Grant’s free agency report: Part 3

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward (20) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Check out my Periscope report on Day 1 of free agency.

This article has 228 Comments

  1. Grant,

    I was almost close, I said 11 million they would sign JW but it was for only 5 million. Their must of been no other safety around to sign. And the funny thing is we have a GM who used to play safety, so he should know something about the position.

    As for WR, they might as well just sign Crabtree, heard they wanted Jermaine Kearse, anything would be better than their current WR they have.

    1. Let’s get one thing straight …. the Niners are not cutting McKinnon this year, unless there truly is a serious medical issue with his recovery. Ain’t gonna happen! He was grossly overpaid last year, I’ll give you that, not just because he was injured, rather it was because it was one of the most front loaded contracts for a RB I’ve ever seen. Year 2 is actually the cheapest year of his 4 year deal. In fact, having both him and my guy Tevin Coleman on the roster is going to cost the 49ers less this year, than it cost them for just McKinnon last year. Not only that, cutting McKinnon this year would cost them more against the cap in dead money, than he is set to make in salary, so that’s simply not going to happen. The only real factor is that McKinnon is going to take up a roster spot. And that’s only a factor if he’s simply not healthy, and I have no reason to believe he isn’t on pace for training camp. He is a candidate to be cut next year though, even if he’s healthy, but not this year if healthy.

      I am surprised though, that Coleman was willing to sign for what he did. Good signing. I would assume Kyle has promised him his share of carries/receptions. I’m guessing a healthy Jerick McKinnon bumps Matt Breida down to #3. Raheem Mostert will hopefully round out the stable as the Niners #4, and Special Teams ACE, with Jeff Wilson heading back to the practice squad.

          1. Oh is he?

            It’s not the first anti-Paraag rant from our Sebnynah, am I right Cassie? Remember when Paraag was the evil leaker. Kind of strange how the leaky faucet dried up, while Paraag is still in the building.

            It kind makes you wonder if Seb really is our man on the inside, privy to the inner workings of the 49ers front office?

            1. JL told Jed he would not become GM if there were any more leaks before he became GM. Paraag toed the line, but could not help himself in the draft war room. JL then had to apologize for Paraag leaking, so it is hard for the leopard to change its spots.
              The best way to make this upcoming draft to be successful, will be if JL shows some courage, and bans Paraag from the draft war room. Let him deal with the contracts, but JL should conduct this upcoming draft as if it would decide if he stays GM, or gets fired. JL should trust his scouts, and channel his inner Bill Walsh, go with his guts, and chuck the analytics.

            2. BTW, I am just a die hard faithful Niner fan, and do not claim to be an insider. I have not set foot inside of Levis Stadium, and certainly have not set foot inside 4949 Marie P Debartolo Way.
              I rely on Grant to be my inside source of knowledge. I hope Joan in Accounting to be my 49er advocate.

    1. Raz,
      If the Giants strike a deal with us for their #6 and #17 we can still get Burns and a top tier WR or CB.

      The league seems enamored with Nick Bosa so if he drops on our lap at #2 it’s time to wheel & deal, imo.
      Possible scenarios:
      DK Metcalf & Burns
      DK & Greedy
      Juwaan Taylor and any of the above combinations.
      With this scenario we get two of the best at their position instead on one.
      This makes good sense to me.

    2. Would you consider a top-tier OL in round 1, if the Niners do trade down for two first rounders? I like the idea of getting another edge; and agree we need a young, tough, fast, eventual top-five FS; but the O-line was not great last year, just serviceable.

      Williams and Adams are a couple of “big uglies” that may help with the goal line scoring issues; and we just added another “bigger” running back.

      The frustrating issue with Niners roster, for me anyway, is the propensity to take injured hopefuls, and then wind up with sever holes in the roster by end of season (defensive backfield and receiver corps).

      1. The 49ers need a backup OL that is capable of starting at OG; they already have three guys that they believe are starter material.
        They do not necessarily need a true threat at WR, just a WR that can help move the chains and be effective in the red zone.
        Darby and Verrett probably the best two options still available on the market. Both are tone setters but injury-prone.
        Berry is easily the best option on the market, but injuries again are an issue. Boston and Clinton-Dix are also available, but it would not surprise me if the 49ers aim to address the position during the draft.
        The team might draft another SS during the draft, but the more likely scenario is that they roll with Tartt and Harris competing for the starting role at SS.

        1. ” just a WR that can help move the chains and be effective in the red zone.”

          I’d call that a true threat WR and something we currently don’t have, consistently at least. I realize most people read “deep” threat when they read that but I omitted the word intentionally. Don’t have a QB that is any good hitting deep targets so getting a deep threat WR would be wasteful.

          I understand they believe they have 3 guys that are starting material but they’re wrong so they still need one. :)

          1. I wasn’t really thinking of a deep threat WR because the 49ers have one in Goodwin (who will hopefully deal with considerably less injuries and personal tragedies in 2019). What I mean is a WR whose hands are like super glue and will fight to get a first down.

            1. Both MidWest and Closer are right when it comes to red-zone wide receiver “threat.” We have some speed; Kyle is a top-shelf “scheme guy” between the 20s that has red zone problems (Grant proved this with many examples); and we lack a WR that can consistently win a “ball fight” against quality safeties or linebackers.

