsh he was. I still used to read him just about every day. He was a good writer, and he was interesting. Sadly the apple sometimes falls away from the tree.

    3. This deserves a response. Grant is a fine writer, and I come to this site for his writing.
      If you want the toady bandwagon sloganeering, go to another Niner site, there are plenty of those.
      He never would have gotten this job without his writing skills, and I hope he stays here for years.
      Zero credibility or objectivity? Grant was spot on about Brady, and his interest in coming to the Niners. According to Chris Sims, the Niners were Brady’s first choice. The Niners would have to have been brain dead incompetents if they did not do their due diligence and explore the options. Grant has stated many times that he is not a rah rah fan, so he is very objective, and was spot on when he called that KC victory.
      I want to hear the unvarnished truth, not be rosily scenario’d. Grant provides honest sometimes brutal, assessments. He called the Bowman scenario, stating that the Niners would move on from Bowman because he saw how much Bowman slowed down in the practices. Sure, he has been wrong many times, but is right many times, too, and can admit his mistakes. That segment with Mark Ibanez and Joe Fonzi was very entertaining, when they playfully skewered him on his 6-10 prediction.
      Greg COSELL? Talk about nepotism! However, Greg has not a scintilla of Howard’s verbosity. He can watch film until his eyes bleed, but he just states the obvious, and provides less insights than many posters on this site.
      I have read all of the PD sports writer for years, and will flatly state, Grant Cohn deserves a raise.
      I usually ignore the venomous screeds, but you have gotten it so wrong, this deserves a response, especially your praise of Cosell.
      Maybe Baalke never gave Grant the time of day, but John Lynch is a much better GM, and has changed the culture of the team. JL has such high character, he even allowed Grant Cohn to interview him, like Eddie did. They may not like what he says, but the Niners respect what he says, because they respond to what he says.
      Keep up the good work, Grant, you are a chip off the old block. ( Pardon for the ‘old’, Lowell.) Ignore the lurkers and ignorant backstabbing burner accounts. They are like little yapping dogs. Annoying, but harmless.

        1. And what journalistic credentials do you have? Thought so. You are the King of Snark, and expert in nothing.
          I am verbose, and led the way by talking about players being resilient. Now, even KS mentions resilience.

  9. The team is no longer void of talent as it was a few years ago. You don’t immediately replace a player like Buckner, you can only hope to get a player who can fill the gap and ask more from the existing defense.

    Buckner did not cement his claim as the best player on the defense this past season. Buckner had a sub-par year when compared to his 2018 season. I felt at the start of the 2019 season that Buck would be a shoe-in for a pro-bowl type season because of the extra attention given to Bosa and Armstead. But that didn’t happen.
    Getting a #13 pick gives the team a chance to draft a player who could provide immediate help.
    For all we know #13 might be the player that gets us over the top.

    1. I mean in theory we’ve been preparing for his departure for quite some time with all the interior DL we’ve been drafting….the issue is that they are all still rehabbing from injuries, so really need to proceed with caution here. As much as I’d like to draft Buckner’s replacement at 13 or 31, I’m also liking the idea of boosting the offense with a stud WR and a beast OG. Will be really interesting.

  10. smh on the Person release/Compton signing..

    I get Kshanny has experience with Compton but the 49ers already have Brunskill/Garland…….

    They signed him to a one-year, $3 million deal……as a Back-up?

    1. Man Kyle really does not value interior linemen… He must really believe he’s the Guard-whisperer or he really believes in Brunskill

  11. Mike Person released. How soon until there is some movement on Goodwin? Think Coleman restructures, gets cut or stays as is?

  12. …How come FA’s are not calling to join our team?…..Brady goes to the Bucs and everyone wants to play for them…..

  13. ‘They had to get worse. They had no choice.’
    Yes, but then they got better, by re-signing all those players with the savings from Buckner.
    The Niners will get even better with that 13th pick. The Seahawks had a low first round pick, and managed to flip that pick into 6 picks. With the 13th pick, they can trade back, possibly garner picks in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds, and still get a stud. Those 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks will allow them to select a replacement for Buckner like Javon Kinlaw, while still getting a very good WR later on.

  14. Hey grant, why don’t you reply and say something rather than banning me? You just continue to prove that you are unprofessional, immature, spoiled, and “soft.” Can’t take the heat huh. Kind of funny given the personal things you say about players. The irony…

        1. Mike Person was a starter. Witherspoon started until he hurt his ankle. Coleman started in the SB, and had a 4 TD game against the Panthers. Breida started, has a 6.3 yard average, and hit 22.3 MPH on his 83 yard TD run. Goodwin can run a 4.27 forty. They are not scrubs.