              Boldin may have been our last receiver that a QB could trust to win a fifty-fifty (TD vs. INT).
              John Taylor may have been our best ever option in that role.

        1. No, no, that is designated for Keelan Doss.
          Heck, I bet a solid Rugby player could become a decent punter, and nail those coffin corner punts.

  2. I would neither be shocked nor upset if the Niners traded down and grabbed two offensive linemen, say Dilliard and Bradberry. Get a WR on rd 2 and then our offensive is pretty well set.

    1. They need another pass rusher, cb and wide receiver first. Disagree!

      If they trade down it will probably to draft Brian Burns and a wide receiver, or cb.

      1. Certainly Edge, WR, and CB are their biggest needs. No doubt. But Niners have shocked us before. Odds of them trading down and grabbing two OL is very low. But if they did, I would not be shocked. Protect their QB investment. It would clean up that OL going forward. We will need to deal with it at some point.

      2. So the 49ers signed former Chargers’ CB Jason Verrett to a one-year, $3.6 million deal prove it deal, not bad. I believe they draft offense now except RB with only 6 picks but hope they trade down. Get a tall WR like Boykins in the 3rd too, redzone!..I completely agree if they drafted 2 OL early I’d be OK with it. Of course they have other holes but OL is the foudation of the O.

        They do need to protect KG and give him time. Staley’s getting old, the running game needs big holes and that makes the passing game better. A great OL moves the chains, runs the clock, keeps the D rested, keeps the opposing O sitting. Plus more scoring means more wins. Look what Indy did drafting Nelson, protecting Luck and playoffs. N.E saw weakness in the Rams interior OL and attacked it.

  3. Grant,

    I do not get the fascination that Lynch, Shanahan and Saleh have with Ward. They all state how great he is in the locker room, and that he works and plays hard, and even Shanahan has stated he would go to war with Ward. However, going to war and winning football games are 2 different things. Ward has almost never helped the Niners win any games, and the one thing that is noticeable with Ward is he almost never makes any plays – barely a pass breakup, I never seen him cause a fumble, and only 2 career interceptions. They paid him 8.5 mil last year, and then another 5 mil this year – for somebody who is practically invisible.

    For the reasons I stated above, I really don’t trust Lynch and Shanahan to really progress and take the Niners to the next level – their evaluations of players, to me, is they over value players who don’t do squat.

    I hope you bring some of this stuff up during their next press conference.

    1. I think it’s a case of the devil you know, and for $5 million for the year. I think their plan is to use a high draft pick at FS, and by the time Ward goes down, he’ll be ready to step in. Candidates are as follows:

      1. CGJ, FS Florida (Expected 1st round pick)
      2. Nassir Adderley, FS Delaware(1st round)
      3. Deionte Thompson, FS Alabama (2nd round)
      4. Juan Thornhill, FS Virginia(2-3 round)

      1. What do you think about Deionte Thompson? I am thoroughly unimpressed with him. I have absolutely no idea what people see in him. He takes extremely bad angles and he got torched multiple times in the national championship game. I’m definitely not the guy to ask about NFL draft evaluations. This kid may have all the right things NFL personnel men look for in terms of height, weight, speed, and big time college program but what I see on the field is a player who makes tons of mistakes. Which of course means the 49ers will trade back and pick him at #13.

        1. I took him off my “board” if you will. Character issues and just plain didn’t have a good season. If he slides deep I’d take him with a late round pick but I’m sure someone will take a chance on him and use a mid rounder.

          Thornhill is the guy to target. If he makes it out of the second round the 49ers should go get him.


              “Of course, you can’t talk about Thompson without bringing up the assault charges. Thompson, along with three other men, was accused of allegedly beating and kicking Noah Frillou while on Spring Break back in 2017. Thompson maintained his innocence but was arrested for aggravated assault the following April. Fortunately for Thompson, the district attorney’s office dropped the charges on February 5th. As of this posting, Thompson appears to be out of legal trouble heading into the NFL Draft.”

              1. Oh wow. I’ve got to think the Reuben Foster experience scared Lynch away from drafting a Bama kid with character red flags. I’d be surprised if Thompson is even on the 49ers draft board after that report.

        2. While I don’t disagree with your assessments, Thompson in round 2 represents good value. He was talked about as a top 15 pick before his lackluster season. I think he’s a kid you roll the dice on in round 2, because;
          A. He won’t have to play until mid season because they have Ward.
          B. You feel you can coach him up.
          C. He played in a big time program known for their secondary talent in a big time conference.

          If I had my choice, I’d find a way to land CGJ with draft capital earned through a trade.

          1. I seriously can’t believe you are advocating trade after you’ve made such a big deal about Bosa. Did the Ford trade diminish your draft crush?

            1. If Bosa is available and Murray is gone, I doubt there will be a team that would offer the compensation required to obtain the #2 pick. Bosa or a couple 1st round picks this year, either one works for me. For your sake and the sake of not having to hear Grant bash the 49ers on a daily basis for drafting The Bosa Constrictor, I hope the Cardinals take him.

              As for Ford, he just increased the chances that The Bosa Constrictor will be the pick, because as Lynch stated, he wants a speed guy on one side, and stronger pass rusher on the other side….

              1. Bosa is overrated – and his family will surely have him hold out to get the full guaranteed money upfront, just like they did with Joey. Then Bosa will eventually come to camp, get hurt and not play through pain, because he is a diva.

              2. cotoman1964 says:
                March 14, 2019 at 11:16 am
                Bosa is overrated – and his family will surely have him hold out to get the full guaranteed money upfront, just like they did with Joey. Then Bosa will eventually come to camp, get hurt and not play through pain, because he is a diva.

                That seems to be the narrative from the opposing side, with nothing to substantiate it other than tarot cards, crystal balls and open palms….

              3. @cotoman

                Bosa and his family might be royal pains in the butt but he’s not overrated. Bosa has elite talent. His injury history and his decision to leave OSU make me not want him but his talent is legit elite.

  4. Grant is there an easy way to post the transcript from these videos? It’s not that I don’t have the capability to view them I just don’t like listening to videos. No worries if it’s too much trouble.

        1. Keep up the periscopes Grant. They’re great and we get a good laugh. Pretty cool you giving us insight and able to answer questions. Great personality plus your hard ball questions to Gruden were awesome. Don’t listen to the hater clowns here.

      1. How about some summary bullet points? Maybe even with some time stamps?

        I too can’t often commit the time to watch the videos.

      2. Can you animate the pressers with gif-like images? Or better, have aspiring actors recreate the pressers…

  5. Best 5 moves the team should do with the #2 pick:

    1) Trade down. There is only one slam dunk player at this spot and he’s still passable if the ability to pick up an additional first round pick is made available as an alternative.

    2)Draft Quinnen Williams. The only player worthy of the #2 pick to this team. Between Buckner, Williams and Ford offensive line coaches will have their hands full keeping those 3 out of the backfield.

    3)Draft Devin White. I believe White is also an elite talent, he wouldn’t have the impact on the team that Williams would so I would still take Williams over White. However nobody will question why the 49ers used the #2 pick on him when he’s inducted into the HoF.

    4)Draft Cody Ford. My big board goes Williams / White / Ford. He’s the 3rd most solid NFL prospect in this draft. There’s nothing at all sexy about taking an OG at #2 but you have to get past the position.(except a kicker, take a kicker with #2 and you should be fired before the next commercial break.) Ford is the type of lineman that can transform a run game. Given the investment they’ve made personnel wise in this department taking the best lineman in the draft with their first pick shouldn’t be considered off the table.

    5)Draft DeAndre Baker. About the only other player that you can justify the team taking at this spot. He’s the best corner in the draft and would fill a huge need for the team.

    Bonus)Draft Josh Allen. I prefer Allen over Bosa in every way but I’m still not that high on either. I put him on this list not because I particularly like the idea of it but I have to be open to being wrong about one of the aforementioned players and it’s most likely going to be Allen. Also, grabbing Ford makes the edge position more of a mid round pick at this point. If one of those players turns out to be a decent pass rusher and team contributor it’ll almost certainly be Allen. I still have my doubts that Allen will be consistent enough to be a high production sack guy but at least he’ll be out on the field playing.

    1. Good post.

      A greedy notion… AQB goes 1, Raiders trade 4+24 for 2, taking a different QB. 49ers take Q. Williams at 4.

      1. They then trade Buckner for more picks. Williams takes Buckners spot on a rookie salary and the Niners don’t have to empty the bank to resign Buckner. Plus they get all the picks the Buckner trade will garner.

    2. I like your assessment Coffee ☕️!

      I would include Clelin Farrell as a trade down option. He doesn’t get the hype like the others, but he’s an every down beast. May be redundant with Ford now, but I just don’t understand why he’s mentioned so infrequently when discussing top edge prospects. Dude has a motor and great hands with developed moves and quickness off the line. Okay, done with the rant.

      For draft strategy if like to see 1. Edge (despite the Ford signing, as I’ve said from the beginning we need to double dip here). 2. Best DB available (Corner or Safety, just give me the best). 3. WR or OL. 4. WR or OL. 5. TE (someone who can block and catch).

    3. Good list Coffee. One and two are the most likely scenarios. However, White is most likely no longer an option with the addition of Alexander, Ford is probably not am option, and Baker has character concerns.

  6. Why are people so high on Williams. he redshirted as a freshman, then next year he play very little and didn’t do much, then last year he was good but not the 2nd pick in the draft. He should of stayed 1 more year and if he did it again then he could be in the discussion for being a top pick. I know he played in the championship game but if he didn’t play for Bama would he still be getting this much attention. Oliver is the better player. Josh Allen should be the 49ers pick if they do not trade down. He can play LB, rush the passer and drop back in coverage. That’s everything we need along with Dee and Dfrost, one of those 3 will be getting to the QB.

    After getting Dee, and lets say they get Bosa, what would their line look like. The 5 player line, Bosa, Defrost, Arik, Thomas, Dee. Ariks contract is fully vested now so they can’t release 9 million and they are not going to have him sit on the bench, its always good to have depth but at 9 million. Dee is going to have to play almost every down and he’s not a true LB, Defrost will be playing every down, maybe Thomas is the bench guy. But with Allen he can play LB and be on the field every down.

    1. Agreed niner we should take Allen cuz he and Ford would be a formidable interchangable duo.
      Much better than drafting Bosa or Williams.

    2. Williams was a wrecking ball against Clemson. He was stout against the run, or it would have been even more of a rout.
      Oliver may be a good choice, too. Bosa, with his 4.79 forty, did not impress.
      Still think the Niners should trade back, and get Sweat.