      1. Naw, I want the Niners to trade away Coleman for a 5th round pick to Miami, and Breida to Tampa Bay for a 4th round pick.
        Then sign Frank Gore.

  15. Ugh on Tom Compton. He is nothing more than a backup, and at $3 million an expensive backup.

    Thanks to working from home, my first Mock Draft of the year, using’s Ultimate GM tool (sign contracts as GM, cut players, do draft with the computer picking for other teams and deciding to accept or make trades). Admittedly, their draft board I thought was shaky; certain players I thought would definitely go earlier were still available in later rounds. But using

    Thanks to the tender on Breida, I felt Coleman was expendable and cut his $4.9 million. I also released Goodwin, and restructured Jimmy G ($30 million/year, 5 years, with $100 guaranteed). After all that, the only free agent I wanted, and won out on, was WR Robby Anderson at $10 million/year.

    Was offered the Cowboys 2nd (pick 51), 3rd (pick 82), and 4th round (pick 123) picks for Pick #31 in the 1st round. Jumped on the trade offer. Picks were as follows:

    1st Round, pick 13. CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma: Who I think is the best of the WRs at the top of the draft. Admittedly, with the signing of Anderson, did not think Receiver was really a need, but Kinlaw and Derrick Brown were both gone by then, as was Isaiah Simmons (jack of all trades for the defense, to match Deebo’s jack of all trades on offense).
    2nd Round, pick 51. Cesar Ruiz, C Michigan: I think Razoreater has beaten this player’s analysis into the ground already, so no need to lengthen this post repeating his points.
    3rd Round, pick 82. Noah Igbinoghene, CB Auburn: One of the surprises in the draft; I think he will go higher than the 3rd round. Cameron Dantzler was available, but Igbinoghene has more strength and willingness to engage in defend against the run, and Dantzler’s 4.68 40 at the combine was troubling. Igbinoghene is a little smaller than the Niners’ coverage scheme prefers in their Cornerbacks, but is an aggressive attacker, great athleticism, and can even offer special teams skill as a returner. Needs to work on paying attention to the QB and receiver while on off-coverage (still learning the position), and cleaning up penalties which I assume will come with experience.
    4th Round, pick 123. Joshua Kelley, RB UCLA. As a UCLA alum, I watch all the UCLA football games I can. This guy can play; and he serves as a bigger back, who can provide the goal-line work. Is tough-nosed and above average in blitz pickup for someone coming out of college, and even has receiving skills (though not used much in UCLA’s putrid offense the last few years). It says something when defenses know you are the only player to key on when playing UCLA, and you can still produce. With his talent, and most importantly his character, will easily replace Jeff Wilson and Breida in a year (a Mostert-Kelley tandem is exciting). I think Seb has mentioned him in the past.
    5th Round, pick 156. Josiah Deguara, TE Cincinnati. My dark horse. I’ve watched him play a few games, and the kid can play. He not only has hands and route-running abilities that can make him an option in the passing game, but is tough-nosed and capable to block in-line. I think he has a chance to become a TE steal like Kittle; maybe not as good, but definitely better than most of the other TEs being graded above him in the draft.
    5th Round, pick 176. Larrell Murchison, DT NC State. 3-tech to replace the loss of Buckner. Had 7 sacks last year, after having 4 the year before. Ran a 5.05 at 297 at the Combine, and has an impressive, non-stop motor. No quit in him. Little lacking athletically, so it’s going to be all about developing countermoves for him since blockers can get into him initially.
    6th Round, pick 210. J.R. Reed, S Georgia. Was much more highly regarded after the 2018 season, but went back to college and his draft stock is going to suffer. More of a play in the box, cover bigger tight ends type; not fast enough to play the deep middle or able to run vertically against faster players. But tough.
    7th Round, pick 217. Amik Robertson, CB Louisiana Tech. If Robertson was 4 inches taller, he’d be challenging Okudah and Henderson for the top cornerback in the class. But at 5’8″, 187, he is small. Makes bunches of plays in terms of pass breakups and interceptions, so has the ballhawking skills you want to see. And despite his size, is tough and willing to take on run defense from the outside. Given his size, will probably have to play slot, but can take over for K’Won should the Niners be unable to sign K’Won next year.
    7th Round, pick 245. Carlos Davis, DT/NT Nebraska. This is about developing Davis’ football savvy to match up with some nice athletic numbers. At 313 pounds, ran a 4.82 40. That type of athleticism gets you in the door. Can start out backing up DJ Jones, and doing enough to be a solid contributor in the rotation and spell Jones if need be. 4 sacks from the interior last year, but way too short in terms of arm length and too straight legged to assume he will be a pass rusher in the NFL. Figures to be a run down, engage the blockers and fill the hole type.