  7. Exactly. That is why I want the Niners to sign veteran WRs over drafting a rookie. A veteran WR who is grizzled, battle tested and battle hardened is preferable to an untested, raw, weak rookie. A rookie WR needs to sit, study and work out to get stronger, so he can take the sledgehammer blows. If they throw rookies to the wolves and get started right away, they tend to become injured.
    Niners should sign Chris Conley, Jermaine Kearse or Golden Tate.
    Maybe with the glut of RBs, the Niners can pull off a deal with Gruden. They trade the number 2 pick for pick numbers 4, 35 and the Raiders 2020 second round pick. The Ninrs throw in Jerick McKinnon or Beida to sweeten the deal. Getting the number 4 pick will allow the Niners to still get the player the covet, and the number 35 pick will allow them to get a good WR, or maybe a TE. The 2020 second round pick will replace the second round pick they gave up for Ford. Gruden will possibly get Bosa as a replacement for Mack, and still gets to have 3 first round picks.

    1. 3 things certain in life:

      3. Seb and Cohn being wrong on anything and everything football.

      Don’t support this Niner opinionist. He’s a fraud. There are way better Niner blogs out there.

      1. Hey Prime, I remember you swearing you were leaving and never coming back. What happened? Got lonely?
        For all who have not followed this blog closely, In February, I was the first and only poster to postulate that Kyler Murray may be the first pick in the draft, and other posters laughed at me. Guess what? After Murray’s pro day, with his impressive throwing demonstration, the Cards are looking very hard at him.

        1. No Sebbie… Some members of national media were envisioning Murray as the 1st pick before you. You may have been the first to spill it here, but not on the national stage. :p

              1. That would be late December, in the context of the college playoff games–speculation by a couple of talking heads.

              2. Pardon me for missing what they were saying. My speculation was totally without any knowledge of what they were saying. On Jan. 14, he decided to declare for the NFL draft. Until then, he had a 5 mil signing bonus and everyone thought he was intending to play baseball.
                I was commenting on the fact that many pundits thought it was a QB poor draft, and that few QBs were first round talent.
                Again, dismiss what others were saying elsewhere. Idle speculation brought up lots of improbable scenarios. I said it first here on this site. Nobody else, you included, had a clue.
                Typical Baalke stunt. Claim to be Carnac, but fail miserably. Baalke also pulled the AJ Jenkins envelope out of his rear end.

              3. Talking heads noted that Murray could become the top QB taken in ’19, even rising to the first pick “Kyler is that good.” They went on to say something like ‘stay tuned as January unfolds and the NFL combine approaches’, Kyler could declare for the NFL.’

                Sorry. Now, go ahead and crow that YOU saw it all first–of anyone on this planet.

              4. Kingbury said on Oct 28th, 2018, that he would take Kyler Murray with the overall number one pick, so he has had his boosters all along. However, he had signed with the A’s and everyone thought he would play baseball because it was safer, with more chance for career longevity.

              5. Once again, I did not claim to be first everywhere. I said I claimed to be first ON THIS SITE.

              6. Seb-y-nah
                * So sebbie, inquiring minds want to know when you first announce to the blog that I was PRIME…. and expose the fact you’re an insecure, bloviating dotard with nothing to do other than make a fool of yourself?
                * Prime: You want to blow Seb-y-nah’s mind? Tell him you’re really me (GEEP)! LMAO

    2. that wouldn’t be a bad trade, getting the number 4, the 35 and next year number 2. That should be 3 day 1 starting players. But at number 4 my fear would be what’s left to draft. Allen will be gone from the Jets pick or Raiders if they pass on Bosa, then I’m sure Jets will draft him. That will leave Williams which would be the wrong pick to make. best thin at that point is trade down again. I really wish their was a star WR in this draft, they say Metcalf but only if after pick 10 and not sure about the agility testing for running routes but IDK

      1. Oliver is a decent option, but I really like Sweat. He has elite speed for his size, and long arms to keep O linemen from getting to his chest.
        I would not mind if they did another trade back, then Clelin Ferrell may be a good option.

    3. This deal would certainly make every Niner fan squeal with glee.
      The only way it’s even remotely plausible is if the Cards pass on Murray. Rumours are Gruden has no poker face and LOVES Murray.
      I fully agree on signing a grizzled vet WR too. Tate is tough as nails, and would really help.
      Conley has speed and upside, but drops too many easy passes.

      1. if Murray is their at pick 2 and Gruden loves him like that, then they should get a lot more picks from him to move down. Like get all 3 number 1 picks for this year and a second rounder next year. Gruden will get that back with a trade of David Carr to a QB need team

        Then get a pass rusher, WR and then safety. With the second round pick get OL. or flip flop depending on who’s their when they pick like taking a CB instead.

        But the raiders could also trade with the Jets and give up a lot less to move up if 49ers don’t trade and of course pick somebody else

        1. Grudens 3 1st rd pick values equal the 49ers 1st rd and their 2nd rd picks. Doubt Gruden does that swap you mention including next years 2nd rounder for Murray. Maybe for the Raiders 4, 35 and next years 2nd rounder like mentioned above is pretty equal. Gruden does love Murray but not that much even if he trades Carr.

      1. Willtalk: His signing gives the 9ers something they did not have
        * WR Jordan Matthew: 6′ 3″ x 215; Combine 4.46s 40, Hands 10 3/8″
        * STRENGTHS Good length. Big zone target. Good form as a route runner. Sinks his hips and pops out of breaks. Concentrates, tracks and adjusts. Soft hands and sticky fingers. Has leaping ability to compete in the air. Opens up his stride in the clear and shows nice long speed. Good field awareness. Gives effort as a blocker. Competes and plays with intensity. Tough and intelligent. Lined up outside and inside and has punt-return experience.

    1. I think that’s the theme in this upcoming draft when looking at prospects for the 49ers. Playmakers and turnover magnets.

  8. Grant, your complaint about Coleman is that he’s redundant. But is he really? Coleman can be used as a WR as well as a RB, can’t he? The signing might be bigger than we think. Imagine him running through the secondary.

  9. Does anyone have insight as to why Tre Boston isn’t signed anywhere?
    He’s 26 and he’s had 8 picks in the last two seasons.
    Is he an insufferable prick or something?
    What am I missing?

    1. Bebsie:
      * Former Panthers S Tre Boston unhappy with offers.
      * Part of the problem could be that the market has artificially stalled because NFL teams are wary of signing players that have been publicly supportive of Colin Kaepernick and the protests during the national anthem!

  10. Regarding FS I think we have young guys to compete. At SS too. Ward and Tartt are solid players but fragile. Sure stability is needed. I just think we have other holes to fill.

    Love the Coleman signing. Productive Insurance player period. Everything Alfred Morris was not. We can’t run Breida into the ground. Jerick I’m not sure about.

  11. There r reports that Cb Treye Wayne might be available for trade. He is playing on his 5th year option like Armstead. If the brass feels he would be a good fit, that would be a nice 1 for 1 trade. That would leave us still Thomas, Day, Street, and Taylor to man the 3 and 5 gaps. Blair and Marsh at pure DE. And Buckner to b Buckner. It would give us a shot at a #1cb. The cap swap would be 9 mil for 9 mil. And it would open the draft so much.

  12. Niners sign Jason Verett. Love this signing. An Elite corner when healthy. Worth the risk at 1 year 3.5 mil. Love this pick up.

    1. Worth the risk. John and Kyle mentioned a few times during the presser (after being asked a question about Verrett) that they were itching to find out if Verrett had been signed.

    2. Yep. I know some people won’t get past the fact he has not been able to stay healthy. It’s an obvious major issue for him. It’s also why a guy with elite level talent in his prime years is available for peanuts.

      The $3.6M is not much and likely includes incentives. This is a very low risk signing. But the upside is potentially immense. It’s the sort of move you make when you have some young guys you like at the position but want to add some competition for them on the cheap. And despite how Witherspoon and Moore played last year I am certain the 49ers still believe in them.

    3. Verrett…

      “After graduating high school with no college scholarship offers, Verrett opted to attend Santa Rosa Junior College. While at SRJC, Verrett was named to the all-conference first team in 2010. He was considered a three-star recruit by”

      Wonder if Jason has a Press Democrat subscription.

  13. What are the odds there’ll be a good trade back offer?

    According to Peter King Lynch tried to trade back from 3 in 2017 but didn’t get serious offers.

    1. any offer would of been good to trade from pick 3 that lead to drafting Thomas way to high. Unless it was like pick 25-32 and like a 3 or 4 round pick but if it was something better they should have. But I think Lynch loved Thomas way to much to trade down again.

    2. Ultimately depends on what AZ does. Other factors include how free agency continues to play out for needy teams. Stunning pro day performances could influence draft position too. I’d say the odds of a ‘good’ 9er trade down–as of today–are 40%.

    3. It all depends. If the Cards pass on Murray and select Bosa, Gruden will be jumping up and down, begging for the number 2 pick. Giants are coveting Dwayne Haskins, and may want to move up, because the Jets are also talking about trading back. Denver just traded away Keenum, and may not want to put all their eggs in one basket with Flacco. Miami may want to shoot the moon, and offer their first and next year’s first for the Niners pick.

  14. Mark my words, 2019 Niners front 7 :
    LDE – D. Ford
    LDT – S. Thomas (D.J. Jones/S. Day)
    RDT – D. Buckner
    RDE – E. Armstead
    SAM – Josh Allen (more LB than Bosa, can drop in coverage)
    MIKE – F. Warner
    WILL – K. Alexander

    Could be a nightmare for the opposite Qbs…

    1. The Left side of the line would get destroyed in the run game.

      Why would you line up Armstead on the weakside against a Left Tackle? It didn’t work out when he was the LEO?

      If it’s an Under Front Thomas is going to get destroyed at Nose Tackle. If it’s an Over Front Buckner is being wasted at Nose Tackle.

      1. AFFP:

        The assumption here is that the right side of the offense is the strong side. Guess that’s true most of the time. So, if a defense is lining up players on one side that can be mowed over by the OL with the TE, an offense will always try to put the TE on that side of the OL (regardless if it is right or left). An easy way to do that is to simply motion the TE to the side of the line that has the weak defenders.

        If that’s true, then what are the options for a defense.

        1) Try to not have two weak run defenders on one side of the DL in a 4-3.
        2) Provide LB help on the side that has the weak run defenders?

        Am I understanding this correctly?