    1. Pot Kettle
      * I like the players you picked, but I don’t think WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma will still be on the board at draft pick
      #13. Not even if QB Jordon Love and Justin Herbert are drafted in the top 10. But he’d be a steal if he was!
      If the 9ers don’t resign WR Emmanuel Sanders and draft a WR at pick #13, I think it will be Henry Ruggs III, Ala.
      Shanahan loves speed and his 4.27s-40 can take the top off the D.
      * Again, I like Center Cesar Ruiz, Michigan, but not with draft pick #31. I get why Razor wants the 5th year option,
      but not throwing away ~ 210 points, plus he’s listed lower on most boards. (early 3rd Rd. and that’s ~350 points). with 350 points, the 9ers could draft another late 2nd Rd. – early 3rd Rd. draft pick.

      1. I have Ruiz in the second round, based on the trade I got offered in the simulation. Ruggs is fast, but he was really used only on one or two types of routes at Alabama. I think he’s got more development to do as a receiver compared to Lamb, Jeudy, or Jefferson. Lamb may be gone by 13, and in fact I expect he will be, but in the simulation he was there, and I jumped at the chance to get him.

    2. Good work Pot…Kettle, that’s quite a nice draft haul! CeeDee Lamb just might be my favorite player in this entire draft class. He’s certainly one of my favorites.

    3. Ugh. I would never let the Cowboys move up 20 spots in the draft. I would hope that the Niners never help the Cowboys do any trades at all. Also, Lamb will go top 10, from all the mocks I have read.
      Other than that, nice. I mocked Cesar Ruiz, Joshua Kelley and Reed in some of my other mocks.

    1. Agreed, especially since Blair still rehabbing, great locker room presence also. But what is the right price and would he accept?

      1. PFT said he was playing for the Rams on a 2-yr deal at $9.25 million total. So, something like a 2-yr $7 to $8 million deal crafted by Marathe to be team friendly.

    2. I can see it now. Niners need a sack to end the game here comes Mathews brushes the QB shoulder and draws the 15..
      This dude can close out a game. But the refs like to re-open that sum**tch when he does.

    3. Every game against Matthews has been a lesson in tackling, eye discipline, and flag throwing. He can’t stop the run. He over pursues. He was victimized in every matchup. I am not particularly fond of the idea of adding him to the roster. This suggestion seems more like name recognition than talent assessment.

      1. “This suggestion seems more like name recognition than talent assessment.”

        I don’t know, but I could easily see Matthews coming off the edge in the Wide 9. IMO, Matthews had a number of bad calls against him last year, but, just because I think so, doesn’t mean they’ll stop calling them this year. At the right price, I still think he’s worth a look. Can’t have enough edge rushers. Besides, I’m not suggesting anything long-term – a one year deal would be fine, but it seems like older vets like to at least have a two-year deal even if a team can pretty easily get out of the 2nd year.

        1. Lol. Gotcha!

          Seriously though, he still needs a qb and he just gave up #13 for a DT. Rivers or Brissett isn’t gonna get you there….

            1. Why hasn’t he done it then? He throws a lot of int’s and they’re particularly ugly ones. I bet Jimmy would give up some of his $$$ to get a receiver like Allen….

              1. His career Int% percentage is better than Peyton Mannings.

                Rivers is very accurate, completing 65% of his passes over his career and he throws for nearly 4500 yards almost every season.

                Spanos has been a bad owner and the equally horrible AJ Smith was there for the better part of River’s career. Doesn’t help much that when your front office does finally compile a team that compete you still have to face Brady, Manning or Roethlisberger each time to get to the SuperBowl.

                There are a lot of reasons the Chargers never made it to the SuperBowl with Rivers but Rivers wasn’t one of them.

              2. He’s gonna need a lot of help because his arm is about shot. We’ll revisit this conversation this time next year. See how he does….