        1. Yup. That’s why the BIG End is on the Strong/Closed side of the offensive formation. That’s one of the first defensive calls made…which is the closed side (if there’s 2TEs then it may have to do with the balance in the backfield or alignment of receivers which side of the hashes they’re located..etc..). Sure the defense can motion the TE and flip the formation. But the offensive Right Tackle and Left Tackle aren’t swapping. But you may get a shift in the D-line to compensate.

          The interesting thing in the Under scheme is that the run fits are designed to push ball carriers back to the weakside…towards that weak B Gap and into the waiting arms of the WILL backer (that’s why Derrick Brooks got all the attention in Tampa).

          The way to look at the weak side of the defensive line is not that they aren’t good run defenders. It’s that they’re doing it differently. They’re getting into the backfield. Where as the Big End and Nose are basically occupying gaps and trying to cloud another gap (actually the 3T is too…but he’s supposed to engage his blocker, drive him back and then release into the backfield).

          Now if they go to a WIDE 9 scheme in the base defense…then I think they have some problems because in that scheme the linebackers have to be stout run defenders that take on blockers in the middle of the field close to the line of scrimmage because those gaps aren’t stuffed or cloudy. Warner and Alexander are more fast flow to the ball on the edge types of run defenders.

          1. AFFP,

            Great post. I’m curious what you think our nickel package will look like in 2019? Additionally, how do you see the Ford signing affecting our 1st round draft pick?

              1. Bosa has received some criticism post combine, but it doesn’t seem warranted to me. That 4.14 shuttle was very impressive. Faster than his brother, and faster than Khalil Mack (4.18), despite the fact he weighed 15lbs more than KM @ their respective combines.

                Grant’s take on Bosa is interesting, but it’s not enough to dissuade me if we can’t trade back for decent value.

      2. Man, just look at the depth chart:
        Where’s Armstead?
        It’s just an example, and I mentioned also D.J Jones and S.Day.
        Or you can switch positions… turn the formation…. and so on.
        And since I mentioned the Qb hunting, of course I was thinking more about a 3rd down formation, where Thomas moves inside.
        I wanted also to highlight the new players position, including drafting Allen instead of Bosa, coz he could complement better Ford, and probably staying more on the field.
        Until now I would have drafted Bosa, but with the addition of Ford I would switch the target to Allen.
        Our defence become almost a 3-4 against the pass, with 3 DT (Buck-Arm-Tho, for example), 2 MLB able to defend the pass (Warn-Alex), and Ford-Allen rushing the Qb. Allen could also cover a TE/RB, sending a MLB or a S blitz.

        I just think we would have more options and versatility with Allen.

    1. It’s already been reported the 49ers are not high on Allen. They really like yet another D-lineman. Not super sold on Bosa either. I really hope they don’t go D-line again.

        1. I hope it’s a smokescreen if not I will question Lynch his ability as GM and our scouts.
          If you want a serious D-line injection throw some f…ing money at Suh than.

      1. Or maybe they are looking to trade down and get Sweat plus draft picks to be used for our multiple needs (CB/S/OL/WR)…

  15. Verrett….last year he missed the entire season with a torn Achilles tendon, the year before that he was lost in Week One with a knee injury, and the year before that he missed 12 games with a knee injury…….

    Dude is the definition of leg injury….

    1. He’s depth. He’s not supposed to be good…..otherwise he’d be a starter. As a depth player he got better the more snaps he got by the end of the season.

        1. I don’t see how signing a depth safety impacts the Niners signing a starting safety if they really want him (and Boston is still available).

            1. I think they see Ward as the fallback option as a starter (otherwise they’d have signed him for longer). It’s still open for them to acquire a new starter (free agency or draft) or develop one in house (Colbert or Moore)

              1. I think it is a prelude to drafting a FS fairly high and letting Ward, the draft pick and Colbert compete. Highly doubt at this point they will sign another FS in FA.

              2. I think if they can get Boston to agree to their terms, they’ll sign him. If not…they’ll draft and/or develop internally. My point being that I don’t thin Ward’s signing bears much impact on future plans at the position.

              3. Ward’s impact will be to last until game 8 when the high draft pic is ready to assume the duty.

              4. I think if they wanted Boston they would have gotten him already. If Clinton-Dix can be had for $3.5M, pretty sure Boston could be landed at a reasonable price too. The fact they are paying Ward $5M to bring him back rather than pay Boston just makes me think Ward is the guy they want to start this year unless a younger guy can beat him out.

  16. Another wrong safety signed by the 49ers management team. You already know Exum is garbage but they still signed him anyway. Get ready for a starting safety duo of Exum and Marcel Harris. Tartt will be injured, Ward will be injured and Colbert will be injured.

    I thought the 49ers loved tall CB, Verrett is only 5’10. Maybe it will be a new defense scheme in place.

    I wouldn’t stop their, I would signed that other CB Dezard from the Cincy and then you could have at least one of them start next year or have two starting CB for the following year, if they let go of Sherman.

    1. Free agency isn’t over yet. Plus, we have a draft coming up in a few weeks. Let’s keep the lifeboats aboard, at least until summer camp.

    2. you’re criticizing a depth player signing? Jesus…some people just complain to complain.

      I’d hazard to guess that Verrett might be a slot/Nickel corner. But then again, no one is absolutely locked into one kind of player at a position. Jimmy Ward played boundary corner for them and he’s not big or tall.

  17. Let’s get one thing straight faithful! Our Shan Francisco 49ERS will compete in the NFC west in 2019. Yeah sure we didn’t get Odell or Brown or Williams. We called…….. We tried……. But we got Coleman Bitch’s BOOM…… Drop the mike. ( crickets )We will compete but not for a championship this year. Every move they made indicates improvement but lacks the commitment executives make that believe this is our year. I haven’t heard the chant ” quest for 6 ” in years. If they don’t screw up the draft our defence will be top 10 for years to come. That offence though? Don’t get me wrong, I like the Coleman deal but? Wait….. This just in ……… 49ers have overpaid kearse ( fake news ) to become their new #1 wr. ( crickets)WTF ? I wonder if these guy’s ( Lynchahan ) are over complicating things and relying on Shannies amazing ability to scheme players open? It’s Football, not chess. You lost Odell for 3 and 5? grow some balls boys or we might call Harbaugh back and give him both of your jobs.

  18. David Mayo signed as well. Just a depth ILB. Not sure how good he is on STs, but I suspect that will be his main role if he makes it to the 53.

    1. I love the signing! Maybe Ahkello pulls his head out and plays like he did the second half of his rookie season, but Verrett is good Insurance if he can’t; and if Verett can get through a season healthy, he and Sherman would be a dynamic duo!

  19. And… Jordy Nelson was just released by the Raiduhs! There’s your grizzled vet and Redzone target! I know he’s old, but he can still run crisp routes, has great hands, and would be our tallest receiver at 6’3”, and shouldn’t cost too much while we develop the younger guys and draft a Rookie in the 3rd. Thoughts???

    1. I am surprised by that…….. they had advanced his bonus for this year.

      Tami is $.1/min for transcribing (per quick Google search, was the cheapest).

      At least now there are some serious options in the secondary.

  20. The 49ers won’t have the NFL rushing leader in 2019. They won’t have a marquee back such as Saquon Barkley, Le’Veon Bell or Todd Gurley who has 20 or more carries per game. But they will have a three-man group that could be one of the league’s best backfield combinations.

    Reports that the 49ers have agreed to terms with former Atlanta Falcons standout Tevin Coleman mean that Kyle Shanahan’s offense will have a versatile, explosive trio of Coleman, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida to lead the running game.

    Coleman, at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, will be the biggest of the three. He’s coming off a season in which he played all 16 games, rushed for 800 yards and four touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 276 yards and five TDs. In his four seasons with the Falcons, the former third-round pick from Indiana averaged 4.4 yards per carry and 11 yards per reception.

    Coleman also comes in familiar with Shanahan’s scheme, having played for him with the Falcons.

  21. Nick Bosa was poised for a big season with the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2018, but things didn’t play out that way. Bosa only played three games before he had to shut it down for the season due to injury.

    Reply: 49ers don’t need another injury prone player, like his older brother on the team.

    What if Bosa shuts it down after 3 games with the 49ers?…I think allen is the better fit for the wide 9 defense.

  22. Grant I am eager to hear what you think of the press conference and signings today.

    Specifically Ford at Leo, Solly outside on run downs and inside for pass. Also the Verrett signing too.

    I read today that Ford played the most downs of any edge rusher last year. Still think he’ll get worn down? Also how does Ford’s position impact who we draft? Boss, Allen or trade back?

    1. I’m still not sure what defensive alignment the 49ers will play next season. I asked if they were going to use a Wide 9 alignment in their base defense or just in Nickel, and Kyle Shanahan wouldn’t say anything besides they’re going to use it more than last season. They’re being secretive.

      1. GRANT,

        I may have been WRONG about the run fits for the Wide 9 that I described on your blog over the last couple of days. Let me know if you want to discuss it.

        I think it’s obvious they’re going to use the WIDE 9 for the Nickel. It may as well become the base defense. Think of the number of teams that run out of a 3+ WR personnel group these days.

        The current “Base” package is only run about a 1/3 of the time anyway. I suspect the Under scheme is going to become more and more of a specialty subpackage (it’s lack of inside bubbles makes it a good interior run defense) as time goes on.

        But for now I highly suspect they’ll deploy the WIDE 9 as a base package (with 3 linebackers as opposed to the Nickel variation) in specific situations where they believe an outside running team (or lots of screen passes) in a 21 or 22 package will try to get around their perimeter.

  23. New 49ers CB Jason Verrett: When healthy, I’m ‘definitely’ a top NFL …
    KNBR (blog)-1 hour ago

    Jason Verrett Draft Profile –

    Very willing in run support and plays bigger than his size. Athleticism was on display at the combine — 40-yard dash (4.38 seconds), 3-cone drill (6.69), short shuttle (4.00) vertical jump (39 inches) and broad jump (10 feet, 8 inches) ranked among the best of the cornerbacks.

      1. Career stats
        Year Team REC YDS AVG LNG TD
        2018 PHI 20. 300 15.0. 56. 2
        2017 BUF 25. 282. 11.3. 47. 1
        2016 PHI 73. 804. 11.0. 54. 3
        2015 PHI. 85. 997. 11.7. 78. 8
        2014 PHI. 67. 872. 13.0. 44. 8
        Career. 270. 3,25512.1. 78 22

        1. The 2017 drop off could be due to team or quarterback change. Anyone know what happened in 2018? Injury?

  24. Mathews:

    At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Matthews should help solve that. And out of his 22 touchdowns at the pro level, 16 of them have come within the red zone.