              3. Where is rivers on the last drive?
                That guy wets the bed in crunch time. He’s made a career of it.

  16. After careful consideration, the 49ers decided to trade Buckner, not Armstead, even though Buckner is better and they know it.

    To trade Armstead and keep Buckner they would have had to franchise tag him at $17 million. What would they have gotten for Armstead in a tag-n-trade?

    It stinks to lose Buckner. He’s an iron man. One of my favorite players. The 49ers were trying to extend him for quite a while. They just didn’t have the money.

    1. option 1: Buckner at 21 M and a late 2nd or early 3rd rounder
      option 2: Armstead at 17M , 13th overall pick and enough cap space to sign Ward and frees up enough space to extend Kittle.

      I would have preferred restructuring Jimmy’s contract and keeping both of them but it seems the team would prefer to keep their options open in regards to that.

      1. Nice breakdown. I’m thinking Lynch gauged the market for a franchise tagged Armstead.

        The Armstead signing is similar to Dee Ford’s. If he’s healthy, great.

  17. Cam “Business Decision” Newton is about to be released. I guess not everyone is crazy ’bout a Sharp Dressed Man.

  18. Odds are the player taken at pick 13 won’t be as good as Buckner. Could taking a player with high position importance bridge the gap? An OT or CB at 13, receiver at 31 works for me.

    1. While it sucks to lose Buck, and the likelihood of finding someone as good as him to replace him is very low, one thing I have been thinking for a while is that the 49ers will likely start to shift focus from having a dominant D to having a dominant O (which was already pretty darn good last year). Offense is more consistent year to year. A nucleus of guys have been together a few years now. Shanahan has clearly been trying to find a group of quality skill position players with speed.

      I would not at all be surprised if the emphasis for the draft is on WR, OL and TE. Not about replacing Buck. They will probably add to the DL and secondary in the draft, but I am thinking it might not be with a high pick.

      Aside from Buck, they are bringing back almost all the D pieces from last year. That was an exceptional D. Without Buck that D should still be plenty good enough if they have a dominant O.

      1. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, Scooter but doesn’t Kocurek want his 3t penetrating instead of eating up double teamers? Penetrate upfield while keeping his gap integrity….

        1. Do you believe Buck wasn’t penetrating? End of the day, the 3T can’t dictate whether he is getting double teamed. But I didn’t see Buck as a guy that was happy to just occupy those blockers. He had plenty of pressures as a result of his ability to beat double teams.

          1. It was a question because I’m NotAnExpert. I’m just Razoreater. Buckner can create a pass rush in any defensive scheme, I’m not disputing that but I think he was too big for what he was being asked to do, and it showed up against the run. Seems like Kocurek wants a compact, short and explosive wet fish from his 3t. I think Buckner was really drafted to play in an Okie Front from the heads up alignment, with the objective of controlling the point of attack. One of Kocurek’s ex-players, Fluellen said that the 2t needs the be the most explosive interior player, and the 3t needs to have a little more balance & control. Reason being, playing a 1t puts a lot of stress on the LB that may have the b gap, because there is a lot of distance between the 1t and the 5t. Playing the 2t helps balance out the integrity of the defense. He goes on, so the 2t has to be extremely quick because he’s almost at a disadvantage to the offensive guard to get cut out of his gap. So it’s all one gap, no reading or 2 gapping! In the words of Kris Kocurek “read is a 4 letter word!”

      2. I’ve actually said this yesterday. They’re in a real good position to add a very good WR at 13, and still be able to trade back a gather a few more picks with #31 and still pick up a solid OG in the 2nd or 3rd.

        I also think that they’ve been drafting and accumulating interior DL for quite some time now (Jones, Street, Taylor, Thomas, etc) so even if they were to go in with this same group they may be okay, although health is definitely a concern for that same group.

        The biggest question for me at this point is corner. Obviously Sherman is another year older on the last year of his contract. Mosely had a solid year, but we’ve seen guys have sophomore slumps before, so hopefully they’ve learned their lesson about putting all their eggs in one basket. Will this be the year they finally draft a corner in the 1st or 2nd, or will they add vet and give Witherspoon another year to prove himself?

    1. Its good in showing what he can do… but reviewing a few plays (aka highlight reel) can be very misleading in showing who the player is. It’s the same thing Grant does, when trying to make a point… ie, take away these plays, and so is not good, or see what he did on these few plays, he’s amazing. You have to look at the whole picture to know what a player truly is.

      That said Armsteads biggest problem has always been staying on the field, and when on the field he has been an above-average starter.