    That said, he did run a 4.46 40-yard time back during the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, which adds to the speed factor Shanahan covets at the position. And his route-running skills are relatively well-polished, too.

    One might guess Matthews could occupy the Z receiver spot in San Francisco’s offense — the one previously held by wide receiver Pierre Garçon, on whom the Niners declined a 2019 option. Shanahan has made overtures about using wide receiver Marquise Goodwin in a more situational role this season, while second-year pro Dante Pettis will look to build upon a solid finish to his rookie year.

    Reply: 49ers filling lots of holes before the draft…Shanny will use Mathews like Bill Walsh used the 6′-4″, Dwight Clark—on those 3rd and 5 slants over the middle, taking the tough LB hits, and in the red zone.

  25. Jordan Matthews is a 49er.

    Looks like the team is addressing every position in some way in FA so they don’t go into the draft actually “needing” to draft a certain position (though in reality some positions will still be high priorities in the draft).

  26. Matthews has been fighting lower body issues the last few years, accounting for his productivity loss.
    Perhaps he’s a fast healer…In any event, the 49ers won’t rely on this oft injured WR and will draft another in 2019

    1. What happened in 2018 when he returned to Philadelphia?

      Hoping it’s something repairable like roster dynamics or (former) injury.

  27. F/A Head Scratcher:

    2) Trent Brown, LT, Oakland Raiders

    Another position where a scarcity of free-agent resources impacted market dynamics? Left tackle. Good news for Brown, who signed a four-year, $66 million contract (with $36.75 million fully guaranteed). Making an average of $16.5 million per year, he’s now the highest-paid offensive tackle in the NFL. As a member of the Patriots last season, Brown allowed 13 QB hits — third-most among all tackles, according to Pro Football Focus. Consider that New England gave up just 67 QB hits total (third-fewest, according to PFF), and Brown’s issue is even more concerning. Offensive coaches around the league always talk to me about how Tom Brady and O-line coach Dante Scarnecchia make offensive linemen look better than they are, due to scheme and getting rid of the ball quickly. So I measured Brown’s push-back/pressures when the ball’s released in under 2.5 seconds and over 2.5 seconds. The good news is that Brown showed improvement over the past three seasons. The bad news? He ranks outside of the top half of left tackles in both categories over this time period. Derek Carr got rid of the ball almost as quickly as Brady last season, and the Raiders’ offensive game plan will likely utilize tempo. But still, paying someone the highest rate in the league at such a key position, while banking on continued improvement, seems risky.

    1. Wonder how he’s going to do with Chucky screaming in his ear all season? Not sure that’s a good match.

      Still not sure how he’s considered the best LT in the NFL?

      1. Me either but whatevs. His play last year is his ceiling, because he had the best OL coach in the NFL, QB and HC.

        1. For sure Razor.

          Are they going to move last year’s first round pick over to RT, or are they going to move Trent back to RT, like I’ve heard through the grapevine?

          It probably won’t matter much, because …. you can mark my words – Trent Brown will be in Gruden’s doghouse before we hit midseason! You can take that to the bank!

      2. I don’t think Chucky’s screaming will have as much impact as “Chunky” the candy bar will. I foresee another DeMarcus Russel scenario for the Raiders. The big contract will be less and incentive to play better rather an incentive to eat.

        1. Well, Trent Brown can certainly afford his own personal 24 hour Mini-Mart convenience store now, so you know that’s a worry.

          I’m guessing the bookmaker’s are setting the OVER/UNDER on Trent Brown’s 2019 playing weight at 400.5 lbs.

            1. You think so Seb? I get that he kept himself in pretty good shape with the Patriots, but the kid has battled weight and conditioning issues since he was young. People have a tendency to fall back on old habits, especially when they aren’t in the kind of structured environment like they have in New England. And how many times have we seen a player get their money, and then lose that edge to keep pushing themselves?

              1. Gruden is not that stupid. He will want to protect his investment. If Brown gains 5 pounds, Gruden will assign a babysitter to monitor his eating habits.

  28. Matthews has some promise. He flashed a little bit at times last year in a limited role. The great schemer could put him to good use.

    This draft feels o-line heavy.

    1. Yes, the O-line may get some attention–especially if the 9ers trade out of the #2 pick and gather additional selections.

    2. I really thought the 49ers were going to draft the First Team All-American and Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist – Jordan Matthews (with 2 t’s), being that he was considered one of the best, maybe even the best route runner in the 2014 draft, and also happens to be the cousin of the greatest WR ever to walk this planet.

      Versatile, big bodied possession receiver with 4.46 speed coming out of college. He’s had a couple down years though, so I’m not sure what’s up with him. We’ll see. I mean, he’s only 26 years old and the 49ers have been needing a big wideout with good hands, and a large catching radius, so maybe Shanny can get him back on track to where he was during his first 3 years in the league.

  29. Grant…

    A several months ago you concluded (with vigor) that Shanahan was on the hot seat. As of mid March 2019, is that still your position?

  30. The fact that they have been much more active in free agency this season seems to portend that they are moving past the stage where they want to evaluate what they have and are ready to fill in existing holes.

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