      1. +1. Still, I’m starting to appreciate the fact that Armstead was willing to take a team-friendly deal relatively speaking. The team did the right thing in my mind by trading Buckner given his demands. While the offense was quite good last year, the defense was top 2. This year I expect the offense to get better and the defense to worsen a bit – evening out.

      2. Yep, exactly.

        Armstead is a good player. He’s actually been a good player for pretty much his entire career, but injuries got in the way year 2 and 3. Last season he put up excellent numbers, but for the most part he really benefitted from teams worrying about the guys around him just a little more than they worried about Armstead. He had a lot of 1-on-1 matchups, and being the good player that he is, he was often able to win those matchups.

        But I don’t get why some people now seem to need to talk him up as actually being great, like the guy in this article seems to be trying to do. He’s not great. And there is nothing wrong with that – being good is good enough. The team still has Bosa and Ford, and they both require a lot of attention from a D. If Armstead is getting more attention, then it will give the guy next to him lots of 1-on-1s. It is still going to be a good DL.

  19. Mock draft 7- Free Agency.
    Many teams have signed free agents, who have filled many needs. Miami has signed an OL, CB, and RB, so they will not be in the market for a trade for any players. However, Grier may want to move up in the first round in order to snag the player he covets, and can use one of his 14 picks to move up.
    If CeeDee Lamb, Derek Brown, Javon Kinlaw and Jerry Jeudy are all taken before 13, the Niners should trade back with the Dolphins, who will give their 18th and 3rd round pick(70) to move up 5 spots to 13.
    Ideally, if JL can manage some trades, and even a bundled player trade with his friend Elway, the Niners could trade back Tevin Coleman and a 7th round pick (217) to the Falcons where he used to play, for a late 4th round pick(143). They could trade Matt Breida to the Bucs for a 4th round pick (117). The Niners could trade Ahkello Witherspoon and Marquise Goodwin to the Broncos for their 4th round pick (118).
    The Niners could trade back with the Chargers. They want to jump ahead of the Chiefs, and snag the best RB available, since they may lose Gordon. The Niners would trade back 6 spots, from 31 to the second round(37) and 4th round(112).
    The Niners then bundle 2 of their 4th round picks(112, 117) to move up with the Titans into the 3rd round(93). It almost exactly balances out in the TVC.
    The Niners would end up with pick numbers- 18, 37, 70, 93, 118, 143, 156, 176, 210 and 245. 10 picks in all.
    Using the Draftek big board, and trying to pick within 5 of each ranking, the Niners could choose-
    18- CJ Henderson CB, the eventual replacement for Sherman.
    37- Neville Gallimore DT, to replace Buckner
    70- Michael Pittman WR, 6′ 4″, 223 lbs. The big WR who can high point the ball and stretch the field.
    93- Ashtyn Davis S. Jeremy Chinn is ranked just behind Davis, but may be another good option.
    118- Jonathan Greenard EDGE
    143- Shaun Bradley LB
    156- Matt Hennessy C
    176- Benito Jones NT
    210- Charlie Heck OT
    245- Michael Warren RB, a burly interior runner at 226 lbs.
    The Niners signed Tom Compton, so they may not draft an IOL early. They do not draft a WR early, because this is such a deeply talented WR class. The position order of picking results in a CB, DT, WR, S, EDGE, LB, C, NT, OT, RB.

      1. Yeah, I think you mentioned him previously. Before tendering Breida and restructuring McKinnon I would have said he’s a guy they could look at late. Now? Maybe if he’s available after the draft. But guys like this are exactly why I don’t like the move to tender Breida. You can find fast, explosive guys to play in Shanahan’s system pretty readily.

  20. So where are these prescient conspiracy geniuses on here who were parroting the notion that COVID-19 was a hoax from Chuck, Nancy, Hillary and Rachel Maddow?
    I’m not a Democrat or progressive but I know better than that poop.
    BTW, the Earth is not a flat disc, and there isn’t any cheese on the Moon.
    Jed’s not selling the team.
    Kap’s not coming back.
    Patriots need a QB. Did BB The Big Kahuna call Nessa to ask permission to call Kap? Nope, signed Hoyer.

  21. We should take Henry Ruggs with our #13 he’s to good to pass on with his speed and natural hands, can you imagine what Shanny could do with a combination of Deebo Samuel,TrentTaylor, Jalen Hurd and Henry Ruggs?! Pretty scary IMHO for a opponent.

    With #31 we can trade down.

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